Tag Archives: Daniel Coyle

Coyle Cruises to First Longines Victory in Wellington

Photo: Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Cita. (FEI/Ashley Neuhof)

Daniel Coyle (IRL) didn’t let up from start to finish, and the 23-year-old swiftly earned the first World Cup qualifier victory of his young career at the $220,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Wellington (USA) aboard Ariel Grange’s Cita.

Jumping on the expansive grass field at the Jacobs family’s Deeridge Farms, Coyle mastered a large, technical track designed by fellow Irishman Alan Wade. Only five of the 40 competitors qualified for the jump-off, which featured the defending champion of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, McLain Ward (USA), two-time Olympic gold medalist Laura Kraut (USA), and 17-time World Cup Finals veteran Margie Engle (USA). Second to go in the jump-off, Coyle jumped clear once again and set an unbeatable time of 34.79 seconds.

Last to go over the shortened track, Kraut, aboard St. Bride’s Farm’s Confu, made a valiant run at Coyle’s time but settled for second, finishing her round in 35.14 seconds. Engle and her veteran partner Royce finished third with a time of 35.30 seconds.

“It’s an amazing feeling to beat any one of these two women, and everybody in that jump-off!” — Daniel Coyle (IRL)

“It never makes it any easier when the riders are as good as they were. I saw Margie’s round and thought that was going to be tough to beat, let alone McLain and Laura, [who were jumping] after me.”

Coyle’s winning formula was to get ahead early.

“I did [one fewer] stride [than Laura] in the first line [of the jump-off], and I think that’s only the real place that I got her,” he explained. “I don’t think there was much difference in time there. I was really tight back to the third jump, and then I just tried to smooth out the finish instead of trying to do something crazy.”

Eight of the top 20-ranked American riders in the east coast sub league of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League competed in Wellington. With a fifth-place finish aboard HH Callas, Ward sits atop the standings, although he is automatically qualified based on his victory in last season’s final. Alison Robitaille (USA) sits second in the rankings, while Beezie Madden (USA), Leslie Howard (USA), and Laura Kraut (USA) all advanced their standings.

With his result, Coyle, ranks 10th in the east coast sub league standings, and he may now consider competing at the final stop on the North American League. That will take place at Live Oak Plantation in Ocala, FL (USA) on Sunday 18 March 2018.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

Daniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna Victorious in 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix

Daniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna (Photo by Equinium Sports Marketing)

Wellington, FL (April 7, 2017) – Fate smiled upon Ireland’s Daniel Coyle in the final Turf Tour Grand Prix of the 2017 season. Aboard Susan Grange’s Fortis Fortuna (Quidam de Revel x Carthago), Coyle channeled the luck of the Irish to deliver a blazingly fast double clear effort that could not be touched, despite the efforts of 45 of the industry’s top show jumping combinations. Over two arenas set on the springy, all-natural grass footing at Polo West, a diverse range of riders took to the courses to conclude The Ridge Palm Beach Series’ Turf Tour Finale on April 1st. In addition to the $24,999 1.40m Grand Prix clinched by Coyle, the Finale featured Low, Medium, and High Schooling jumpers running tandem to the morning’s 1.25m-1.30m divisions and the afternoon’s Grand Prix, as well as the relaxed, welcoming atmosphere that have become a trademark of all The Ridge’s events.

With residents of Polo West watching poolside from their backyards and the expansive warm-up busting with riders and trainers, the last Turf Tour Grand Prix of the year commenced in the Florida sunshine. Sandra Dalman and A-Frieda-o delivered the first double clear of the Finale, piloting the elegant grey to a faultless jump-off on a time of 38.214. With the standard set and a time to chase, some of the sport’s best known horses and riders tried their hand over the course, including Brazilian Olympian Rodrigo Pessoa aboard Chloe and the British Olympic duo of Ben Maher and Tic Tac. But it was Venezuela’s Emmanuel Andrade and Nokia De Brekka (Quick Star x Apache D’Adriers) who ultimately stole the lead from Dalman, stopping the timers at 34.016 in the jump-off. Immediately following Andrade and Nokia’s ride, American Andrew Ramsay and Jadalco slid neatly into second with a 34.635.

As the class continued, Coyle, riding for Susan Grange, guided a number of horses to double clear efforts, including his winning ride on Fortis Fortuna. He also piloted the scopey Ridley (Ustinov x Adlantus AS) to 3rd, jumping-off in 34.544 to bump Ramsey and Jadalco out of the top three. Fortis Fortuna, who has been a solid competitor for Coyle both in Wellington and at Spruce Meadows, is back competing following some time off and Coyle said it was great to be able to show her on the grass just before they journey north to the prestigious Canadian circuit.

“We come down to Wellington every year, and ironically she doesn’t much prefer to jump on the grass,” said Coyle of the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare. “As we are aiming for Spruce Meadows in the summer we didn’t want to stress her by jumping on the sand all the time. But she’s a fantastic mare, and it was great for her to win today as we continue to build her strength for the summer. The Ridge’s Turf Tour dates are a great opportunity to get off the farm and in a new environment, and especially to be able to jump on something other than sand. Not every horse likes to go on sand, and the grass is a nice change to keep them fresh.”

Intended to act as a catalyst for the growth and development of horses and riders in the sport, The Ridge Palm Beach Series, which includes the Turf Tour, features courses and classes that reflect the need for solid basics provides the opportunity for horses and riders at a variety of levels to experience and compete in different venues and atmospheres. “Our goal is giving competitors the chance to experience everything, from riding on the turf polo fields to showing under the lights in an indoor arena,” said George D’Ambrosio, co-organizer of the Turf Tour with US Olympian Nona Garson.

“It’s a really unique way to do things,” said Garson. “Riders can sharpen their skills riding against Olympians on exceptional footing and over expertly designed courses, but all at their own pace and in a beautiful setting. Our open in-gate allows flexibility with other events and schedules, and we are really looking to offer a way for developing horses and riders to hone their skills without a major expense or the stress and atmosphere of a large show grounds. In 2017 we launched full jumper divisions at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, as well as Hunter Derbies, equitation events, and dressage, which all follow in the vision of the Turf Tour. As we wrap up another season of showing in Wellington we want to thank all of our riders, trainers, spectators and staff for another fantastic season and we are already looking forward to 2018!”

Join us for a full series of exciting schooling and rated events beginning in April at The Ridge at Riverview, 4 Wolverton Road in Asbury, New Jersey. All of the amazing amenities of The Ridge at Wellington without the summer heat! Check The Ridge’s website, www.TheRidgeFarm.com, for future postings of the prize lists and entry forms.

Media Contact:
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
+1 954 205 7992

Daniel Coyle Sweeps Final Day of Competition at WEF

Daniel Coyle and Simba de la Roque. Photos © Sportfot.

Emotional Win for Kelley Farmer and Kodachrome in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Wellington, FL – April 2, 2017 – The Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series hosted its $50,000 final event at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) circuit on Sunday, April 2, with a win for Ireland’s Daniel Coyle and Simba de la Roque. With consistent results in classes throughout the 2017 circuit riding Diamonte Darco, Lucas Porter (USA) was the winner of the Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series overall. Coyle also went on to take top honors aboard Dillinger in the afternoon’s $50,000 Suncast® 1.50m National Grand Prix.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER) set the final track for the Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final, featuring the top 22 competitors from the series overall, and eight clear rounds to jump-off for the final prize. Coyle and Ariel and Susan Grange’s Simba de la Roque cleared the short course in 39.94 seconds for the win.

Great Britain’s Jessica Mendoza and Horst van de Mispelaere finished second in 41.19 seconds. Shawn Casady (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Vanilla placed third in 43.71 seconds. Ailish Cunniffe (USA) also cleared the jump-off track in 44.66 seconds to finish fourth riding Whipstick Farm’s Casper. The final double clear round belonged to Wilton Porter (USA) in 44.71 seconds, guiding Sleepy P Ranch’s Delinquent JX to fifth place.

Simba de la Roque was one of many new horses that Coyle got the ride on for Ariel and Susan Grange at the start of the WEF season. He has used the Under 25 Series to gain valuable experience and get to know the 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Kannan x Allegreto) better.

“I have been aiming Simba for this series throughout the circuit, mainly the $35,000 classes and the grand prix today,” Coyle (22) stated. “I did get a little lucky today; Jessica had a very good round. Just turning back there to the second to last fence, I lost my stirrup and the last two jumps got a little risky, but Simba is a fantastic horse. He has been great here all year.”

Coyle continued, “This is a great division to either get to know a horse, or to bring a horse to the next level. That class today was a real competitive class. It was really hard to win. Under 25 classes are really strong now; it is a really strong division. For me to get Simba going at that level is a big step and now I do not feel like I’m that far away from the next level. I think that horse eventually will be jumping the big grand prixs. I am very happy. I had a great last week winning two classes with the young horses, and a great second place finish in the grand prix last night, and today has been brilliant for me.”

In addition to his win on Sunday, Coyle was presented with the Hermès Talented Young Rider Award for the 2017 WEF circuit. The award is given to the top young rider between the ages of 16-25 who receives the most points in FEI competition during the circuit.

Mendoza (20) was also riding a new mount this winter in her ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Horst van de Mispelaere (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Polydor).

“This horse is new for me since December, so I kind of used this Under 25 series to get used to him and get him jumping,” Mendoza stated. “My plan all along was to do the $35,000 classes, and this final was my main goal at the end of the season. It really worked out well.”

Commenting on the series further, Mendoza added, “I thought it was great because we got a few different types of classes. We got to jump under the lights at the other venue; we had the Nations’ Cup format, which was a great experience for that horse. Also, the opportunity to jump on the grass was really great. My horse had great experiences in different rings and different formats. I think he is going to be a very versatile horse, and I think this has really helped that.”

Competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival for the first time, Mendoza had great experiences with all of her horses, from the Under 25 Series up to the grand prix level.

“I loved it,” Mendoza acknowledged. “It is nice to get away from Europe for three months and be based in one place. My horses have completely changed and turned into super horses now, so it was a great experience.”

Casady (22), who works for John and Beezie Madden, got the ride on Abigail Wexner’s Vanilla this year for the Under 25 Series and had solid results with the experienced mare throughout the circuit.

“I started riding her at the beginning of circuit, and our relationship has developed through these classes,” Casady said of the 15-year-old Danish Warmblood mare (Nabab de Reve x Clinton).
“She has her own personality. She is an old mare, so she has her way, and I have to respect that. Throughout the series we had a lot of four-fault rounds, so it is really nice to come have a double clear today.”

