Stunning World Cup win for Derry’s Daniel Coyle in Florida as he leaves some of world’s best in his wake
- 4 February 2018, 21:31
An incredible performance from Derry’s Daniel Coyle has seen him win tonight’s (Sunday) $220,000 Longines FEI World Cup Grand Prix at Wellington in Florida – after a thrilling jump-off where he outclassed some of the world’s top riders.
Coyle partnered the 12-year-old mare Cita to one of just five clears in the first round. They were third to go in the decider and produced an outstanding clear in 34.79 seconds to take the lead. Two of the world’s fastest riders were still yet to jump, but World No.3 McLain Ward’s chances ended when he lowered a fence with HH Callas when chasing the Irishman’s target. Last to go was Laura Kraut (USA) and while she kept all the fences standing with Confu, a time of 35.14 saw her have to settle for runner-up spot.
Asked what he was thinking when he watched Kraut enter the arena, Coyle said:
“I hope she doesn’t beat me – that was the first thing that went through my mind. Cita [owned by Lothlorien Farm’s and Ariel Grange] was amazing. Obviously I had McLain and Laura – and they are very fast riders coming behind me, so i’m glad I was able to hold on to it. I jumped Cita last week in the smaller division and this is her first big show of the year.”
Twenty-three-year-old Coyle spoke about his jump-off round:
“I was very fast at the beginning of my round. I slowed down a little bit to jump the double – that wasn’t an easy line to jump. When I went through the finish I was just hoping I had done enough to beat Margie [Engle who had been leading with Royce] and hoping the ones that followed did what they did, so i’m a very happy man.”
Asked about his hopes of making it to the World Cup final in Paris and what makes it so special Coyle added, “I think it’s probably the fact that you have to qualify and there are so many qualifiers around the world to get to the final, that’s what makes it special for me.”
Coyle collected just over $72,000 for his win along with a new Longines watch, while Tipperary’s Denis Lynch and RMF Echo finished seventh with the fastest four fault round. Lynch is very well positioned on the European World Cup league table and almost guaranteed a place in the Paris World Cup final which takes place in April.
The result in Florida leaves Daniel Coyle in 10th place on the North American World Cup league table with just one qualifying round remaining. Co Down’s Conor Swail is in fourth place while Cork’s Shane Sweetnam is in 13th.