Stillwater, New York, USA – July 15, 2023 – Christian Coyle (IRL) rode Gydine to the top prize in the $15,000 Women In Business (WIB) Jumper Classic, sponsored by American National Insurance, on Saturday, July 15, 2023, during the Saratoga WIB Spectacular at White Hollow Farm in Stillwater, NY.
A competitive field of horse-and-rider combinations contested the first-round course set by Hailey Rogge (USA). Coyle piloted Gydine, owned by Team Philippaerts, to a fault-free and efficient round to earn a spot in the jump-off.
“I thought it was a lovely course,” described Coyle. “The lines rode well, the fences were beautiful, and the footing felt great. To be honest I was glad I went after Leann [Kelly] because I knew what I had to do. I wasn’t sure whether to go inside to the second to last fence or not. I was pretty quick everywhere else, and I thought I was fast enough to go around so that’s what I did, and it worked out.”
Leann Kelly (USA) and Graf Joe, owned by Sarah Hunter, were the first pair to return for the jump-off and produced a second clear round in a quick time of 35.485 seconds. Coyle and Gydine were the next pair to tackle the jump-off and raced through the timers at an unbeatable time of 34.376 seconds to top the leaderboard.
“I wanted to leave out a stride from fence one to two,” explained Coyle of his jump-off plan. “I tried to be as quick and neat everywhere else as I could without being reckless. Luckily today it definitely paid off.”
Coyle is no stranger to the winner’s circle at Saratoga Horse Shows and claimed top honors in the $25,000 Saratoga Grand Prix during the Spring II show in May with Ma Pomme de Tamerville and secured second place aboard Gydine. Coyle and Gydine have proven to be a pair to watch out for in the show ring despite being a newer partnership.
“I started riding her towards the end of the winter,” said Coyle of the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare. “She’s been pretty consistent for me. I had a few good results with her in Wellington before we came up north. She’s lovely and really sweet. She is my daughter’s favorite so she will be delighted she won today.
“She is scopey, quick, and very competitive,” continued Coyle. “She tries so hard for you and is a real fighter when she gets to the jump. You don’t have to protect her too much. You just get to the jump and soften. Nine times out of ten she tries to leave the jump up. She’s very clever and makes my job really easy.”
Kelly and Graf Joe ultimately finished in second place. Elizabeth Kirby (USA) and Quinn, owned by E.K. Equestrian LLC, received third place with a time of 37.049 seconds.
Final Results – $15,000 Women in Business Jumper Classic
1) Christian Coyle (IRL) & Gydine – 0 / 0 – 34.376
2) Leann Kelly (USA) & Graf Joe – 0 / 0 – 35.485
3) Elizabeth Kirby (USA) & Quinn – 0 / 0 – 37.049
Source: Press Release from Jump Media for Saratoga Horse Shows
Photos: © Dashing Paws Photography