Remarking on his jump-off, Casady stated, “I just wanted to be smooth and not too risky. Like I said, we have had a lot of four-fault rounds, so I just wanted to be consistent and quick. That is a little bit how you have to ride her – just smooth and nice. She does not want you chasing after her.”
For his success throughout the circuit and an overall win in the series, Lucas Porter jumped Diamonte Darco, Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s 12-year-old Great Britain Sport Horse mare (by Unbelievable Darco).

As the overall Series winner, Porter (19) will be invited to compete in the CSI2* division of the Chantilly Horse Show, a Global Champions Tour event, from July 13-16, 2017, in France. In addition to his entry, Porter will also receive two tickets to the Chantilly VIP lounge and transportation for one horse generously provided by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte.

“I definitely achieved my goal, and it feels great,” Porter stated. “Coming back from Europe last November, I really pointed Diamonte Darco at the Under 25 Series this WEF. The past few years, I have been fourth or sixth in the overall. It has been really one of my goals since I started the series to win the overall, so I am very happy to do it this year.

“I have been to Chantilly before, but I was really young the last time I went,” Porter added. “I will be over in Europe beginning April 28. I will do a few shows before then, but I will definitely be going to Chantilly, especially now that I get free entry. It is a super show. I am really looking forward to it.”

Porter thanked Hollow Creek Farm for sponsoring the series and putting up the impressive increase in prize money for the FEI sanctioning this year. In its seventh season, the 2017 Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, expanded to ten events offering a total of $215,000 in prize money. New for 2017, all classes were sanctioned as CSI-U25 events by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), with the exception of the Team event, and were held under FEI rules.

“On behalf of the Andrade family and Hollow Creek Farm, we would like to congratulate all of these promising athletes on fantastic competition throughout the series,” said Hollow Creek Farm representative Jennifer Ward. “It has been great watching these riders come into their own, and we would like to give special recognition to Lucas Porter, who has enjoyed fantastic results throughout the years and is now standing on the podium as the overall winner of the 2017 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series.”

Coyle Tops Second Class of the Day in $50,000 Suncast® 1.50m

Following his win in the Under 25 Grand Prix, Coyle went on to his second win of the day in the $50,000 Suncast® 1.50m National Grand Prix. Thirty-six entries jumped the final class of the circuit, with five clear rounds to jump-off. Coyle and Ariel and Susan Grange’s Dillinger were the fastest double clear in 39.89 seconds.

Jessica Mendoza (GBR) finished second to Coyle again, this time in 41.86 seconds riding Milena Pappas’s Constance. Liubov Kochetova (RUS) and Urus 2 placed third in 43.87 seconds.

Dillinger is another of the many talented mounts that Coyle took over riding for Susan and Ariel Grange this winter. The rider explained that it has taken him some time to gel with the ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Contender x Capitol I), but he is thrilled with how they ended the circuit.

“Dillinger has been a hard one to figure out. He is probably the hardest one of them all,” Coyle admitted. “He has loads of scope and he tries to be very careful; his mind just sometimes gets in the way.

“The end of last year, Sue decided to cut him because he was a stallion up until then,” Coyle continued. “We did not really notice a change to start with, but now I think his attitude has changed, and he is so much more focused. You do not have to work him half as much, so he feels better in his body. I knew he was going to be an uphill battle, but the last several rounds that he has jumped, he has felt like a different horse. I am leaving the circuit feeling really good about him. I think that was probably the best round I have ridden the whole circuit.”

Taking on so many new horses was a big challenge for Coyle this winter, but he took his time to get to know each horse and figure out what they need.

“The start of the circuit was brilliant with Cita,” Coyle recapped. “Then she started to go up and down a little bit, and we changed tactics for her. Then I changed everything with all of the horses. I tried to start from scratch basically and work with them the best that I could. That is where Sue and Ariel are incredible. They really let me take my time.

“The older horses are just starting to progress through now, as we can see in the last week,” continued Coyle. “It is an amazing feeling to leave a big show like this with some great wins. It feels incredible.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Sunday, Claudia Villamil and Quite Close VD Smis won the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Sleepy P Ranch.

Following his unprecedented success this circuit, Chile’s Samuel Parot was presented the Harrison Cup Perpetual Trophy as the horse owner whose horses won the most jumping money in all of the open jumper classes held at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Emotional Win for Kelley Farmer and Kodachrome in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Kelley Farmer of Keswick, VA and Kodachrome, owned by Nina Koloseike Moore, topped the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on the grass derby field to conclude the final week of WEF. Kodachrome won the class last year with Russell Frey, who Moore had purchased the nine-year-old gelding Warmblood gelding for and worked with Farmer up until he passed away in May of 2016.

The class was held over two days with 41 competitors tackling the first round course. The top 25 horse and rider combinations returned on Sunday for a handy round designed by Ken Krome that consisted of ten jumps with four high options and a trot fence. The combinations were scored by two panels of judges: panel one consisted of James Clapperton and Rob Bielefeld, while panel two was made up of Ken Krome and Danny Robertshaw. During both rounds, riders could jump the high option of several fences in order to receive bonus points, and during the second round, riders received a handy bonus from the judges.

Kelley Farmer and Kodachrome

Entering the second round, Farmer and Kodachrome were sitting in fourth place with a score of 179.25, but their handy round score of 199.5 brought their total score up to 378.75 to take the win. Peter Wylde of Lake Worth, FL and MTM Hands Down, owned by Beechwood Stables, LLC, captured the reserve honors. The pair earned a first round score of 173.5, and after winning the hand round with a score of 203.5, they moved up to second place with a combined score of 377. Amy Momrow of Wellington, FL finished in third aboard Melissa Wight’s Aeroplane. Momrow piloted the new mount to first and second round scores of 181.5 and 193 for an overall score of 174.5.

Commenting on her win, Farmer said, “It was an emotional win. I am thrilled for Nina [Moore]. I just called her, and she was very emotional and excited. We are both thrilled for the horse. I am really honored that Nina let me continue where Russell [Frey] left off and keep going with what Russell had planned for that horse. Russell had big plans for Kodachrome, and the horse has done nothing but try to succeed and fill them.”

Moore originally purchased the horse for Frey with hopes that he had Derby Finals potential. Farmer and Kodachrome have been competitive ever since she picked up the ride and piloted the talented gelding to a second place finish at the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship.

The riders praised the decision to hold both rounds of the derby on the grass field.

“The horses are so used to being in the ring,” said Farmer. “I think horses and riders can get a little stage fright until they get out there and get comfortable competing on the grass. I think having both rounds out here lent itself to more horses going well and being comfortable. I would love to show on the grass more and more.”

While Wylde’s mount, MTM Hands Down, is a well-known and successful junior hunter, the 14-year-old Warmblood gelding is new to the derby scene, competing in his first derby just a few weeks ago.

“MTM Hands Down is my student’s, Annabel Revers’, Large Junior Hunter,” detailed Wylde. “She has had great results with him and won Junior Hunter Finals with him. We thought it would be fun to introduce him to derbies. So the first derby I did with him was a few weeks ago, and he was sixth. I thought he was brilliant this weekend. Riding on this grass field is fantastic. The horses jump so well on it, and it is a thrill to ride on.”

Wylde rode MTM Hands Down to win the handy round and move up from ninth place to finish in second place.

Speaking of his strategy going into the handy round, Wylde said, “I knew I had nothing to lose because I was ninth coming in and I needed to really go for it in the handy. He turned really well, and I tried to make the shortest turns. I was happy to get tens from both judges for the handy score. I think that really helped me.”

Momrow and Aeroplane are another pair new to the international derby scene, but their consistency over the two-day class garnered them a third place finish. Aeroplane was purchased as a junior hunter, but Momrow recently took over the reins to compete in the derbies with the 2006 Hanoverian gelding by Embassy.

“This is our first year really stepping up in the international derbies,” Momrow stated. “Aeroplane has been a really solid and consistent horse. He is very brave and really enjoys being on the grass. The grass field is a great environment, and the horses jump beautifully on it.”

Entering the second round, Momrow sat in third place. She was the only rider who finished in the top three on the first day that maintained a top three final placing. Both Maggie Jayne of Elgin, IL and Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, who were sitting in first and second going into the handy round, finished outside the top six.

“I changed my strategy,” she continued. “At first going into the handy round, we thought I would just take some of the lower options and be conservative. Then, we decided that since this is our breakout year and we do have the goal of going to derby finals, that we should test ourselves and do all the high options and try to tidy up the turns. I definitely think I could have been handier, but I thought my horse put in a great effort.”

Kelley Farmer and Derby Lane, LLC’s Point Being finished in fourth with scores of 173 and 196.5 for a 369.5-point total. David Oliynyk and Lori Gaudet’s Generous placed fifth, with an overall total score of 364.75, carrying over a 174 from round one and a 190.75 in round two. Havens Schatt and Mostly Sunny, owned by CH Farm, LLC, rounded out the top six with scores of 165 and 196 for a 361-point total.

Sunday’s competition concluded the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival. Equestrian Sport Productions would like to thank everyone for another spectacular season. For full results and more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Coyle and Kocher Top Developing Jumper Classics at the Winter Equestrian Festival

Daniel Coyle and Farona. Photos © Sportfot.

Jennifer Bliss and Taylor St. Jacques Claim Wins in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Wellington, FL – March 31, 2017 – The young horses of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) got their opportunity to compete on the main stage on Friday, as the Five-Year-Old, Six-Year-Old and Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classics were featured in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Farona won the $20,000 Spy Coast Farm Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic, Andrew Kocher (USA) and G Star were victorious in the $15,000 Spy Coast Farm Six-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic. Coyle also rode Khaleesi to top honors in the $10,000 Gut Einhaus Five-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER) set the courses for the Developing Jumper Classics. In the $20,000 Spy Coast Farm Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic, Petersen saw 58 entries and 19 clear rounds to jump-off. Nine entries also jumped clear over the short course. It was Daniel Coyle’s time of 38.46 seconds that took the win riding Farona for Ariel and Susan Grange. Mario Deslauriers (USA) and Lisa Deslauriers’ Cooper Royal finished a very close second in 38.47 seconds. Ramiro Quintana (ARG) and Auer Sport Horses’ Ceitasi placed third in 38.98 seconds.

