Daniel Coyle of Ireland won the $35,500 CSI2* Grand Prix, presented by Horseware Ireland, during the CSI2* Caledon National tournament on Sunday, May 20, at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Caledon, ON.
Brazilian course designer Anderson Lima set a tight track that yielded a total of nine clear rounds after the time allowed was adjusted from 79 to 81 seconds. As the third rider back to challenge the shortened jump-off course, Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON, guided Count Me In to a clear round in a time of 33.97 seconds. The lead changed hands when Coyle was able to better Underhill’s time, stopping the clock in 33.92 to move to the top of the leaderboard with Farona. As the final competitor, Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, came close with Edison P, but her time of 34.19 seconds left her third behind Coyle and Underhill.
“Farona is only eight but she’s very fast,” said Coyle of the Dutch Warmblood mare (Baltic VDL x Lux). “I knew Beth was fast, so I tried to be as efficient as I could. Thankfully, it was just enough in the end. Farona has been amazing since we got her as a six-year-old and I’m excited for what’s to come with her. I’m very proud of her today.”
Coyle entered the feature event of the week hot off a win in Saturday’s $35,500 CSI2* Table A Speed, where he posted the winning time of 69.47 seconds riding Tienna. It was fast enough to hold off Canadian Show Jumping Team veterans Keean White of Rockwood, ON, who partnered with a new mount, Charming Force B, to stop the clock in 70.99 seconds followed by Jonathon Millar of Perth, ON, who was also clear in a time of 75.90 to take third place riding Bonzay.
“I jumped Farona yesterday as well, but I used it as a warm-up for today,” explained Coyle, 23, of his Grand Prix strategy. “It was Tienna’s job to win yesterday; I know she’s naturally very fast and she jumped great. She’s always been phenomenal. She’s very, very quick.”
Hailing from Northern Ireland, Coyle rides for Ariel Grange’s Lothlorien Farm in Cheltenham, ON.
“It is exciting for Ariel and for the farm to have a homebred that’s competitive at every show,” said Coyle of Tienna, the 10-year-old Canadian Sport Horse mare (For Pleasure x Polydox) bred by Lothlorien Farm. “Competing at the Caledon Equestrian Park is a big deal for Ariel, as she brings a lot of horses here and we spend a lot of time here. It’s always nice to win at home, and I’m delighted to do it for her.”
The CSI2* Caledon National marked the first of week of international show jumping competition at the Caledon Equestrian Park. The Classic at Palgrave Phase 1 tournament, traditionally the opening week of competition each season at the Park, had to be cancelled after a violent wind storm on Friday, May 11, wreaked havoc on the facility.
“For our crew to pull off the miracle that they did to get this place put together again after the storm was truly amazing,” said competition organizer Craig Collins, managing partner of Equestrian Management Group. “Somehow or another, they managed to pull it all together and get us up and running again, and we were able to welcome people at our facility at the standard they have come to expect.
“The entire horse community was amazing in the aftermath,” continued Collins, noting that the CSI2* Caledon National welcomed a record number of horses to the Caledon Equestrian Park, host of equestrian events for the 2015 Pan American Games. “I would like to thank everyone who called and offered their help. They called it a ‘One Hundred Year Wind Storm’ and I hope we don’t experience anything like it for another hundred years!”
International show jumping competition continues with the CSI2* Classic at Palgrave Phase Two from May 23 to 27. The tournament marks the second of four weeks of FEI competition offered during the 2018 season by competition organizer Equestrian Management Group.
For more information on the CSI2* Caledon National, including full results and a full competition schedule, please visit www.caledonequestrianpark.com.
$35,500 CSI2* Open Welcome – Thursday, May 17
1. Kelly Soleau-Millar, Itty Bitty 0:0-38.37
2. Erynn Ballard, Bella Donna 0:0-38.41
3. Daniel Coyle, Tienna 0:0-38.45
4. Erynn Ballard, Edison P 0:0-38.84
5. Keean White, Z Diamanty 0:0-39.22
$35,500 CSI2* Table A Speed, Presented by RAM Equestrian – Saturday, May 19
1. Daniel Coyle, Tienna 0-69.47
2. Keean White, Charming Force B 0-70.99
3. Jonathon Millar, Bonzay 0-75.90
4. Keean White, Z Diamanty 0-77.66
5. Veronica Bot, Quidam’s Caprice M 1-86.35
$35,500 CSI2* Grand Prix, Presented by Horseware – Sunday, May 20
1. Daniel Coyle, Farona 0:0-33.92
2. Beth Underhill, Count Me In 0:0-33.97
3. Erynn Ballard, Edison P 0:0-34.19
4. Conor Swail, Domino van de Valhoeve 0:0-4.62
5. James Chawke, Caruso 472 0:0-35.43