Runner-up finish for Daniel Coyle in $216,000 Florida Grand Prix

  • 2 April 2017, 09:56

Co Derry’s Daniel Coyle continued his incredible recent run of form, by scoring a runner-up finish in the $216,000 four-star Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida in the early hours of this morning.

Drawn second last to go in a five horse jump-off, Coyle guided Ariel and Susan Grange’s 11-year-old mare Cita to a clear round in 43.85 seconds against the clock. This left them just over a second behind Chilean winner Samuel Parot and Atlantis who crossed the line clear in 42.52, while Margie Engle (USA) and Royce finished third.

Daniel Coyle and Cita (Photo: Sportfot)

Daniel Coyle and Cita (Photo: Sportfot)

Coyle began the WEF circuit riding Cita for the first time and won the $75,000 Rosenbaum Mollengarden Grand Prix in week one. The pair then spent the rest of the winter getting to know each other and developing their partnership.

“Since the first Grand Prix here, I changed my ride a little bit on Cita,” Coyle said of the 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Casall x Pik Ramiro). “I suppose I was over-riding her. I was always asking her to be better and better, and that kind of got in the way of her being better. I just tried to make the ride a little more relaxed, and I found out that she has more jump than I ever believed she had.

“This is probably the biggest Grand Prix she has had a very good result in,” he continued. “Maybe I underestimated her a little bit in the beginning. I always knew she was going to be a great 1m50 horse, but I think she is going to be more now. I think the future will be bright for her. I am very happy. I am disappointed that I did not beat Samuel, but still that is a great result.”

Commenting on the jump-off, Coyle added, “Tonight I was riding for second place. I was not going to be crazy. For one, it is her first time at that level. Sam’s quick even in the first round, so I knew I would really have to be fast to beat him. If I beat him, I beat him. If I didn’t, I didn’t. I was still really happy.”

The 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival circuit concludes today in Florida with the $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final.

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