“Farona is a star!” Coyle said of the winning Dutch Warmblood mare (by Baltic VDL) bred by NHG Broeders. “We bought her at the [WEF Sport Horse] VDL Auction here last year, and ever since the day we bought her, she has been amazing. She went to Spruce Meadows last summer and won I don’t even know how many classes. She won the six-year-olds at Angelstone, then came down here and did a few 1.40m classes. She won a couple of seven-year-old classes here this winter. She has done so much.

“We were aiming her to win this class,” Coyle continued. “She is that type. You can really go to win. She has a lot of blood. She can be a little frustrating sometimes because she has so much blood, but she jumps so great you have to forget about it. I am so happy that [owner] Sue [Grange] found her. Sue is wonderful at finding young horses.”

Speaking of his jump-off, Coyle stated, “She is naturally very fast. Mario was very close to beating me, but thankfully he did not. If you ride her right, she is not going to knock a jump down. She is very special. I think she will turn out to be one of the best horses we have. She is one of those horses, whenever you are just hoping it all goes right, she is the one that you can always count on.”

Kocher Wins Six-Year-Old Classic

The $15,000 Spy Coast Farm Six-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic saw a win for Andrew Kocher (USA) riding his own G Star. Fifty-two entries contested the Six-Year-Old Classic, with 14 clear rounds, and four double clear over Petersen’s short course. Kocher and G Star clocked the winning time of 39.10 seconds.

Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Artisan Farm’s Vienna placed second in 39.97 seconds. Lauren Tisbo (USA) guided Tequestrian Farms’ Graffiti Boy to third place in 41.51 seconds, and Gustavo Prato (ARG) jumped Nelson Pessoa’s Carioca ZE to fourth place in 43.13 seconds.

G Star is a Dutch Warmblood mare (Carambole x Karshmire van Schuttershof) bred by I. Huijbregts. Kocher co-owns the mare with Willem Greve, who purchased her as a yearling and brought her along.

“I bought my part of her around Christmas,” Kocher stated. “I was looking through tapes, and I liked the way she looked. She is really good. We have only shown her maybe three times. This was awesome. It was a really fun class, and it is nice to jump for a little prize money with the young ones. I was really happy with her.”

Young Irish rider Jordan Coyle showed G Star early in the circuit before Kocher took over the ride just this week. With Kocher, she jumped clear in all three classes this week.

“She can have a little attitude, but she is easy to ride, and easy to manage.” Kocher detailed. “She is fast. She goes like a Thoroughbred; she is very light. She was great in the jump-off. I had a lucky day, so I was happy.”

Coyle Tops Five-Year-Olds

Daniel Coyle also guided Ariel and Susan Grange’s Khaleesi to victory in the $10,000 Gut Einhaus Five-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic earlier in the day. The Dutch Warmblood mare (Gaillard de la Pomme x Sir Corland) was bred by W.A.M. Tilbeke and purchased as a four-year-old by Brady Hayes.

Eighteen entries showed in the class and five qualified for the jump-off. Coyle and Khaleesi jumped the faster of two double clear rounds. Their time of 41.78 seconds took top prize. Yannick Patron (FRA) rode Valhalla Equestrian Centre’s Inshalla V.A. to second place in 42.69 seconds. William Hickey (USA) and Pony Lane Farm’s Karlton placed third with four faults in the jump-off in 44.21 seconds.

“Brady Hayes works with us at Lothlorien, and he had this horse that he wanted to sell,” Coyle detailed. “She was really nice, a good jumper, so Sue decided to buy her. The mare jumps brilliant. She is only five, so she is still a little green, but she felt really good today.”

Coyle continued, “We have prepared her for this class, and she jumped phenomenal today. That is the first time I have actually asked her to jump a clear round and be a bit competitive. I am sure Sue is happy and so am I. Thanks to Brady for finding her for us.”

Khaleesi showed at the start of the circuit with Keri Sutherland before Grange made the purchase and Coyle took over the reins.

“I showed her seven or eight times and she has just gotten better and better,” Coyle stated. “She will get a bit of a break now and show this summer in Toronto.”

Breeder and Rider Awards

Several special awards were also presented on Friday to recognize the riders and breeders of the circuit’s top young horses. Brendan Williams (riding Hercules) was presented the award for Best American Rider 25 and Under in the five-year-old division based on cumulative clear rounds in each section of WEF 1-12, excluding the classic. Theodore Boris (riding Flip de Hus Z) earned the award in the six-year-old division. Sarah Hubbard riding Farrero was the winner in the seven-year-olds. The under 25 rider awards were sponsored by DiAnn Langer.

The Best Rider 26 & Over was also awarded in each division, sponsored by Spy Coast Farm and Lisa Lourie. In the five-year-old division, Yannick Patron earned the award riding Inshalla V.A.

The six-year-old division awarded Vasco Flores, the rider of Manhattan. The best rider award in the seven-year-old category went to Armando Hassey, rider of Lomax.

Special U.S. Breeders Awards were also presented in the Six and Seven-Year-Old divisions, sponsored by Spy Coast Farm, based on individual horse money won from WEF 1-12, excluding the classic. Gotham Enterprizes’ Manhattan earned the six-year-old award, home bred by owner Georgina Bloomberg, and sired by her winning mount Metropolitan (x Lancer III). The gelding showed throughout the winter with Puerto Rico’s Vasco Flores.

The seven-year-old U.S. Breeder Award was presented to Spy Coast Farm and Lisa Lourie for Kimmel SCF, a Belgian Warmblood stallion ridden by Shane Sweetnam and sired by his famous former mount Amaretto d’Arco (x Lester).

Also competing in the International Arena on Friday, the Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series hosted a 1.40m speed class, with a win for Rogelio Pellerano (DOM) riding Temporelle de Fritot.

Jennifer Bliss and Taylor St. Jacques Claim Wins in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Jennifer Bliss, riding Sugarman, and Taylor St. Jacques, riding Di Samorano, impressed on the derby field at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s (PBIEC) Equestrian Village to win their respective sections of the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby on Saturday.

Ken Krome of Westminster, MD set the courses for the USHJA National Hunter Derby, which was awarded in two sections, a junior/amateur section and an open section. Competition consisted of a first round and handy trip where the top 12 riders from each section returned to determine the final placings.

Jennifer Bliss and Sugarman

Bliss, of Wellington, FL, and Sugarman, owned by Harris Hill Farm, LLC, posted the top scores in both rounds of the open section with a 91 in the first round combining with a 93 in the second round for a total of 184. Maria Rasmussen of Oak Creek, WI finished in second riding Subject to Change, owned by Corporate Way, LLC, after scores of 86 and 92 for a combined total of 178. Rachel Kennedy of Brookeville, MD rounded out the top three ribbons riding Dubai for owner Casey Millis after scores of 88.5 and 88 combined for a total of 176.5.

Sugarman, a ten-year-old gelding, joined Bliss’s string four years ago before embarking on successful Pre-Green and First Year campaigns. In 2015, the pair competed in their first-ever international derby competition together at WEF.

“He was tenth in his very first international derby, so we had high hopes for him,” said Bliss. “Unfortunately, he was injured at the end of that season and we had to step back and give him a lot of time. We tried to go slow and do it right because we love him and believe in him. Hopefully, now we are on the right track and we can get him back to the international derbies.”

The USHJA National Hunter Derby during WEF 12 marks Sugarman’s third horse show back in the competition ring, as well as the horse’s fourth derby class ever.

“This class has been our goal for the circuit because he is typically great in this kind of venue,” said Bliss. “I absolutely love riding him because he has the most laid-back attitude, is absolutely fearless to the jumps, and so scopey. He is a blast to ride in these venues with a little more atmosphere.”

Speaking further about riding on the derby field at PBIEC, Bliss noted, “It is such a treat at the end of WEF to have a change of scenery, and you can really gallop and show off your horse’s style. We always look forward to showing out here at the end of the season.”

In the junior/amateur ranks, 17-year-old St. Jacques of Glen Allen, VA piloted her own Di Samorano to the first-place ribbon on scores of 88 and 83 for a combined total of 171. Samantha Schaefer of Westminster, MD earned the second-place ribbon riding her own Stallone on scores of 85 and 83.5 for a combined score of 168.5. Rounding out the top three, Hannah Doherty of Westwood, MA piloted her own Vondel DH Z to the yellow ribbon with scores of 83 and 84 combining for a 167 total.

Di Samorano, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Samorano, also serves as a top equitation mount for St. Jacques and was previously owned by Heritage Farm, where St. Jacques trains with Patricia Griffith and Andre Dignelli.

“Andre imported him to sell as a young equitation horse,” said St. Jacques. “He was a very good boy, so they put me on him and it was a great match. He has been absolutely perfect ever since.”

St. Jacques, who is well-known for catch riding in the hunter, jumper, and equitation rings, was pleased to win a derby on her own horse, noting, “It is a special feeling. I love winning on my own horses because I also do a lot of the work myself, so it is really rewarding. I love being out on the big field, and I think it is really fun to compete against the professionals”

“I have really been focusing on the equitation with Di Samorano this season, so I thought it would be fun to do a little derby with him during the last week,” concluded St. Jacques.

Competition continues on Saturday at PBIEC featuring the $216,000 The Wanderer’s Club Grand Prix CSI 4* during Saturday Night Lights, round one of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on the Derby Field at the Equestrian Village (AGDF show grounds), and champion presentations in the Junior Hunter divisions. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Diego Vivero and Bijoux Win $50,000 National Grand Prix at WEF

Diego Vivero and Bijoux. Photos © Sportfot.

Daniel Coyle Tops $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix; Hooker, Ingram, and Arani Win WCHR Hunter Classics

Wellington, FL – February 19, 2017 – Ecuador’s Diego Vivero and Bijoux concluded week six of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) with a win in the $50,000 National Grand Prix held on Sunday, February 19, on the derby field at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

Also competing on Sunday, Ireland’s Daniel Coyle and Simba de la Roque were victorious in the $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by EnTrust Capital.

Week six course designer Richard Jeffery (GBR) set the track for Sunday’s $50,000 National Grand Prix and had a four-horse jump-off. The winning time of 34.44 seconds belonged to Diego Vivero and Javier Estrada’s Bijoux, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Cartani x Athletico).

Taylor Land (USA) finished second riding Jay Land’s For Edition with a time of 36.56 seconds. Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) cleared the short course in 36.62 seconds to place third riding Silver Raven Farms’ Akuna Mattata. Leslie Howard and Annie Phillips’ Street Legal were fast in 35.20 seconds, but incurred eight faults to finish fourth.

