Daniel Coyle slots into second at Grand Prix in Florida
Just six riders in the 37 class went clear over the first- round course
Daniel Coyle and Farrel in action in Wellington, Florida. Photograph: Sportfot
Although the first FEI class at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida doesn’t take place until Wednesday, Irish riders have already been competing at the 12-week long festival which continues until the end of March.
The competitive highlight of Week 1 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Centre in Wellington was Sunday’s €75,000 Grand Prix in which just six riders in the 37 class went clear over the first- round course designed by the USA’s Eric Hasbrouck.
First to go against the clock was Switzerland’s Beat Mandli who was again clear in what proved to be an unbeatable time of 37.53. Derry’s Daniel Coyle slotted into second when home in 37.76 with Ariel Grange’s nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Farrel while, picking up 15 faults in round two, Ireland’s Kevin Babington finished sixth with the now 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Mark Q.
Earlier in the day, at Sopot in Poland, Limerick-born, Sweden-based former Army rider Shane Carey won the 1.45m Grand Prix when posting the fastest of three double clears with Maria Gretzer’s nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Fecybelle.