Daniel Coyle of Ireland won all three phases of Caledon Cup competition at the CSI2* Canadian Show Jumping Tournament running September 19 to 23 at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Caledon, ON.
With wins in the first two events partnered with Farrel, Coyle stole the show on Sunday by riding Legacy to victory in Sunday’s $50,000 Caledon Cup – Phase Three, presented by HEP, Aviva Insurance, and Edge Mutual Insurance. A total of 11 horse and rider combinations qualified for the jump-off after successfully negotiating the first-round track set by Portuguese course designer, Bernardo Cabral.
As the second rider to return for the jump-off, Coyle laid down a clear round in a time of 38.60 seconds that would prove unbeatable. Veronica Bot of Burlington, ON, came the closest to dethroning Coyle, but was still off the pace with a time 39.19 seconds to finish second riding Cool Down 3, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Chacco-Blue x Lysander).
Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON, gave it her best shot with Sandy Lupton’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Count Me In, with a jump-off time of 39.44 seconds placing the pair third in the final standings. Underhill was also awarded a $1,000 bonus by HEP as the highest-placed rider sporting a HEP-branded saddle pad.
“I was second to go in the jump-off, which isn’t the best place to be when there are 11 in it,” said Coyle, 23 of his performance with Legacy, an eight-year-old Zangersheide mare (Chippendale Z x Bon Ami) owned by Ariel Grange. “I hadn’t really gone that fast with her all week and today I went a bit faster. She’s an amazing horse. Ariel just bought her after Florida this year. We know she’s incredibly talented and to see her showing it in the ring today makes it even more real.”
As for winning all three phases of the Caledon Cup on two different horses, Coyle noted, “My horses are incredible and I know them well. I have two good horses and if one doesn’t’ win, the other one usually does.”
At the conclusion of all three phases, there was a tie in the points standings for the Caledon Cup. Using a format that rewards consistency of both horse and rider, Coyle riding Farrel, Bot with Cool Down 3, and Underhill with Count Me In had all accumulated a total of 40 points. When the tie was broken using class placings, 22-year-old Bot and Cool Down 3 were crowned the overall winners of the 2018 Caledon Cup.
“The Canadian Show Jumping Tournament is our grand finale for the outdoor season, and we were blessed with clear skies, great crowds, and an exciting jump-off,” said Craig Collins of Equestrian Management Group (EMG), the organizing committee for equestrian events held at Caledon Equestrian Park. “Congratulations to Veronica Bot on her consistency in claiming the Caledon Cup, and also to Sam Pegg for winning our newly-introduced $5,000 bonus awarded to the top rider in open classes at the 1.35m-1.40m level throughout the season.
“We started off the season with a wind storm that caused a lot of damage which was tough, but we had great support from our customers the entire year,” continued Collins. “That people made it a point to come to all of our events with a lot of horses was really special. Thanks to the support we received, we’ve been able to carry on and enjoy great sport throughout the season.”
Collins also spoke to the legacy of hosting the equestrian events for the 2015 Pan American Games, which allows the Caledon Equestrian Park to stage top-level show jumping and other events in a spacious indoor arena. After jumping outside in the grand prix ring for the opening phase of the Caledon Cup on Thursday, competition moved inside on Friday night for the second phase.
“The indoor arena is a wonderful part of the Pan Am legacy,” said Collins. “Friday night was a riot! We had a tonne of people here and food trucks outside, all creating a great atmosphere. It makes for a great venue to be able to host that type of special evening.”
Coyle noted that being based at Lothlorien Farm in nearby Cheltenham adds to the allure of competing at the Caledon Equestrian Park, saying, “There is a lot of comfort being here; you don’t have to drive ten hours to get to the show and sleep in a hotel. The staff can go home at night and everyone is a little more relaxed. It’s incredible to have a show facility this good on your back door.”
With the passing of Lothlorien’s founder, Susan Grange, almost a year ago, her daughter, Ariel, has continued the farm’s operation.
“It was terrible to lose Sue, and it’s incredible to have Ariel step into her shoes,” said Coyle. “She obviously has a great love for the sport. I never feel any pressure from her as an owner. If we have a bad round, we figure out how we are going to go forward; we don’t think about what happened before.
“I would like to thank Craig for a great show and thank Ariel for supporting me to come here,” concluded Coyle.