“I am very happy. I have had this mare for only ten months,” Vivero stated after his win. “She is very fast and very brave. We are a team now, and I think she going to do much more.

“She is fast, and I am very competitive,” Vivero detailed. “I just went fast and I trusted her today, and she was great.”

The pair earned two CSI 2* grand prix victories in Mexico last year, along with other national grand prix titles. In 2016, they also finished third in the $25,000 Nutrena Spring I Grand Prix competing post-WEF at PBIEC.

“I have been coming to Wellington for three years,” Vivero noted. “I am very happy to win because it is very competitive here and there are the most experienced and best riders in the world. It is very difficult, and it is good to win any class, but I am very proud to win here.”

Daniel Coyle Tops $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by EnTrust Capital

The $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by EnTrust Capital, was held on the derby field at PBIEC on Sunday morning with a win for Ireland’s Daniel Coyle riding Susan Grange’s Simba de la Roque.

Daniel Coyle and Simba de la Roque

Course designer Richard Jeffery (GBR) saw 41 starters over his first round course, followed by a 15-horse jump-off with four double clear rounds. Coyle and Simba de la Roque were in a league of their own with the winning time of 36.28 seconds.

Hayley Barnhill (USA) finished second in 43.88 seconds riding Barnhill LLC’s Zephire. Emma Butchard (USA) guided her horse Brasil to third place in 45.05 seconds. Ailish Cunniffe (USA) and Whipstick Farm’s Casper placed fourth with their time of 46.80 seconds.

Simba de la Roque, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Kannan x Allegreto) was previously guided to numerous victories with Ireland’s Conor Swail before changing reins to Coyle this winter, who has already recorded an international victory with him.

“I have only had Simba a couple of months now, but even with Conor, and even before Conor, he was always a fantastic horse,” Coyle stated. “I had planned for today, so it was good that it all went to plan. I would have liked to go a little bit later in the jump-off so I did not have to go as quick, but thankfully it worked out all right.”

Coyle was also the Under 25 Champion at the 2016 Royal Winter Fair and has the advantage of many new horses to ride for Susan and Ariel Grange’s Lothlorien Farm this year.

“I have been given an amazing opportunity by Sue and Ariel Grange,” he acknowledged. “To all of a sudden have all of these horses that have done five-star level that I have not done, I have gotten very lucky. I really like the under 25 because it gives me a chance to get to the next level with whatever horses I am unsure about. It is a really good class for me to get to know my horses so I don’t have to jump in something that I am not ready to do or the horse is not ready to do.

“The series is very important for me with Simba, for example, because it gives me a chance to get him ready for the next level through this.,” Coyle continued. “Simba definitely loves the grass, so I chose him for this. It is brilliant that these classes are now FEI, because realistically, they are just as hard to win really. That is not a small 1.45m by any means. It is important that they are now FEI because the jumps are the same height, but it gives us more experience being in the FEI environment.”

Barnhill has ridden in the under 25 series for the last four years with the same mount, her 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Zephire (Coriano x Animo).

Remarking on her second place finish, Barnhill stated, “I knew there was no way that I would go as fast as Daniel, so I just wanted to jump a clear round and be quick enough. It worked out in my favor I think because everybody was trying to catch him, so a nice, smooth, clear round worked out for me.”

Barnhill has stepped Zephire up to the 1.50m level and enjoys the opportunity to jump in the under 25 classes to gain experience and jump confident rounds.

“She is a little bit older this year, so it gives you a goal and some real classes to do without having to jump the Saturday nights or bigger grand prix,” Barnhill noted. “This series has definitely helped her build up to the that level. Down here, even the three-star night classes are a little bit bigger than they are anywhere else, so it is nice to have these classes that she is really strong in.”

Butchard jumped in the under 25 series for the first time in 2016, competing in two events to get her first 1.45m experience. This year, the rider has also moved up to the 1.50m level and has built her own confidence competing in the series.

Butchard feels secure with her mount, Brasil, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Tenerife VDL x Farrington) that she has owned for one year.

“He brought me from the 1.10m up to the 1.50m now,” Butchard stated. “We call him the professor because he teaches me everything. He is the horse of a lifetime for me.”

She continued, “Today was our first time doing a jump-off at the 1.45m, so we were just trying to go clear. This year we are hoping to make it to the final.”

The Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, was expanded to ten events in 2017, offering a total of $245,000 in prize money for the season. Developed as a bridge to the international level of grand prix competition, the Series gives athletes, both human and equine, an opportunity to compete under a myriad of conditions; all important elements that competitors will face as their international careers progress. The series concludes with a $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Final, which the top 30 riders in the point standings will be invited to contest on Sunday, April 2.

Hooker, Ingram, and Arani Win WCHR Hunter Classics

Amateur and junior hunter riders took their last turns in the International Arena on Sunday. The classic round winners were decided by taking the highest overall score over two rounds. The top 12 combinations of the first round were invited back for a second round. A field of 64 riders vied for the Peggy Cone Memorial WCHR Adult Hunter Classic, but it was Nancy Hooker of Wellington, FL who was victorious.

After receiving the second highest score in the first round, an 87.00, Hooker came back and earned an 89.00. A combined score of 176.00 was enough for Hooker to take the win aboard Winter Stroll, an entry of Richard Prant. Consistency was key in the class as Lynn Rogers received similar scores of 86.50 and 88.00 in the first and second rounds, respectively, for an overall total of 174.50 and second place. Rogers rode her own Blue Point, a nine-year-old gelding that she’s been partnered with for five years. Rounding out the top three was Samantha Karp and Zentina B, with an overall score of 169.50.

Winter Stroll is a green six-year-old Warmblood gelding by Convento de Helle. “Week one of WEF was his first week of showing,” Hooker explained. “I bought him from my trainers, Ken Berkley and Scott Stewart. I was riding him a little bit this fall and fell in love with him. He’s got a funny personality and can get a little sassy. We’re still learning about each other. He lives in my backyard; I have my coffee and answer emails in the morning and watch him in the paddock.”

WCHR week is a big focus for Hooker’s trainers, Berkley and Stewart. “It’s a lot of fun because we all get behind each other and have a good time,” Hooker stated. “I love showing in the International [Arena] because they build it up, and the jumps are so fabulous. I had moments where I could take a breath out there, enjoy the jump, and how pretty it all was. It’s a real treat.”

Martha Ingram of Nashville, TN captured the win in the WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter Classic aboard Fonteyn, an entry of John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC. The pair’s score of 88.00 was the highest in the first round. A second round score of 87.25 brought their total to 175.25 and clinched the win.

Speaking of her 2004 German Sporthorse mare, Ingram said, “She’s so sweet and really tries hard to do everything right. She was staring at some of the things to the side of jump one, but she jumped it really clean and beautiful. I had a great flow on her throughout both rounds.”

Ingram splits her time between competing at WEF with her family and Greenville, SC where she attends Furman University. Martha Ingram and her father, John Ingram, both qualified and participated in the highlight event of the week, the Peter Wetherill WCHR Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular, on Saturday evening.

“It’s amazing to show here with my mom and dad,” Martha Ingram exclaimed. “It’s a great time to do what I love and also be able to spend time with my family.”

Second place honors went to Kaitlin Porath of Charlotte, NC and her own Breaux. Porath guided the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Verdi to scores of 85.00 and 87.00 for an overall total of 172.00. Margot Peroni and her 2009 gelding, Orlon, earned the third place ribbon with a total score of 167.00.

Reid Arani of Lexington, KY made her first class in the International Arena one to remember. Riding Molly Laughlin’s Solo, Arani won the WCHR Junior 3’3 Hunter Classic. The pair received first and second round scores of 80.00 and 84.00, respectively, for an overall total of 164.

“I’ve only been riding him the past two weeks,” Arani said of the nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Argentinus. “He felt really good. It’s nice to know he can show this late [in the day] in the International and be that good. He’s very sweet and playful and always kisses my hand.”

Narrowly missing out on the first place prize was Jordan Allen of West Bloomfield, MI. Allen and her own Empress finished just two points behind Arani with an overall score of 162. Stella Propp of New York, NY and Morocco, an entry of Joe Currais, finished in third with a combined score of 159.

The final day of WCHR week at WEF saw many other classic winners. Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC and Casino topped the Children’s Hunter 14 & Under Classic. Their combined score of 168 bested a field of 33 first round trips. The Children’s Hunter 15-17 Classic found a winner in Caroline Passarelli and Firatostha R, an entry of Rosemont Farm, LLC.

Emma Callanan rode Sir Harvey to win the Florida Large Pony Hunter Classic with first and second round scores of 80 and 88, respectively, for an overall total of 168. Zayna Rizvi guided Smallwood Mystic to the top spot in the Florida Medium Pony Hunter Classic. The winner of the Florida Small Pony Hunter Classic was Alexa Elle Lignelli aboard Rollingwoods Knee Deep.

Nicholas Lopes piloted his own Salty to win the Large Children’s Hunter Pony Classic with final score of 165.00. The blue ribbon in the Small/Medium Children’s Hunter Pony Classic went to Taylor Cawley of Wellington, FL and Ju-Ju B.

The Winter Equestrian Festival continues in its seventh week on February 22-26, 2017. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Daniel Coyle and Cita Top $75,000 Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Grand Prix at WEF

Daniel Coyle and Cita. Photos © Sportfot.

Forever Continues His Winning Ways with James Anderson in the FarmVet Adult Amateur Hunters 50+ Sec. B

Wellington, FL – January 15, 2017 – Week one of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday, January 15, with a win for Daniel Coyle (IRL) riding Ariel and Susan Grange’s Cita in the $75,000 Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Grand Prix at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Conor Swail (IRL) and Flower finished second, and Catherine Tyree (USA) and Bokai placed third.

2016 Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set the tracks for WEF one competition in the International Arena at PBIEC. Jorge saw 52 starters over his first round track for Sunday’s grand prix, yielding a 15-horse jump-off, with eight double clear rounds. The top three all finished within the same second, just fractions apart.

For the win, Coyle (22) bested his mentor and Cita’s former rider, Conor Swail, who settled for second place riding Finca Horses’ Flower. Coyle and the 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Casall x Pik Ramiro) crossed the timers in 37.05 seconds, just ahead of Swail and Flower’s time of 37.16 seconds. Tyree jumped into third place with Mary and Joe Tyree’s Bokai in 37.49 seconds.

