Derry’s Daniel Coyle scores five-star Wellington win and continues rise up world rankings

  • 8 March 2018, 10:35

The ninth week of action at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, USA began yesterday (Wednesday) with Derry-born Daniel Coyle and Cork’s Shane Sweetnam filling the top two places in the five-star feature class.

Daniel Coyle and Tienna (Photo: Sportfot)

Coyle and Tienna, a 10-year-old mare owned by Ariel Grange, took the winners prize in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1m45 Power and Speed after posting a clear round in 28.50 seconds.They just pipped Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon, owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, who had posted a time of 28.70, while Mexico’s Santiago Lambre partnered Doloris to third place in 29.04.

“She’s a homebred, which makes it a little more special for Ariel and the farm,” said Coyle of the mare he previously rode in Under 25 competitions. “She’s always been one of my favorites. To get a win here today, and it was very competitive, there was very little room for any mistakes. There was no real difference at the top.”

Having moved the mare up to the Grand Prix ranks recently, Coyle has had to adjust to Tienna’s way of going.

Daniel Coyle and Tienna in their awards presentation ceremony with Jasmine Velez of Douglas Elliman Real Estate and ringmaster Steve Rector (Photo: Sportfot)

He said, “She’s a chestnut mare, and one thing I’ve found out that I should have known already is that she’s a typical chestnut mare. She really likes to go her own way. If you get involved with her way of going too much, she really doesn’t like it. If that’s the way she likes to go and the way she likes to win, then of course, that’s it.”

Daniel Coyle’s win comes as the Longines FEI Jumping rankings were released – showing that the 23-year-old Derry rider has climbed another five places to 41st in the world. Bertram Allen is the highest ranked Irish Show Jumping rider at 24, just ahead of Cian O’Connor at 25 and Denis Lynch at 26. Shane Sweetnam is at No.34 while Shane Breen is at 48 giving Ireland six riders in the top 50.

Kildare’s Judy Reynolds continues to be Ireland’s top-ranked Equestrian athlete – holding 21st place on the Dressage World Rankings. Sam Watson is the highest-ranked Irish Eventing rider at No.39 followed by Sarah Ennis at 53 and Cathal Daniels at 68.

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