Oh, Danny Coyle: Derry rider takes five-star Canadian Cup
Spruce Meadows winner: ‘I love to win but I hadn’t planned the round I rode’
Ireland’s Danny Coyle won the Canadian Cup. Photograph: Leo Mason/Getty
Ireland’s Daniel Coyle added another five-star success to his record when landing the Canadian Cup at Spruce Meadows on Sunday.
Derry native Coyle was one of eight riders to progress to the jump-off round of the 1.50m class from a starting line-up of 50 and one of six to record a double clear. Riding Susan and Ariel Grange’s 11-year-old Selle Francais stallion Grafton, the locally-based rider was last to go against the clock and his time of 42.33 just shaded that of the USA’s Kent Farrington who finished second with Sherkan Damaury (42.38) ahead of Isreal’s Daniel Bluman on Bacara d Archonfosse (42.41).
“I love to win but I hadn’t planned the round I rode,” Coyle said. “If I had been first to go I would have been a second or two slower but I knew what I had to do and was confident that Grafton could do it. He hasn’t been in the best of form for the last three weeks so hopefully this means he is happy and ready to perform for the remainder of the series.”
In Europe, Irish success came at the four-star dressage show at Fritzens-Schindlhof in Austria where Judy Reynolds followed up her win in Friday’s Grand Prix on Vancouver K with victory in Sunday’s Grand Prix Special.
Co Kildare-born Reynolds, who was recording her first Grand Prix Special success, achieved a score of 72.255% for her test on the 15-year-old Jazz gelding which is owned by her parents, Joe and Kathleen Reynolds. Austria’s Victoria Max-Theurer finished second on Blind Date 25 (71.549) with Norway’s Isabel Freese placing third on Ullrichequine’s St Emilion (70.569).
“This was an important part of our plan for the Europeans as the Grand Prix Special is the second individual qualifier for the Grand Prix Kür (Freestyle to Music) individual European dressage championship final,” said Germany-based Reynolds.
“Today was our first Special since Rio last August and JP (Vancouver K) needs the practice runs in advance of the Euros. There were a couple of glitches but I felt the piaffe (stationary trot) was better than the Grand Prix on Friday and we finished the test very well.
“It was great to win both the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special on our first outing in three months and I’m planning to compete in Aachen and Verden in advance of the European dressage championships in Gothenburg next month.”
At the international carriage driving trials in Sandringham, England, Ireland’s Folke Rohrssen won the FEI two-star horse pairs class on a penalty score of 164.52 with Barry Capstick finishing fourth on 169.49. The Irish duo were split by Britain’s Elizabeth Priest (164.81) and Germany’s David Matthews (169).
There was international eventing action at home over the weekend at Kilguilkey House near Mallow where the two top-rated classes were won by British riders.
Izzy Taylor claimed the 33-runner Haygain CIC3* competition in spite of adding two time penalties on Sunday’s cross-country phase to her dressage score of 43.7 on the 15-year-old Hors La Loi II gelding Perfect Stranger. Co Meath’s Sarah Ennis finished second with Horseware Stellor Rebound (49.9) ahead of Co Down-based Joseph Murphy with Sportsfield Othello (50.8).
New Zealand’s Blyth Tait, who was fourth on Darius IV (52.4), had a pole down show jumping with Havanna van t Cataneahof in the TopSpec CIC2* and, on a total of 39.2, had to settle for second place behind Britain’s Rosie Fry who completed on her dressage score of 37 with the Irish-bred Arise Cavalier. The eight-year-old gelding, which was bred in Co Meath by Diarmaid Considine, is by Cavalier Two For Joy out of a Hannovarian mare.
The USA’s Kim Severson finished third with the Irish-bred Cooley Cross Border (which was also on 39.2), a 10-year-old gelding by Diamond Roller, while Taylor slotted into fourth with the nine-year-old Cougar mare Kilderrys Cougar Girl (46.7). Best of the Irish in fifth was Co Limerick’s Robbie Kearns with the 12-year-old Ramiro B mare Garrybritt Bonny (46.7).