DANIEL Coyle and Denis Lynch are among the 41 athletes that will travel to the 43rd Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Finals in Omaha, USA, this week.

Seven of the top 10 athletes in the world are on the startlist, which represents 19 countries, but unfortunately missing is Co Down’s Conor Swail who was due to ride his top mount, Count Me In, at the venue after they finished second in the North American League. Swail confirmed to The Irish Field that he would not be taking his spot following a fall from the gelding during a 1.50m class in Florida last week.

Coyle, who topped that league, takes his World Championship mount Legacy, owned by Ariel Grange, and will be hoping to back up the form that saw them win the legs in Toronto and Fort Worth earlier in the season.

Denis Lynch finished 16th in the most competitive competition, the Western European League, and will ride Molly Ohrstrom’s 14-year-old gelding Brooklyn Heights, who he rode to individual 20th place at last summer’s FEI World Championships in Herning.

It is the second time in the 43-year history that the final will be staged at the CHI Health Centre in Omaha, with a capacity audience of 18,300. USA’s McLain Ward claimed the title here in 2017 with the great mare HH Azur, who recently won back-to-back Rolex Grands Prix in Geneva and ‘s-Hertogenbosch. This year the world number four will ride Callas.

Ward is among 11 Americans competing, more than any other nation, and representing the home nation, 18-year-old Elisa Broz will be the youngest rider in the field. On the other end of the scale, the most senior rider is 60-year-old double-Olympian Pius Schwizer from Switzerland.

Defending champion

Schwizer is joined in Omaha by teammate and defending champion Martin Fuchs who won his first final in Leipzig last year riding The Sinner and Chaplin, whose retirement was announced last week. In Omaha, he will partner the exciting grey gelding Leone Jei who carried him to European team gold and individual silver in 2021.

There will be two other previous winners in action, and both are German - Daniel Deusser who won in 2014 and Marcus Ehning who is one of five three-time champions. Surely the bookmakers favourite will be the current world number one, Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann, who is bringing the phenomenal King Edward, the double gold medal winner at last summer’s World Championships. The 44 European-based horses left Liege airport on Friday afternoon.

The course designer for the competition is Bernardo Costa Cabral from Portugal. The first round takes place on Wednesday, April 5th, followed by the second competition on Thursday and the new champion will be crowned on Saturday when the top-30 go into the first round and the top-20 battle it out for the final placings.


Omaha also plays host to the FEI Dressage World Cup Finals which begin on Wednesday without any Irish riders taking part. The last Irish dressage athlete to compete at these finals was Judy Reynolds at Gothenburg in 2019 with Vancouver K; the pair were also in Omaha in 2017 when they achieved their best place of fourth.

A field of 17 athletes from 11 countries will compete in the finals, led by defending champion, Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl with her 2021 Tokyo Olympic champion, the 16-year-old mare TSF Dalera BB. Von Bredow-Werndl went on a baby break just after last year’s final in Leipzig and returned last October to take the wins in Lyon and Basel on their way to the final.

The German champion missed last year’s World Championships in Herning and has not yet come up against the newly crowned champions, Britain’s sweetheart Lottie Fry and Glamourdale, and they will not meet in Omaha either as Fry’s employers, Van Olst Horses, decided against travelling the stallion at this crucial time in the breeding season.

However, five-time World Cup winner Isabell Werth is on the startlist with DSP Quantaz and so too is double world bronze medallist from Herning, Dutch star Dinja van Liere who brings the 11-year-old stallion Hermes NOP.