Coyle began riding for the Granges’ Lothlorien Farm at the start of the 2016 season and worked together with Swail all year. After a five year partnership with Lothlorien, Swail left to pursue his own business this fall, and the split left Coyle in the irons of all of his top horses, including Cita.

“This is my first show with that horse and last week was my first week riding her,” Coyle detailed. “Conor did very well with her, so we knew she was a good horse. It takes me a while to get used to them, and when I do, I feel very comfortable. I kind of knew her already from working alongside Conor, so I’m very happy. It is only my second week on her, and I really like her.”

Speaking about the change at Lothlorien and his abundance of new mounts for the winter, Coyle stated, “Fortunately for me, Conor left. I have all of these new horses, good horses. I had very good horses before; a lot of younger ones there, but to get his horses as well as the ones that I had, I was very fortunate. It is just going to take me a little while to figure them out for myself, but today went well.”

Swail went fifth in the jump-off and held the lead until Coyle came along four rounds later to best his time. Commenting on his trip, Coyle explained, “I had seen Conor’s round. I was in the warm-up, and I watched his round because I knew it was going to be fast. Even when we worked together, we were very competitive against each other anyway, so I knew to watch him. Catherine had me very scared as well at the end. It was a great jump-off for somebody to watch, and it was a great jump-off for me to win.”

For Swail, Nina Fagerstrom’s (FIN) former mount Flower is a brand new ride this winter as well, and the rider is just getting to know the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Bon Ami x Randel Z).

“Nine asked me just a few weeks ago if I would be interested in doing something with Flower and I said, ‘Absolutely!'” Swail said. “I knew the horse well with her, and so far so good. We have been gelling quite well together. I thought today was her best round with the two of us together, so I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Swail continued, “Nina’s still riding away. She just felt that the mare is quite careful, and maybe my strength would help her a little bit. It seems to be the case. The horse is fantastic. She is seriously careful and quite straightforward to ride. It’s fun having a horse to ride around when you know they don’t want to knock the jumps down. It makes the job easier for sure.”

Despite getting edged out by his former protégé, Swail was happy with his start to the winter circuit and happy to see one of his favorite horses excel under her new rider.

“Last year when I was with Lothlorien, I needed another rider to do the young horses, and I thought Daniel was very well qualified to do that,” Swail detailed. “He started here last year and he had done an unbelievable job with all of the horses that he had. Now the situation is a little different, and he has some nicer horses, and he is doing equally as good a job on them. It’s great to see him going well, and that was one of my favorite mares there, so it is great to see her going well. I would prefer he was behind me to be honest with you, but it’s still good. My new mare jumped very well today, and I was very pleased with my own situation going forward. Obviously leaving a top barn like Sue’s and Lothlorien, there is a void. I’m trying to fill that void, and it’s nice that I already have some good horses that I can be competitive with at the higher levels.”

Sunday also saw a top result for young rider Catherine Tyree, who is returning to WEF competition this year after severely fracturing her foot almost to the day one year ago. After taking the time to heal and rehab, Tyree has made an impressive rise back to the grand prix level and has an exciting new partnership with her mount, Bokai. The 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Up To Date x Ferro) previously showed under Norway’s Victoria Gulliksen and then The Netherland’s Harrie Smolders before pairing up with his current rider this summer.

“I just got him at the beginning of July, so it is a relatively new partnership, but he is such a competitive horse,” Tyree noted. “I feel very fortunate to have him. This is his first show back since he showed at the National Horse Show at the end of October and it is like he never missed a beat. He is very sharp, he is very smart, and he is very quick. I knew if I took a shot today, he would be right there with me. Unfortunately, Daniel and Conor are a little bit quicker than I am, but I could not be more pleased with him.”

Remarking on her success since returning to the show ring, Tyree stated, “It is definitely a very good feeling. It was one year ago yesterday that I got hurt. To look back at the year, it is unbelievable the things that my horses have done for me. I owe it all to North Run and John (Brennan) and Missy (Clark). They are incredible trainers and incredible people. When I came back, my horses were ready to go, and I felt very confident throughout all of it. This is definitely a very good way to start the circuit, and hopefully it keeps continuing this way.”

For her top result this week, Tyree was also presented the award for Leading Lady Rider for WEF 1 competition, the award presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman in memory of Dale Lawler. Tyree has her sights set on competing in some of the Saturday night grand prix classes this winter and hopes to continue gaining great experience in the top level classes throughout the circuit.

Representing Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC following Sunday’s competition, Dan Rosenbaum commented on the fantastic day and top sport that took place.

“It is a highly rewarding experience to be a sponsor of such an excellent event,” Rosenbaum said. “The riders were incredible. The competition itself was at a very high level. It was a beautiful day and everything went just as perfectly as it could have been. This is typical of the experience that we have had as a sponsor of the Winter Equestrian Festival since it began. We find it just getting better every year; every year reaches a new level. It is amazing what the Winter Equestrian Festival has become and what the Wellington Equestrian Partners have been able to accomplish.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Sunday, Christina Antonucci rode Zonneglans to victory in the $10,000 Equiline Medium Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. The $10,000 Sleepy P Ranch SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic saw a win for Coco Fath aboard Hillside Farm LLC’s Huckleberry.

Forever Continues His Winning Ways with James Anderson in the FarmVet Adult Amateur Hunters 50+ Sec. B

The men dominated the FarmVet Adult Amateur Hunters 50+ Sec. B over the weekend. James G. Anderson of New York, NY was crowned champion of the division aboard his own Forever. The pair won the under saddle, and placed first, first, second, and fifth over fences. Taking the reserve title was Brad Wolf and Libretto, who earned first, first, third, and third over fences, and fourth under saddle. Libretto also took the reserve honors in the Performance Working Hunters 3’3″ with Victoria Colvin earlier in the week.

Forever and James Anderson

Despite being just seven years old, Forever, the Westphalian gelding by Rock Forever, already has a winning record. Last year at WEF, he won the championship Week 2 in the Antares 3′ Pre-Green division with Scott Stewart. Forever went on with Anderson to earn the reserve honors Week 11 and champion Week 12 in the Camping World Adult Amateur Hunters 50+.

“He’s as sweet as he is pretty. He’s the kindest, most loving horse. He’s the perfect amateur hunter,” explained Anderson, who purchased Forever a year ago from Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley. Anderson started coming to Wellington in the 1980s and showed in the Amateur Hunters through the 1990s.

Looking forward to remainder of the season, Anderson said, “He’ll maybe do the Performance 3’3″ and I might try to step up to the 3’3″ Amateurs. We’re just happy with our consistency and having a good time together.”

The 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival continues with its second week of competition, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance, on January 18-22, 2017. Week highlights include the $86,000 Marshall & Sterling Insurance Grand Prix CSI 2* on Saturday, January 21, and the $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm U25 Grand Prix on Sunday, January 22. For full results and more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Daniel Coyle and Grafton Secure First Win in $25k Equiline Grand Prix at ESP Holiday Festival II

Daniel Coyle and Grafton. Photo Credit ©ManciniPhotos.

Wellington, FL – December 21, 2016 – Daniel Coyle of County Derry, Ireland and Grafton secured their first major grand prix win in the $25,000 Equiline Grand Prix during the ESP Holiday Festival II competition at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). The duo bested the track in 47.029 seconds to take the victory. Captain Brian Cournane of Wellington, FL and Javas Keltic Mist rode to second place after crossing through the timers in 49.144 seconds, while Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and Bon Jovi secured third place with a time of 49.216 seconds.

Coyle impressed aboard Grafton in the class, in one of the duo’s first competition appearances together. Grafton, a 2010 Selle Francais stallion owned by Susan and Ariel Grange, has been a competitive mount in both national and international competition during his career and Coyle is looking forward to taking over the ride.

“All of the classes that I have been doing in the past week or two have allowed me to start to get used to horses and how they go in the competition arena,” detailed Coyle. “For the grand prix, I wanted to get a result and it was brilliant. I’m starting to figure out the horses a bit more. I’m very happy. This is an incredible opportunity for me.”

The pair bested a class of 50 entries, while only four combinations qualified to contest the jump-off track. Hector Loyola of Wellington, FL held the course designing responsibilities for the competition. Coyle mapped a track for Grafton that he felt would give the pair the best possible chance to place in the class.

“The course rode a little bigger than I had expected and this horse is relatively new to me,” said Coyle. “I was just trying to get to the correct numbers and I know that a lot of people were doing the vertical to an oxer in four strides, but I did three and I think that made a big difference.”

Noting that as Grafton improved as the course went on, Coyle feels that he is beginning to solidify a strong working relationship with Grafton. He commented, “That was really it from there. That’s where the lines just kept getting better and better – I had a good chance at taking the class because I was feeling my way around the course and he was responding perfectly.”

Coyle is making sure to take his time getting to know each of the horse at Lothlorien Farm, which is a process he has enjoyed. With a number of top grand prix mounts ready for the upcoming season, Coyle feels honored to have been given the chance to compete the talented string of horses based at the farm.

“The main thing for me right now is to get to know the horses and then we can decide what we want to do and where we want to go,” he explained. “I want to get to know them for me, so I’m going to take it one day at time and hopefully have a lot of success. There’s a huge team at Lothlorien who are behind this operation and that’s what makes it easier for me.”

“I want to thank the whole Lothlorien team, the grooms, the work riders, the Granges and everyone – they’re the people who truly make results like this possible,” he concluded.

Jumper Highlights

Todd Minikus of Lake Worth, FL and Vita 24 took top honors in the $10,000 Open Stake presented by Equiline as the pair completed the track in 33.346 seconds. Daniel Coyle of County Derry, Ireland and Dillinger collected second place after finishing the jump-off with a time of 35.001 seconds. Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and Cortina 186 rounded out the top three finishers with a time of 36.517 seconds.

Elizabeth Lang of Hillsborough, CA and her own Sothis D Ouilly rose to the top of the leaderboard in the $1,500 NAL Child/Adult Jumper Classic with a time of 39.337 seconds. Taje Warrick of Wellington, FL and her own Dersey concluded the competition in second place after stopping the jump-off timers in 39.53 seconds ahead of Andrea Hippeau Vogel of New York, NY and her own Jackpot, who finished the short course track in 43.897 seconds.

