Ireland’s Daniel Coyle said Legacy is the boss back at the barn. The 12-year-old Zangersheide mare showed she was also the boss in the competition arena Thursday night, October 27. The pair won the $75,000 Welcome Stake at the Washington International Horse Show at The Show Place Arena, in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
“She’s very opinionated. [Her] groom, Greg … sometimes he’ll leave food sitting where he’s tacking her up, and she’ll take it,” Coyle said after the class. “And she kind of gets away with everything because she wins a lot and she’s a fantastic horse. So she’s really the boss. And with the other horses, she’s also the boss. If something’s in the way, she’s gonna scream and let everybody know, which is great because I only need her for an hour a day, so whatever she does in her own time, that’s up to her.”
Coyle Wins Welcome Stake
The first round of the Welcome Stake class included 27 riders, nine of whom jumped clean to move into the jump-off. Two U.S. riders who qualified for the jump-off withdrew their horses from the second round—Margie Goldstein-Engle and Dicas and Natalie Dean and Chance Ste Hermelle.
Of the remaining seven jump-off riders, Coyle and Legacy rose to the top with a clear round in 27.42 seconds. U.S. rider Hunter Holloway and Pepita Con Spita, an 11-year-old Westphalian mare, jumped clear in 30.32 for second. U.S. rider Katie Dinan and Atika des Hauts, a 12-year-old Selle Français mare, also jumped clear in a time of 30.80 seconds.
Portugal’s Bernardo Cabral designed the course, which included 12 numbered fences and 15 jumping efforts in the first round. In addition to the nine clear rounds, one horse-and-rider combination had two time faults and 12 pairs had four faults.
Coyle said he thought he made up time in two places in the seven-fence jump-off. “I turned after the second fence in the jump-off and had a little slip,” he said. “And actually in the end, [it] probably made it a little faster. I wouldn’t teach that, and that’s not something I would want to happen, but it worked out for me tonight. I would say probably back to the double [Fence 3] and the second-to-last fence is where it came up good for me.”
Coyle, who started riding Legacy when she was eight, competed with the mare last summer in the ECCO FEI World Championships and the 2021 FEI Jumping European Championships. She also won the $500,000 Great American Grand Prix at HITS Ocala in Florida earlier this year. “She knows the ropes now, and we’ve sort of gelled together over the last four years, and hopefully we continue to,” Coyle said.
For full results, click here.
After the Welcome Stake, riders jumped into the spirit of Halloween for the $37,000 Accumulator Costume Class. Rider costumes included Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Harry Potter, the Incredibles, Captain America, Top Gun movie characters, unicorns, a gorilla and more.
The class raised $3,000 for the Capital Breast Care Center.
Israel’s Daniel Bluman and 10-year-old Mecklenburger gelding Ubiluc took first place in the class, earning 65 points in a time of 41.58. Bluman dressed as a priest. Originally, he was going to be his usual self. But then he borrowed a costume that included a long black robe and white collar.
“I was going to dress as an Hermés rider, which is normally how I dress every time I compete, and I’m very proud to wear that,” Bluman said. “I felt like I was out of place before the class when we were going to walk the class, so Baylee McKeever very kindly gave me this outfit to wear in tonight’s class.”
‘Have Some Fun’
The course included 10 jumping efforts. Riders accumulated points for jumping each fence. The points started at one point for Fence 1 and increased as the course continued until riders jumped the Fence 10 “joker” fence, which was worth 20 points. If riders hit a fence, they didn’t get the points for that fence. And if they knocked down the joker, 20 points were deducted from their score.
Of his round, Bluman said, “Ubiluc normally jumps the five-star grand prix, so in this class he was jumping a little bit smaller than what he’s used to. But that was the plan so he could come and have some fun. My strategy was to try and turn as tight as I could all over the place and do the leave-outs in the lines. He felt really good, and he was responsive from the get-go. I felt like he was looking for the jumps.”
In addition to Bluman, U.S. rider Evan Coluccio and Egalini, a 13-year-old gelding of the Anglo European Studbook were second with 65 points and a time of 42.24 seconds. They were dressed as Top Gun characters. Ireland’s Conor Swail and Theo, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, also earned 65 points in 44.66 seconds. He was dressed as a gorilla.
Great Britain’s Grace Debney and Zarina de Vidau dressed up as the television Game of Thrones’ character Khaleesi. They won the best costume for the evening. The pair hit the joker fence and finished in 18th place.
For full results, click here.
Follow along with Practical Horseman’s coverage of the 64th annual Washington International Horse Show on Practical Horseman’s website, Facebook and Instagram. Thank you to the sponsor of our coverage, Vita Flex Pro.