World Equestrian Center – Ocala was brimming with spectator and exhibitors alike to watch the $100,000 Wheels Up Grand Prix. Thirty of the world’s best athletes representing nine different nations vied for the winning title over tracks built by FEI Level IV course designer, Leopoldo Palacios (VEN). Daniel Coyle (IRL), fresh off two European World Cup™ victories, continued his winning streak by clinching both first and second place.

Leopoldo Palacios crafted a challenging track, where a total of nine horse-and-rider combinations managed to jump a clear first-round effort. The tie-breaking field consisted of some of the sport’s quickest athletes, but it became a battle between New Zealand and Ireland in the end.

Daniel Coyle complimented tonight’s design, “It was a great course. I talked to Leopoldo before we started. He’s the best course builder there is. The most difficult for sure, but most people like that. He wanted nine clears and I think there were exactly nine, so he was right on it.”

Coyle piloted both of his entries, Quintin and Farrel, both owned by Ariel Grange, to a clear first round effort to qualify for the jump-off. He returned first aboard the 14-year-old KWPN gelding Quintin (Quaprice Bois Margot x Thamara). The pair flew around the track, taking tidy turns, and finding each fence on an open gallop to stop the clock at 38.358 seconds.

That time couldn’t be beat until Coyle returned on his second mount Farrel (Cardento 933 x Becherry). “I was lucky. I was able to go first on Quintin. He has a bigger stride, but Farrel is fast in a different way, he’s handy, neat and tidy in the way he jumps. I knew I had a good round on Quintin, but I knew I could do a whole lot more with Farrel, and I took quite a few risks.”

Coyle piloted his other 14-year-old KPWN gelding Farrel to an even faster track, stopping the clock in 37.638 seconds for the win.

“We go to lots of different shows, but there is nowhere in the world like this place. It’s just mind-blowing from the first minute you step in the door, to somewhere you go get coffee, to a warm-up arena, to an indoor arena, to the stables, you could go on and on. Anybody who hasn’t been here, I just suggest you come here, because it’s the only way you’ll understand,” expressed Coyle.

Coyle is just getting back from a history making trip to Europe with one of his top mounts Legacy, where they won the Longines World Cup™ first in Leipzig and then in Amsterdam. Coyle is now looking forward to the five-star and Longines League of Nations™ qualifying event during week XII, “I think the [Longines League of Nations™] will change this place. The people that come here will take a different perspective away from it. Legacy just got back here, so she’ll have a little break and she’ll start to work her way up and hopefully if everything goes well, we can get selected to jump in the [Longines League of Nations qualifier].”

Sharn Wordley (NZL) was just behind Coyle with both of his mounts, Valentine Car (Son of Juan Car x Sofia Car) and Champion League (Cador 5 x Charisma). Wordley found his quickest time of 38.927 seconds aboard the 15-year-old American Warmblood gelding Valentine Car. He was just a second slower with his second entry Champion League in 39.454 seconds, landing Wordley a third and fourth place finish.

Aaron Vale (USA) captured the fastest four faulter award aboard Thinkslikeahorse’s Prescott with a quick time of 74.678 seconds with one rail down.

Dani Gascoigne received the ‘Luck of the Draw’ award.

$100,000 Wheels Up Grand Prix Results:

1. Farrel, Daniel Coyle (IRL), Ariel Grange: 0 | 0 | 37.638
2. Quintin, Daniel Coyle (IRL), Ariel Grange: 0 | 0 | 38.358
3. Valentine Car, Sharn Wordley (NZL), Fernando Cardenas: 0 | 0 | 38.927
4. Champion League, Sharn Wordley (NZL), Della Wordley: 0 | 0 | 39.454
5. Capitale 6, Charlie Jones (GBR), Morning Star Sporthorses, LLC: 0 | 0 | 39.484
6. Coquelicot VH Heuvelland Z, Sean Jobin (CAN), Foxridge Farms Stables: 0 | 0 | 43.378
7. Chanel Du Calvaire, Francois Lamontagne (CAN), Francois Lamontagne: 0 | 4 | 41.053
8. Any, Kady Abrahamson (USA), Abrahamson Equestrian LLC: 0 | 4 | 41.774
9. Cool Ray NA, Fernando Cardenas (COL), B&C, LLC: 0 | 16 | 56.396
10. Prescott, Aaron Vale (USA), Thinkslikeahorse: 4 | 74.678