Upper Marlboro, Maryland, USA – October 28, 2022 – Showcasing the power and courage of show jumpers, the $25,000 Defender Puissance honored three horses and riders with the joint victory. Competing through five rounds of increasing height of the puissance wall, Daniel Coyle (IRL), Jordan Coyle (IRL), and McLain Ward (USA) all cleared 2.10m (six feet, 10 inches) for the win. Devin Ryan (USA) and Hangover placed second after they faulted at the wall in the final round.
Having tied for the win at last year’s WIHS in the Puissance as well with his mighty mini Catoki – who stands at just 15 hands high – Ward brought the speed specialist this week just to compete in the high jump class. This was the tenth time that Ward has won or tied for the win in the Puissance at WIHS.
“I knew he was always brave, but he’s barely bigger than a pony,” laughed Ward. “He did the speed class earlier today and was brilliant in that, almost won that, and then did his planned class. It’s incredible. I have barely any spur and the horse pulls you down there like a lion, and I think he enjoys it. He’s an incredible winner.”
Daniel Coyle (IRL) was also a co-winner of last year’s Puissance and is experienced in the specialty class. His horse Oak Grove’s Carlyle, a 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Casall x San Patrignano Corrado) owned by Ariel Grange, is one of his top horses. After a slow start on Thursday, Daniel made the decision to enter the Puissance.
“He was just not in the zone, not in the rhythm,” he said. “I decided to jump him in the puissance and see if that would give him bit of heart, and for sure he jumped great every round. And that’s him; he’s one or the other. He’s either frantic, or he just goes and does it very simply. Thankfully tonight it was very simple.”
Daniel’s older brother Jordan Coyle (IRL) was the third co-winner with Eristov, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Cicero Z van Paemel x Concorde) he owns with Elan Farm. Eristov is Jordan’s veteran mount and a World Cup qualifier winner.
“He was my first big time horse,” acknowledged Jordan. “I’m thankful for everything that he’s done for me. Everything was my first with him. We gave him a break, planning to wind down and retire him, but he didn’t love that so much.”
Coming back into competition this year, Eristov was fifth in the Hickstead Derby and made it to the final round of the Dublin Puissance but didn’t get the win. Jordan was eager to correct that result, and Eristov delivered once again.
“Tonight the first few rounds, he wasn’t quite so sure, but by the end it felt like I could have jumped anything,” said Jordan.
Daniel added about his brother, “We’ve competed our whole lives together. We’re brothers, but when the helmet goes on, you become a competitor and that’s how it is. It’s great we’ve learned a lot from each other over the years, and it’s great now to be at the top of the sport together.”
For their victory, the three riders shared in being presented with The Armed Forces Cup, presented by Land Rover. The three horses shared The Sweet ‘N Low Trophy honors, donated by Mr. And Mrs. Donald G. Tober. The owners of the horses won the Congressman’s Challenge Trophy, donated by the Late Honorable Rogers C.B. Morton and the Late Honorable F. Robert Watkins.
Final Results – $25,000 Defender Puissance CSI 5*-W
1) Daniel Coyle (IRL) & Oak Grove’s Carlyle – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0
2) McLain Ward (USA) & Catoki – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0
3) Jordan Coyle (IRL) & Eristov – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0
Source: Press Release from Jump Media
Photos: © Shawn McMillen Photography