The 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival continued with its second day of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, on Thursday., January 11, 2018. Jordan Coyle (IRL) rode Eristov, owned by Andrew Kocher, to victory in the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round One.
There were 36 entries in the first round of the Challenge Cup and they competed over a course set by Eric Hasbrouck of the United States. Eleven were clear to continue to the jump-off, to which 10 returned. Coyle and Eristov were fourth in the jump-off order, and had to follow a very quick time set by Todd Minikus (USA) and Victorio 5 of 37.999s.
Coyle and Eristov left a stride out in the first line and also in the line to the double combination, which led them to cross the finish timers in the winning time of 37.662s. Minikus finished in 2nd, while Emily Mason (GBR) rode Explosion W for Poden Farms to 3rd place in 39.008s.
This is one of Coyle’s biggest wins in the United States since coming here in the winter of 2016 to visit his brother Daniel Coyle, also a successful show jumper. Jordan Coyle is a professional rider for Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY.
The win in the class is all the more special as the horse came off a long break from competing and the pair has only been together since October. This week is their first competition together.
“I had no idea what to expect,” explained Coyle. “The horse this week jumped a few smaller classes. That was his first big class ever – he’s never jumped that big before. I knew he was good enough to jump it and after the first round, I was just happy with that. The jump-off was one of those rounds where everything just worked out. I’d say if I did it another ten times it would never happen like that again, so I suppose you could say it was luck. It wasn’t easy, but it suited him because he has such a big jump and a big step.”
Coyle previously rode a horse named Chuckles for Kocher and mentioned, “I call him and ask for a horse and so far he’s always sent me pretty good ones. Andy has been very good to me. I’m very lucky; he’s an unbelievable horse.”
“I’ve said all along since I’ve had him that he’s the only horse I have ever had that gives you total belief he’s not going to knock a jump,” he continued. “That’s something that I have never had before – I’m very lucky.”
The full results can be viewed here.