Maggie McCormack of Ocala, FL and Chapeau, owned by Marker’s Mark LLC, captured victory in the $2,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic after the pair finished nearly five second faster than the rest of the competition. Andrea Hippeau Vogel of New York, NY and her own TH Apart collected second place with a time of 46.134 seconds, while Dana Ventrice of Pompano Beach, FL and her own Gerbeaud were presented with third place after completing the track in 46.98 seconds.

The $2,500 NAL Low Junior/Amateur Owner Classic saw Isabella Russekoff of Greenwich, CT and Castor van de Kranenburg, owned by Lexus Arbuckle, take top honors with a competitive jump-off time of 44.119 seconds. Katie Tyler of Lyme, CT and her own Shet du Thot were presented with second place for their jump-off round, which they finished with a time of 45.249 seconds. Katherine Benard of Cumberland Foreside, ME and Alaika, owned by Sagamore Farm Inc., rounded out the top three after adding four faults to their jump-off time of 44.71 seconds.

Daisy Farish of Versailles, KY and Balance, owned by Chansonette Farm LLC, finished at the top of the leaderboard in the $2,500 High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic presented by Equiline after collecting two time faults on the short course to finish in 53.523 seconds. Alonso Valdez Prado of Wellington, FL and his own Chief took second place after adding four faults to their time of 48.93 seconds. Caitlin Creel of Kildeer, IL and her own Liberty Son 2, finished in third place with a single time fault from the first round.

Rodrigo Pessoa of Wellington, FL and Chaco 34, owned by Francesca Damasceno, captured first place in the $5,000 1.35m Jumper Classic, besting a class of 27 entries for the win. The pair stopped the timers in 41.777 seconds ahead of Carlos Quinones of Wellington, FL, who took second and third place, respectively. Quinones piloted Sato Yama, owned by Michelle Navarro-Grau, to second place with a time of 42.518 seconds, while Tazman, also owned by Navarro-Grau, earned third after adding four faults to their competitive time of 38.302 seconds.

Sophia Thomson of Jupiter, FL guided The Winter Solider to first place in the $1,500 Low Children’s Jumper Classic presented by Equine Couture & Tuff Rider after finishing a speedy jump-off and earning a time of 26.465 seconds. Chloe Jhin of Lake Forrest, IL and her own Liberty, followed closely behind for second place with a time of 26.614 seconds. Samantha Johnson of Skillman, NJ and her own Gallant earned third place after crossing through the timers in 26.772 seconds.

Hunter Highlights

Jean Sheptoff of Littleton, MA and her own Heartcore captured top honors in the $1,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Hunter Classic (3’3″ & 3’6″) presented by Sweet Oak Farm after earning a two round score of 169. Samantha Kramig of Lake Worth, FL and her own Disclosure earned a 164 for second place while Ellie Ferrigno of Newtown, CT and Quintessential, owned by Dapple LLC, received a total score of 161 for third place.

Alexa Elle Lignelli of New York, NY and her own Rollingwoods Knee Deep finished at the top of the class in the $500 Small Pony Hunter Classic presented by Moorcroft Inc. Lignelli also guided her own IParty to second place, while Chloe Watrous of Evanston, IL and Page 6 rounded out the top three placings.

The $500 Medium Pony Hunter Classic presented by Moorcroft Inc. saw Zayna Rizvi of Greenwich, CT and Anderin’s Momento, owned by Ella Bikoff, take first place. Rizvi then piloted No Drama, owned by Peacock Ridge, LLC, to second place. Kyla Sullivan of Wallingford, CT and Not So Secret, owned by Jill Shulman, were presented with third place.

Ella Bostwick of Wellington, FL and Zimba, owned by Grace Busch, won the $500 Large Pony Hunter Classic presented by Moorcroft Inc., ahead of Ansley Wright of Manalapan, FL and Serenade in Blue, owned by Deborah Brown-Moon, who took second. Fox Creek’s Antony Quinn, ridden by Anna Richardson of Granbury, CT and owned by Dianna Orona, took third place for their efforts.

Julie Pignataro of East Northport, NY and Harlan, owned by First Blue LLC, rode to the championship in the Children’s Hunter Division presented by UHealth, while Chloe Peebles of Coral Gables, FL and her own Lord Nelson took reserve.

The Green Hunter 3’3″ Division saw Katherine Newman of Wellington, FL and Dandelion, owned by Allwyn Court Inc., take the divisional championship, while Ed Copeland of Brewster, NY and Nickle, owned by Trelawny Farm, LLC, captured reserve.

The Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3″ Division saw Tracy Scheriff-Muser of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and her own Quincy take the divisional championship, while Martha Ingram of Nashville, TN and Ice Time, owned by John & Stephanie Ingram, LLC, finished the weekend with reserve champion honors.

Katherine Newman of Wellington, FL and Upswing, owned by Jennifer Tavitian, championed the Performance Hunter 3’3″ Division, while Taylor Kain of Boynton Beach, FL and Market Trend, owned by Tanna Seltzer, captured reserve champion.

Kelley Farmer of Keswick, VA and her own Unexpected secured champion accolades in the Green Hunter 3’6″ Division, while Farmer also guided High Priority, owned by Zenfield Farm, to reserve in the division.

For more information on Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) and to see a full list of competition results, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Ward and HH Carlos Z Win $40k US Open Canadian Pacific Speed Class at Central Park Horse Show

McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z. Photos copyright Sportfot.

Ward and Andrew Kocher Tie for Win in $50,000 Engel & Völkers Puissance; Daniel Coyle Tops $25,000 U.S. Open Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 FEI Grand Prix

September 22, 2016 – New York, NY – Day two of the 2016 Rolex Central Park Horse Show (RCPHS) featured international show jumping set to the backdrop of the New York City skyline on Thursday, September 22, in Central Park’s Wollman Rink.

Thursday was deemed “Canadian Pacific Day”, as competition highlighted the $40,000 U.S. Open Canadian Pacific FEI Speed Class, which saw a win for McLain Ward (USA) aboard HH Carlos Z. The evening’s competition also featured the $50,000 Engel & Völkers Puissance, where Ward and Andrew Kocher (USA) tied for victory by clearing the impressive wall in four rounds, and jumping off at 6’9″ inches. The $25,000 U.S. Open Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 FEI Grand Prix was held on Thursday as well, with a win for Daniel Coyle (IRL) aboard Fortis Fortuna.

The Rolex Central Park Horse Show runs through Sunday, September 25, with five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport for Arabians, jumpers, dressage, and hunters. The $216,000 FEI Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Rolex, and Friday night ceremonies will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, September 25, from 9-10:30 p.m. EST.

The course designer for international show jumping competition in Central Park is this year’s Rio Olympic Games designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA). In the $40,000 Canadian Pacific Speed class, which was held in a faults converted format, Jorge saw 34 horse and rider combinations that included some of the world’s very best.

Two-time Olympic Team Gold Medalist and Rio Olympic Team Silver Medalist McLain Ward was the winner in a blazing fast time of 58.63 seconds aboard the 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding HH Carlos Z (Chellano Z x Voltaire). Ward and ‘Carlos’ have won in some of the greatest destinations and biggest competitions in the world and led the victory gallop for the first time this year in the world-famous Central Park event.

Conor Swail (IRL) won the class in the first two years of RCPHS competition, but settled for second place this year, with a time of 60.26 seconds riding Ariel and Susan Grange’s Cita. Hardin Towell (USA) and Evergate Stables’ Lucifer V finished third in 60.45 seconds. Emanuel Andrade (VEN) and his own Hardrock Z placed fourth in 64.77 seconds.

Commenting on two victories in one night, Ward noted, “For me, it is a good comeback, because my record here is not so good. I think my best score is 16 and I think I have fallen off twice, so I was actually having a little nervous laugh about that on the way down to the ring tonight.

“Carlos is a great campaigner for me,” Ward stated. “He just does every job at the horse show – other than the Puissance. If he is in form, he really is tough to beat against the clock, and I was thrilled with the way he handled the evening. It is a unique atmosphere and some horses handle it better than others, so I was thrilled that he handled it well, and I think I have a nice set up for tomorrow night.”

Remarking on his second place finish, Swail detailed, “I think right from the start Hardin put up a very good time. It seemed that it was going to hold quite well throughout the class, but there are a lot of world-class competitors here this year. McLain went in, and he is a very fast rider and he has a very fast horse, so I think everything came off very well for him.

“It was a little bit the same for me,” Swail continued. “I was trying to etch out somewhere that I could maybe leave out a step that no one else did. Even my turn to the last fence, I thought I could try something a little different just to try and pip McLain, but I did not quite get it.”

Swail started riding Cita this time last year and was happy with the mare’s performance Thursday night.

“She is an extremely careful horse, and she has proven to be a very good jumper,” he praised. “I was very pleased with her tonight. She did everything I asked of her, and second place was a good result for us tonight.”

Though his time did not hold up for the win, Hardin Towell had a great experience with his mount Lucifer V and feels confident in his horse heading into Friday’s grand prix competition.

“The last place I showed was Spruce Meadows, and this is definitely a lot different jumping,” Towell noted.  “I knew it was going to be a fast class, and my plan was to be quick. I hoped to be top three, and I could not have done anything different at the end. Maybe I could have been a little smoother, but I know my horse, and I was happy with how he jumped.”

Ward and Kocher Attempt 6’9″ in the Puissance

The evening’s competition concluded with the $50,000 Engel & Völkers Puissance, which saw a tie for McLain Ward riding Evergate Stables’ ZZ Top VH Schaarbroek Z and Andrew Kocher aboard Eagle Valley Partners’ C’Havinia. Seven entries started over the imposing Puissance wall set at a height of 5’3″, and the competition continued up through four more rounds as Ward and Kocher jumped head-to-head at the final height of 6’9″. Neither rider was able to clear the wall at that height, leaving them tied for the win.

Ward rode ZZ Top VH Schaarbroek Z in the Puissance competition after the gelding also competed in the Under 25 class with young rider Oliver McCarthy. It was a last minute decision to enter the class, but Ward already knew the horse well and got a little encouragement from longtime manager Lee McKeever.

“We had the horse here with my rider Oliver, and I have actually sold this horse a couple of times and bought him back a couple of times,” Ward explained. “I have not ridden the horse in five years, but he is an easy catch ride. He is a wonderful grand prix horse who really knows his job.”

Ward continued, “Everyone knows the story of Lee and me – we have been together 30 years – and when we were driving here tonight, he said, ‘Why don’t you want to do the Puissance? Are you getting a little chicken?’ I said we didn’t really have a Puissance horse, and he said that horse could do it. I thought about it for a few miles, and I said, ‘Do you think we can still enter?’ He kept saying that I was afraid, and we went back and forth for about 10 miles, and so I told him to enter me in the class.”

