Daniel Coyle of Ireland rode to a thrilling victory in the $145,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver.
Coyle revealed a rising star in the 9-year-old Farrel, who produced two electrifying clear rounds in the first of 14 legs in the 2019/2020 North American League season. Kelli Cruciotti (USA) finished second as the only other double-clear performer on the day, while Harrie Smolders (NED) was third aboard Hocus Pocus de Muze.
"I think, give him another year's time, and he will be a real, real top horse—not that he isn't right now, but he's still a little green," said Coyle. "This was a real track today, and he proved himself to be a horse for the future."
Just five combinations were able to clear Peter Holmes (CAN)’s first round course without fault, and they all came from the class’s final eight riders. Richard Spooner (USA) was the first to crack the code, and Coyle, Smolders, Beezie Madden (USA) and Cruciotti followed.
In the jump-off, Coyle was the first to produce a second clear, and no one could catch him. He finished the shortened course in 37.32 seconds. Cruciotti, riding her mount from the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg (SWE), finished in 42.26 seconds, while Smolders finished with a 4-fault score in 37.41 seconds.
“In the jump off, usually he jumps better, which is strange, but when you start galloping, he starts to look a little quicker and jump a little higher,” Coyle said. “I know that from the last few years that I’ve had him. That third jump did come down a lot, and I really rode him at it, and he jumped it probably as good as he could that second time. When you know them a little more, it’s a lot easier, especially when they’re younger jumping this level.”
The victory moved Coyle to the top of the East Coast Sub-League standings of the North American League with 20 points, while Cruciotti took over an early lead in the West Coast standings with 17 points.
The North American League continues in New York on September 15, 2019 as part of the American Gold Cup.
Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League - East sub league standings: click here
Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League - West sub league standings: click here
About the North American League
The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League, now in its fifth year, consists of 14 venues in three countries - the United States, Mexico and Canada. Each venue hosts qualifiers to determine the North American riders who will compete at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final (April 15-19) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The NAL, which offers $2.4 million in prize money, is one of 16 leagues that form the global FEI World Cup™ Jumping series, which has been in existence since 1978. Follow Practical Horseman's coverage of the NAL series on social media with the hashtags: #FEIWorldCup #JumpToGreatness #Longines.