Thermal, California, USA – December 05, 2022 – Daniel Coyle (IRL) has taken command of the Desert International Horse Park (DIHP).
With wins already under his belt earlier in the week, the 28-year-old, who celebrated his birthday Friday, capped off his week with two more CSI 5* wins, including in the $217,200 Whittier Trust Major League Show Jumping Grand Prix CSI 5*.
Aboard Legacy, owned by Ariel Grange, Coyle was one of only four riders to advance to the jump-off, clearing Michel Vaillancourt’s (CAN) tricky first-round track. It was a matchup between Ireland and Canada as he joined Conor Swail (IRL), Sean Jobin (CAN), and Amy Millar (CAN) in the tiebreaker. Coyle laid it all on the line for a jump-off time of 35.13 seconds, which could not be caught as the remaining three tried to chase him.
“Legacy has been phenomenal for me since we bought her,” Coyle said of Grange’s 12-year-old Zangersheide mare (Chippendale Z x Bon Ami). “I produced her as a championship horse but after the World Championships we changed course and decided to try to win some grand prixs. She’s getting better and better. I’m getting to know her better in jump-offs also. I’m really, really happy Ariel Grange bought her for me.”
The course provided a significant challenge, with many top combinations losing grasp of a five-star win. Coyle had the confidence in his partnership with Legacy on his side.
“I knew there were a few places I could take some risks,” he said of Vaillancourt’s track. “I didn’t know if I was going to have to take them or not, but being first to go, I was not going to leave anything to chance.”
Conor Swail (IRL) is moving Mannon Farm’s Nadal Hero & DB (Kannan x Polydor) up the ranks, exposing him to more top competition and proving he has another top contender in his incredibly strong string. “I’m absolutely delighted with my horse,” Swail, ranked number five in the world, remarked. “He’s progressing so well, he’s doing all the right things, he’s learning from his mistakes, and I am super delighted with second place.
“This place is amazing,” continued Swail, who is a regular at DIHP. “That ring is as good a ring as anywhere in the world. I jumepd Aachen, Spruce [Meadows], and Dublin this year, and it is easily on par with all of those. It’s just wonderful. The horses get better every day; they get more comfortable and they are really on springs here. It’s a spotless facility.”
Sean Jobin (CAN) was aiming for a solid double-clear effort with Darius (Warrant x Calvados / Sable Rose), owned by Foxridge Farms Stables, once he qualified for the jump-off. As to whether this third-place finish is a career high for him, he responded, “Yes, for sure. When Foxridge paired me with Darius a few years ago we didn’t have any idea he would be jumping this. He’s getting older and older but he’s getting better and better all the time. It feels unreal.”
Final Results – $217,200 Whittier Trust Major League Show Jumping Grand Prix CSI 5*
1) Daniel Coyle (IRL) & Legacy – 0 / 0 – 35.13
2) Conor Swail (IRL) & Nadal Hero D&B– 0 / 0 – 38.33
3) Sean Jobin (CAN) & Darius – 0 / 0 – 43.68
Source: Press Release by Tori Bilas for Desert International Horse Park
Photos: © ESI Photography