Daniel Coyle (IRL) and rising star Farrel positively shined in the $145,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, presented by Celebrity Cruises—the first leg of the 2019/2020 North American League season.
A truly international field was reflected in the podium placings. The only other double-clear performer, 22-year-old Kelli Cruciotti (USA) finished second with Hadja van Orshof, while World No. 15 Harrie Smolders (NED) finished third with 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,” Coyle said. “This was a real track today, and he proved himself to be a real horse for the future.”
Daniel Coyle and Farrel. Photo by MOI Photography/tbird
Just five combinations were able to navigate Peter Holmes’ (CAN) course without fault, and they all came in the second half of the class. The sold-out crowd held breath collectively as defending champion Uma O’Neill (NZL) came to the final line of fences on a clear round but pulled a rail at the second-to-last fence, the Volvo vertical, set at 1.60 up the hill.
Richard Spooner (USA) produced the first clear round aboard Quirado RC, and then Coyle, Smolders, two-time World Cup champion Beezie Madden (USA) and Cruciotti followed suit—all within the final eight rides. In the jump-off, Coyle was the first to produce a second clear, and no one could catch him.
“That [Volvo vertical] 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,” Coyle said. “When you know them a little more, it’s a lot easier, especially when they’re younger jumping this level.”
The win came in Farrel’s World Cup debut; the duo has been paired for almost two years. The gelding made his Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ debut at tbird in May, and ever since, Coyle asserted, the gelding took his abilities to the next level.
“Horses all have their own opinions of everything, but he’s found a way to jump a lot bigger a lot easier,” Coyle said. “He’s not a very big horse; he’s 15.2, if he is even that. Since the Nations Cup here, he has figured out a way to jump that height a little easier, and I just have to be patient and wait for him to keep figuring it out. I’m excited to see what happens in the next year.”
Daniel Coyle (IRL) & Farrel win the $145,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver CSI4*-W at the Summer Fort Festival. Photo by MOI Photography/tbird
Cruciotti competed in her first World Cup Finals in April and is hungry to return for a second when the Finals return to North America at Las Vegas, NV, in April. The finish marked her best in World Cup competition; she was third at Columbus, OH, last October.
“[Qualifying for the Final] is the main focus, the main goal,” Cruciotti said. “I was very inspired going to Gothenburg. I felt like there’s a lot I can still learn and there’s always higher levels to reach, so I’m really excited hopefully for Las Vegas.”
Smolders, who rides for Evergate Stables—a longtime supporter of tbird—was thrilled with the performance of his mount, a newer addition to the Evergate Stables string. The class also marked the gelding’s World Cup debut.
“The horse did amazing this week,” he said. “He was clear the first two days, and today again. I gave it a go in the jump-off, but we had [the Volvo vertical] down.”
Smolders was also thrilled with the atmosphere on the day.
“It was a fantastic crowd today,” he said. “It was a super atmosphere. That’s why we are sportspeople. We like to perform for the people, and we like to show our abilities and our skills around horses.”
$145,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver CSI4*-W, Presented by Celebrity Cruises
Place / Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time
1. Farrel / Daniel Coyle / IRL / Ariel Grange / 0/0 37.32
2. Hadja van Orshof / Kelli Cruciotti / USA / Kelli Cruciotti / 0/0 42.26
3. Hocus Pocus de Muze / Harrie Smolders / NED / Evergate Stables / 0/4 37.41
4. Darry Lou / Beezie Madden / USA / Abigail Wexner / 0/4 38.34
5. Quirado RC / Richard Spooner / USA / 0/10 55.98
6. Calypso v/d Zuuthoeve / Laura Hite / USA / Laura Hite / 1 83.26
7. Donatello / Ashlee Bond / ISR / Little Valley Farms / 4/75.19
8. Samson II / Zazou Hoffman / USA / Woodacres Stables, LLC / 4/75.19
9. Primo Troy / Andrew Welles / USA / Istaca Group, LLC / 4/75.66
10. Colorado / Luis Pedro Biraben / ARG / Gugler Sport Horses GmbH & Co.KG / 4/76.87