Anything Cian O’Connor can do in Austria, Daniel Coyle can match at Spruce Meadows, as the Derry man claimed double success in Canada.
Coyle continued his amazing winning run of form with victory in the five-star Scotiabank Cup on Saturday, and then scored his second five-star win in less than 24 hours, when he was named joint winner of the 1m50 Canadian Utilities Cup with Tienna.
The Irish rider’s career has been on an incredible upward curve since he moved to Canada at the start of 2016, with the 23-year-old recently breaking inside the top 50 in the Longines World Rankings. His win in the 1m55 Scotiabank Cup with the mare Cita came after a hugely competitive jump-off.
Eighteen of the 60 starters made it into the jump-off, with Coyle the only Irish representative in the second round. Cita has gained a reputation as one of the fastest mares on the circuit and she didn’t disappoint, crossing the line clear in 37.79 seconds to finish well over a second clear of the nearest challenger.
The podium was filled with three of the fastest mares in the sport. Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan and The Irish Sport Horse Sumas Zorro finished as runners-up in a time of 39.08 seconds, while American rider Ashlee Bond finished third with Chela LS (39.66 seconds).
In his second major success of the weekend at Spruce Meadows, both Coyle with Tienna, and American rider Leslie Howard riding Donna Speciale, finished the jump-off in exactly the same time of 36.44 seconds after a gripping 11 horse jump-off in the Canadian Utilities Cup.
Howard found her edge at the front half of the jump off round, finding the most efficient way around the winding and delicate track. Coyle, who was behind at the first half of the intermediate time with the 9 year-old Canadian Sport Horse mare Tienna, stated:
“I had a touch on the first part of the combination of the first round, so going into the jump off I knew there were a few places I may have had to be a bit more cautious of. In the jump off I was a bit slow to one and again I was careful over the double – but from what I felt out there, I knew I could start to get going after that and start to take some chances. I really made up a lot of time over those last four fences.”
Following behind, just a fraction off the pace of the two leaders, was World No. 1 ranked rider Kent Farrington of the USA, with the exciting and talented 10 year-old grey gelding, Dublin. The combination finished 0.38 seconds behind for a third place finish.
This latest win for Daniel Coyle brings to six the number of five-star wins by Irish riders in the past week. The Derry rider has scored three five-star wins at Spruce Meadows and Cian O’Connor recorded one win last weekend at Sopot in Poland, as well as two this weekend in Treffen, Austria.