Photo: Jordan Coyle and Carlos.
Wellington, Florida (January 19, 2018) – The Irish came out in force for the second Turf Tour Grand Prix of 2018, taking the top two spots in a competitive class that only yielded 4 double clear efforts in the field of 27. Aboard Andy Kocher’s Carlos, Jordan Coyle of Derry, Northern Ireland leapt to victory over a course designed by Eric Hasbrouk on a jump-off time of 34.689 seconds. As the second last to go, Coyle bested his countryman James Chawke and GK Coco Chanel’s time (36.149) by nearly two seconds. The third place went to Portugal’s Sampaio Peix Rodrigo and Color Paint on a jump off time of 39.030 seconds.
“This was my first class ever with this horse, and only my second time riding him,” said Coyle, who rides out of Old Salem Farm and his own Jordan Coyle Show Jumping. “When I jumped him for the first time on Wednesday he felt like an absolute machine. Andy is in Europe at the moment, and I was able to convince him to give me the ride for today. The course was very good, and I think I took the turn to the double very tight, tighter than I had planned to, and I think that is what gave me the quicker time.”
Coyle’s brother, Daniel Coyle, has been a regular on the Turf Tour the last few years, winning a number of Grand Prix and other classes. After visiting and schooling at a Polo West Turf Tour in 2017, Jordan began riding for Old Salem and has already racked up a few top finishes since the beginning of season. “We jump a lot on the grass in Ireland, and both Daniel and I grew up riding and showing,” Coyle said. “After arriving at today’s event, I was proper impressed with the turnout and standard [of the Turf Tour]. I’m lucky to have the ride with Old Salem and grateful to Andy for giving me the chance to ride today.”
An early leader in the Grand Prix, Carly Anthony, fresh off a successful European tour, kicked off her winter season as the first double clear effort with Chacco. She ended fourth and fifth with Chacco and her other mount, Cookie 52, noting it as being a great start to her 2018 season. James Chawke, who also topped Wednesday’s 1.20-1.25m Jumper class with Flemins Bouncer, said he was using the show to bring along new horses and enjoy the quiet atmosphere. Sampaio Rodrigo and Colour Paint, in addition to finishing in the top three in the Grand Prix, topped the 1.20-1.25m division earlier in the day and is currently the champion in the Turf Tour’s 1.20m division standings.
Owen McWilliams and Secret Alloy Ace Friday Night Light’s Child Adult Classic; Joseph Aman and Echo Take the Speed Round
Polo West’s Polo Bar and Grill once again hosted a crowd of eager spectators as well as ambitious Child/Adult jumper riders as the second edition of The Ridge at Wellington’s Friday Night Lights wrapped up on January 19.
The 1.10m Child/Adult M&S Classic Qualifier was won by Austin, Texas’s own Owen McWilliams and Bickford Hill Show Stables’ Secret Alloy. “I come down every weekend for the winter shows with Don Stewart, and Friday Night Lights was a last-minute decision for us to practice for showing on Saturday,” said McWilliams. “I got on Secret Alloy for the first time last week and we clicked instantly. This was our first time riding under the lights, and he marched right out like he owned the place. It was a really fun round.”
The 1.10m Child/Adult Jumper Speed round went to Canada’s Joseph Aman and his own Echo, a ten-year-old Irish bred gelding. “Echo is such a fun horse,” said Aman. “I’ve had him for two years and he was my first horse. I loved the atmosphere, and it was very different having to show under the lights. Echo definitely was a bit excited with the spectators and the lights, and the lively atmosphere was really fun.” While originally being open to only Child/Adult competitors, The Ridge has recently added an Open Welcome Class so that riders and horses of all levels can experience the unique stadium atmosphere.
For a full schedule of events hosted by The Ridge at Wellington, visit www.TheRidgeFarm.com.