Wellington, Florida, USA – January 20, 2022 – Another full day of premier sport at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) kicked off Thursday with international jumpers getting their first chance to contest the grass. The Derby Field at Equestrian Village will play host to a variety of FEI jumper classes during WEF 2, sponsored by Hygain Feeds. The day culminated in the $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m feature event and celebrated Daniel Coyle (IRL) as the class victor aboard Tienna, owned by Ariel Grange.
Fifty-nine combinations showed up to contest Oscar Soberon’s (USA) speed trac,k but none were able to catch Daniel Coyle’s (IRL) blazing time of 65.56 seconds. The lead changed hands various times at the start of the class as the athletes determined their best plan of action. McLain Ward (USA) picked up the lead fairly early in the day in a time of 66.30 seconds and held on to it for a majority of the class until Coyle (IRL) and Tienna managed to shave a little less than a second off.
Ward (USA) maintained the second-place position aboard Wyndmont, Heller, and Ward’s 12-year-old Zangersheide mare Blossom Z (Balou Du Rouet x Cleopatra Z). Canada made its way on to the podium as Erynn Ballard (CAN) entered the field as the second to last to compete and laid down a performance good enough to earn her and Comedie De Talma, Ilan Ferder and Esperanza Imports 10-year-old Selle Francais mare (Kannan x Contender), third place in a final time of 66.65 seconds.
“Ariel and I had talked about when we wanted to start her, and we came to the conclusion of this week,” explained Coyle. “It is always nice to start on the grass because it is a long winter.
“She is very competitive as you can see,” he continued of the 14-year-old Canadian Sport Horse mare (For Pleasure x Polydox). “Everything just showed up lovely today, and she is just naturally so very fast. It was a great feeling going through the finish and seeing our time because I knew McLain had set a hard time to beat.”
Coyle started riding Tienna when the mare was eight years old, and this win was extra special as he explained that an injury had previously forced a break for two years. This was their first time back in FEI competition.
“When I first began riding her, I knew she was by far the most talented horse I had ever ridden, and we kind of grew in our careers together,” he fondly recalled. “I’ve been lost without her for the past two years, and I can’t put into words how glad I am to have her back.”
Final Results – $37,000 Douglas Elliman CSI 3*
1) Daniel Coyle (IRL) & Tienna – 0 – 65.56
2) McLain Ward (USA) & Blossom Z – 0 – 66.30
3) Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Comedie de Talma – 0 – 66.65
Source: Press Release by Summer Grace / Amanda Picciotto Feitosa / Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Sportfot