Ward is no stranger to Puissance competitions. In fact, he has won many (including seven times at the Washington International Horse Show), and noted that the highest he has cleared is a staggering 7’3″.

“I also attempted to jump an 8-foot wall six different times, but never cleared it. I have no intention of doing that again!” Ward laughed. “The last round I thought looked quite big tonight. It jumped up a little bit in the last round (from 6’3″ to 6’9″). It was interesting though, because I thought in the second to last round my horse jumped it better, and I thought in the last round Andy’s horse jumped it better. So it was pretty even at the end. I thought it was a nice, exciting class with horses jumping very well.”

Commenting on the Puissance class in general, Ward added, “It is a fun way to end the evening. It gets everybody into the competition, and I think the draw of this class is that it is something that everybody can easily understand – how high can you jump?”

Andrew Kocher and C'Havinia
Andrew Kocher and C’Havinia

For Andrew Kocher, this was his first time competing at the RCPHS and one of few times he has attempted the Puissance.

“This is my first time here, so we are having a really good time and we were excited to get invited for sure,” Kocher acknowledged. “That mare (C’Havinia) has never done anything like that. I have done the Puissance three times at Washington, and the first time was really bad, but this time I have been practicing for a few weeks. I didn’t have a big enough wall, so I put some hay bales in there to stack it up. It was fun.”

International Equestrian Group and RCPHS founder Mark Bellissimo enjoyed all of Thursday evening’s competition and spoke after the event, thanking riders and sponsors.

“We had great competition tonight. It is interesting to see classes like that happen on a night like this, with perfect weather and a perfect backdrop, so I thank all of the participants for their great effort,” Bellissimo stated. “We want to thanks Canadian Pacific – Hunter Harrison, Keith Creel, and Mark Wallace – they have been very generous supporters of the sport. Events like this are very complex and take a lot of support, and Canadian Pacific has been a great partner with us on this event and we really appreciate. We also have to thank Rolex, who is the title sponsor of the event since the first day. Also Land Rover and Adequan®, who have supported this event for three years. Those four have been stalwarts in making sure that this event has been successful, so I really want to thank them for that.”

Mark Wallace, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and Chief of Staff of Canadian Pacific, added, “It was great being here this week in New York. I was in Calgary last week for the CP International, and it was a different experience than this was under the lights in Central Park. It is a great event, and we have been a partner here for the last three years. It was fun to watch tonight, and McLain is a little bit a part of our family at CP. He has a close relationship with our CEO Hunter Harrison, so it was exciting to watch him win. Congratulations to everybody, and we are thrilled to be a part of this.”

Ireland’s Daniel Coyle Tops U25 Grand Prix

The $25,000 U.S. Open Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 FEI Grand Prix was the first competition held on Thursday evening with a win for Daniel Coyle of Ireland riding the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare Fortis Fortuna (Quidam de Revel x Carthago).

Course designer Guilherme Jorge saw 14 competitors in round one, with three advancing to the tie-breaking jump-off. Bryn Sadler (USA) and Showcase 81 LLC’s Bon Giorno were first to return over the shortened course, with one rail down in a time of 40.28 seconds to finish third. Coyle followed aboard Susan and Ariel Grange’s Fortis Fortuna, also dropping one rail, but in a faster time of 35.57 seconds for the win. Alexandra Crown (USA) and her own Von Cim were last to go, but were also unable to complete the course without fault, clocking in at 37.35 seconds to finish in second place.

Commenting on his win, Coyle stated, “It is great for me to be here, and to be here for my first time and win. It is the horse’s first time here as well, so I just tried to concentrate on getting a clear round to start off, and I did. It just kind of went my way in the jump-off, so I am really happy.”

Coyle continued, “Conor (Swail) rode the horse and very nicely gave her to me to ride. I won a few classes at Spruce Meadows and Angelstone with her this year, so she has been a very good one for me to get, and I am happy to have her. I had a plan tonight, and I tried to just stick to it.”

Competition in Central Park’s Wollman Rink continues through Sunday, September 25, with more multi-discipline equestrian sport for jumpers, dressage, and hunters. Friday features the U.S. Open Dressage Grand Prix CDI 4*, presented by Axel Johnson, at 1:30 p.m. The evening session includes the $5,000 Junior/Amateur 1.20m Jumper class and the $216,000 FEI Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Rolex. For more information, visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com.

About Rolex Central Park Horse Show
Launched in September 2014, Rolex Central Park Horse Show is the first-ever outdoor, multi-day equestrian sporting event in New York City, showcasing some of the best show jumpers and dressage riders in the world as they vie for top prizes against a backdrop of skyscrapers in one of the world’s most iconic venues. As the event founder, Mark Bellissimo is the CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions and International Equestrian Group LLC; Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEF), Tryon Equestrian Partners and Colorado Equestrian Partners; and Publisher of The Chronicle of The Horse magazine. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will feature five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport and performances, ranging from Arabians and Dressage to Hunters and Show Jumping. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will also host the second annual U.S. Open in the following categories: Jumpers; Dressage; Hunters; U25 Jumpers; and Arabians. For more information, visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com or Facebook at www.facebook.com/CPhorseshow and follow @cphorseshow on Twitter and Instagram.

Antonio Maurer and Galileo de Laubry Top LaFarge Cup 1.50m at Spruce Meadows

Antonio Maurer and Galileo de Laubry. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Daniel Coyle Wins Pepsi U25 Challenge on Friday of ‘North American’ Tournament

Calgary, AB, Canada – Mexico’s Antonio Maurer emerged victorious in Friday’s LaFarge Cup 1.50m during an exciting evening of competition at the Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ Tournament CSI5*, presented by Rolex. Galileo de Laubry, a ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Cardento I x Askan de Lauzelle), gave Maurer the second win of his career in Spruce Meadows’ famous International Ring after almost a 15-year lull. Earlier in the evening, Daniel Coyle (IRL) also took a win in the renowned arena, topping the Pepsi U25 Challenge aboard Somerset.

Twenty-nine entries started over Santiago Varela’s (ESP) course for the LaFarge Cup Friday night with nine clear rounds. Three qualified entries chose not to return for the jump-off, where six continued on, and only two entries jumped double clear. Molly Ashe (USA) and Louisburg Farm’s Cat Ballou set the pace with the first clear round over the short course in 47.94 seconds. They settled for second place when Maurer and Galileo de Laubry raced through the timers in 45.80 seconds, last to go, for the win.

Maurer also took third place honors, with one fence down in a very fast time of 43.27 seconds on his first jump-off mount, Fernanda Saad’s Magnus Jaen Mail. Jaclyn Duff (CAN) was close behind, with one rail down in 43.45 seconds to place fourth aboard her own Pater Noster.

Commenting on his victory, Maurer stated, “It has been a very good tour, and finishing the tour with the horses jumping like this is really exciting. I have not come into the International Ring in the golf cart as a winner for a very long time, so I am very happy. I can’t remember how long ago, but it has been a good 15 years since I last won here. It feels amazing. I was second yesterday, and I was beat by the last rider, and I almost cried. Today I was lucky, because I was the last one in the jump-off. It helped me. I already had one horse in the jump-off, so I knew the course, and how it rode. When I saw Molly’s time, I knew that I could be a little quieter, and not risk that much with my second one.”

Maurer purchased Galileo de Laubry in December of 2015, but took a fall and needed surgery on his collarbone shortly after, so he only started riding the horse about four months ago.

“He was a hot horse, and I think the guy that I bought him from did a really good job getting the horse quiet, and not pushing him,” Maurer detailed. “He turned out to be a very nice and kind horse.”

Molly Ashe was happy with her second place finish aboard Cat Ballou, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cassini II x Lacantus) that is coming into his own recently.

Speaking of her jump-off round, Ashe detailed, “I went for the slow clear tonight. We did not show the first week here this season because the horses had been off for a while and we had to get them up and running again. We started showing the second week in the Summer Series, and we threw him right in the grand prix, which was not fair. He got a little scared, so I am actually very pleased with the result tonight. It was a nice note to end on for him. He really came back from a bad place that we got him into. He really was a trooper and he felt really good tonight, so I was happy with that.”

Concluding an exciting night by remarking on what keeps him coming back to Spruce Meadows year after year, Maurer smiled, “This is an amazing place. They upgrade every year. It is amazing the way the riders are treated, and it is amazing the quality of the footing and the jumps. If you can walk the course and look at the little details on the jumps, how they are painted and how the poles are maintained, it is very impressive. The amount of work they have to put into everything here is incredible. If you get here tomorrow at 7 a.m., this whole place shines. To manage that with the amount of horses here takes a lot. This place is just different from any other venue. That brings you back always; everything is completely different here.”

Daniel Coyle Wins Pepsi U25 Challenge

The Pepsi U25 Challenge was held early Friday evening at Spruce Meadows, with 29 entries and a nine-horse jump-off, held over a 1.45m track set by Santiago Varela (ESP). The win went to Ireland’s Daniel Coyle, a 21-year-old rider, who burst onto the North American scene this year with the ride on many talented horses for Susan Grange’s Lothlorien Farm.

Daniel Coyle and Somerset
Daniel Coyle and Somerset

For the win on Friday, Coyle guided Grange’s Somerset, an eight-year-old Canadian Sport Horse mare (For Pleasure x Oklund) to the fastest double clear round in 39.48 seconds. Coyle’s time pushed Kara Chad (CAN) and Torrey Pines Stable’s Tisele du Park to second place with their round in 39.90 seconds. Hilary McNerney (USA) and Z Acodate DDL settled for third on their time of 42.24 seconds. Theodore Boris (USA) jumped into fourth place aboard Icon d’Or in a time of 43.03, and Andres Azcarraga Rivera Torres (MEX) finished fifth with Jaime Azcarraga’s Al Capone in 43.40 seconds. Boris also took sixth place honors aboard Hip Star in 43.99 seconds.

Speaking of his winning mount, Somerset, Coyle stated, “She is only eight and I actually can’t believe that she was fit to go that fast at that height. She only just moved up to that level. We always knew she was going to be a good horse, but we have been trying to get it out of her. Just in the last month here she has been fabulous and I could not be happier. She tried really hard out there.”

Somerset was jumping in the impressive International Ring at Spruce Meadows for the very first time Friday night and handled the atmosphere like a pro.

“Most horses go in there and spook and stall,” Coyle noted. “Some horses don’t like it, but I think it actually helped her, and made it easier in some ways. I think she is going to be a real good horse for the future. I asked her a lot of questions and she answered them all.”

Coyle began riding for Lothlorien Farm at the beginning of this year and traveled to compete for them at Spruce Meadows for the first time this summer with great success.

Speaking of the opportunity, he stated, “I could never put into words how much I need to thank Sue Grange, and Ariel Grange, and John Grange, as well as Conor Swail, who is a really big help to me. We are a great team together and I could not be happier to ride all of their horses. I am trying to do as good a job as I can and I can feel the horses getting slightly better all the time. Hopefully, if everything goes right, we will have a bright future together.

“When I left Ireland, a lot of people on this side of the water did not really know me, so it is always good to make a good impression,” Coyle added. “I have been lucky that way and the horses have been fabulous for me. If I do my job right, they usually can help, and we can win.”

Coyle had plans to jump Somerset again in Sunday’s 1.45m competition, but after a fantastic performance Friday night, the young mare will get a well-deserved break.

“She is only eight, and it was her first time in there, and she could not have jumped any better,” he praised. “She has jumped here for five weeks, so I am going to leave her at that.”

Coyle has other mounts for the weekend, including Fortis Fortuna, who he rode to victory in the Friends of the Meadows U25 Cup during last week’s Pan American Tournament. He also looks forward to making a second attempt at the derby course on Sunday riding Ridley, who jumped the demanding track for the first time during the National Tournament.

The ‘North American’ Tournament, presented by Rolex, continues on Saturday featuring the Imperial Winning Round 1.50m, as well as the week’s highlight ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup.

For a complete tournament schedule and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Spruce Meadows Media Services

Lauren Fisher
Jump Media

Lamaze Leads Two in a Row to Start ‘North American’ Tournament at Spruce Meadows

Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Calgary, AB, Canada – The ‘North American’ Tournament CSI5*, presented by Rolex, kicked off at Spruce Meadows on Wednesday with three feature competitions in the International Ring and two wins in a row for Canada’s Eric Lamaze. The ATCO Energy Cup 1.50m saw a win for Lamaze and Rosana du Park, and the PWC Cup 1.55m wrapped up the day with a second victory for Lamaze aboard Fine Lady 5. The AON Cup 1.50m was held earlier in the day with a win for Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Fortis Fortuna.

Spain’s Santiago Varela is the course designer in the International Ring for this week’s competition. Varela concluded his first day with 27 entries in the PWC Cup 1.55m, and a six-horse jump-off that saw a top three finish for Canada. Lamaze and Fine Lady 5, a 13-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable, won the jump-off with the fastest clear round in 42.67 seconds. Tiffany Foster (CAN) guided Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines’ Tripple X III to second place honors in 44.81 seconds, and Yann Candele (CAN) jumped the Watermark Group’s Showgirl into the third position in a time of 45.01.

Hardin Towell (USA) also jumped clear over the short course in 45.48 seconds to place fourth aboard Jennifer Gates’ Emilie de Diamant AS. Richard Spooner (USA) and Show Jumping Syndication Intl.’s Cristallo were fast in 43.14 seconds, but dropped one rail to finish fifth. Alberto Michan (MEX) had two down in the jump-off with Ilan Ferder and Tal Milstein’s Gigolo van de Broekkant to place sixth.

Commenting on his winning mount, Fine Lady 5, Lamaze stated, “Fine Lady is a great story. Artisan Farms purchased her for me. We were not sure where we were going, but we knew for sure we had a winner in the 1.50m. She had proven that with her previous rider. Sometimes you click with a horse and you get a little bit more, but I feel like she would do anything for me. She is a fantastic mare with a lot of heart and she just keeps jumping well. She is confident and I know her really well, so she is turning into a really special horse for me.”

Detailing the tiebreaker, in which he was last to go, Lamaze detailed, “Tiffany had the misfortune of going first in the jump-off. So many of these competitions at Spruce Meadows are won with the last rider going in, as you are able to get a feel for the track and how fast you need to go. Going last is definitely a big advantage in most competitions here at Spruce Meadows.”

Speaking of her own jump-off with Tripple X, Foster added, “It was actually a really nice jump-off for my horse because he has a really big stride and it was really open. If you just looked at the two of our horses standing next to each other, mine is a lot bigger than Eric’s. For me to gallop on a big stride is actually not that fast for me, but I thought my horse jumped great and I was really happy with him.”

With the Olympic Games in Brazil approaching, and the Canadian Show Jumping team yet to be announced, the riders are hoping for the best and feel confident knowing that they are performing well with their top mounts.

Speaking of the top three finish for Canada, Lamaze concluded, “It is all in the Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines family, and any time we can pull this off I think it is a great day for all of us. We all cheer for each other. We are there through the bad days and the good days and sometimes it all goes our way.”

Lamaze Leads ATCO Energy Cup

The ATCO Energy Cup 1.50m speed competition saw a first win for Lamaze earlier on Wednesday competing with Rosana du Park out of 57 entries and 22 clear rounds. Lamaze put his name on the trophy for the fourth time after also taking victory in the competition with Hickstead in 2005, Coriana van Klapscheut in 2010, and Fine Lady 5 in 2014. He and Rosana du Park, the 11-year-old Selle Francais mare (Kannan x Ukase) owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable, clocked the winning time of 65.40 seconds.

Conor Swail (IRL) and Dillinger, owned by Susan and Ariel Grange, placed second in 66.67 seconds. Rich Fellers (USA) and Flexible, owned by Harry and Mollie Chapman, finished third with their time of 69.43 seconds. Leslie Howard (USA) took fourth place aboard the Utah Group’s Utah in 71.55 seconds. Lucy Deslauriers (USA) guided Lisa Deslauriers’ Hester to fifth place in 72.19 seconds, and Howard also took the sixth place prize in 72.19 seconds aboard Peter Howard’s Donna Speciale.

Commenting on his win, Lamaze stated, “There are a lot of 1.50m competitions throughout the summer tour and they are all important, but for me, to win in the International Ring always means much more. To see Hickstead and Coriana and Fine Lady’s names on this trophy just brings back some great memories.”

Seventeenth in the order of 57, Lamaze had to wait many rounds to see if his time held up for the win, but he felt confident in his round.

“You never know for these competitions,” he admitted. “The only thing I can say is that she (Rosana du Park) is extremely fast and I did leave a stride out from the Liverpool to the vertical. I am the only one that did six strides there. I think I had a pretty good trip. It went as I thought it would, but there are always riders behind you that watch you go, and get an idea where to knick you here and there. I was lucky enough today; Conor came pretty close.”

Eric Lamaze raises the trophy for his first win of the day with Pat Creaghan, President, ATCO Energy.

Always a cool character, Rosana du Park proudly accepted her winning ribbon and cooler, and led the victory gallop to the thrill of fans.

Commenting on the mare’s professional demeanor, Lamaze stated, “She is pretty cool; she is a great show horse. She is a worker and she just knows where she is.

“She is my Hickstead of the speed classes that can also jump a 1.60m if I ask her to once in a while,” he continued. “She is a really experienced speed horse and I was saying how great it is to come to Spruce Meadows with one of those. Other riders have younger horses or maybe horses that are not quite as fast. I love to have one that can compete in these classes that you know you can win with. It kind of sets the tone for the week.”

Coyle Wins in International Ring

The AON Cup 1.50m was the first competition held in the International Ring on Wednesday featuring 49 starters over Santiago Varela’s (ESP) one round speed course. Fifteen entries were able to clear the course without fault, while eleven others finished on time faults. The fastest clear track belonged to Ireland’s Daniel Coyle aboard Susan and Ariel Grange’s Fortis Fortuna in 60.50 seconds. Their time pushed Conor Swail (IRL) and Ilan Ferder’s Kanisso into second on their time of 60.66 seconds.

Richard Spooner (USA) jumped to third place in 62.28 seconds riding Little Valley Farm’s Cornancer. Alberto Michan (MEX) guided Ilan Ferder’s Ujade Ste Hermelle to fourth place in 62.79 seconds, and Richie Moloney (IRL) rounded out the top five with a time of 64.46 riding Equinimity LLC’s Ypaja Yando.

Daniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna
Daniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna

Daniel Coyle has earned multiple wins on different horses throughout the Summer Series at Spruce Meadows, but this was his first big win in the International Ring. He and Fortis Fortuna also won last week’s Friends of the Meadows U25 Cup in Meadows on the Green, but this victory was special for the 21-year-old rider.

“It was fabulous. It is always brilliant to win an international competition, especially in that International Ring,” Coyle remarked. “Last week, I said that I was going to jump a 1.50m on that horse after the she won the U25, and I did and it did not go well. So I decided to do one more and she won it. She was very good; she should have a bright future that one.”

Fortis Fortuna is an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Quidam de Revel x Carthago) that is stepping up to the top level along with her young rider. Second place finisher Conor Swail, who Coyle works with closely at Ariel and Susan Grange’s Lothlorien Farm, previously rode the mare. The two Irish riders were in a league of their own on Wednesday, finishing well ahead of their other competitors.

Coyle detailed, “In the warm-up, Conor still had his other horse Cita to jump, and she is very fast and has won a bunch of classes here. I said to him, ‘I think you have it won, unless I beat you.’ And I did! We never really got a chance to talk about the course, so I did that one all on my own. I am very happy. I would say Conor and I had very similar rounds, but my horse was just that small bit faster than his horse, and that is where the difference was.”

Speaking about the experience of jumping in the impressive atmosphere of Spruce Meadows’ International Ring for horse and rider, Coyle added, “For a young horse, it is brilliant for their experience. For an older horse that has done it for a while, they go in there and the atmosphere is different and the horse can sense that, and so can I obviously. There is always more pressure on, and some horses rise to it and some horses don’t. It is a fabulous ring; it is one of the best rings in the world, and there is always a crowd here. It is a lovely place to jump.”

Earlier in the day, Coyle also topped the Jayman Cup FEI 1.40m competition in the All Canada Ring, guiding Susan Grange’s Somerset to victory.

The ‘North American’ Tournament, presented by Rolex, continues on Thursday featuring the ATCO Cup 1.50m, the Sun Life Financial ‘Reach for the Sun’ 1.50m, and the Progress Energy Cup 1.55m.

For a complete tournament schedule and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Spruce Meadows Media Services

Lauren Fisher
Jump Media