Ireland’s Daniel Coyle (IRL) won his second Longines watch of the year on Friday.
Riding the speedy bay mare Cita, the 24-year old rode to victory in the $235,000 CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix at Thunderbird Show Park’s Odlum Brown BC Open in Langley, BC.
Thirty-four competitors contested the 1.60m track set by Canadian course designer Peter Holmes. Six advanced to the jump off, with Mexico’s Eugenio Garza Perez and Armani SL Z leading the pack with the first clear, posted nearly halfway through the class.
“It was a difficult course and it was a separator,” Holmes said. “It was scopey, and it was fast, and it was also very controlled. You had to be there every stride.”
In the jump-off, the Mexican rider put the pressure on with a second clear and a time of 43.29 seconds.
Canada’s Mario Deslauriers upped the ante two rides later, stopping the clock at 42.02 seconds.
In the end, it was Coyle’s sliced turns back to the Longines combination and Rubik’s cube vertical two fences from home that captured the win in a time of 40.98 seconds.
“I’m not quite sure [where I won the class], but from talking to people outside, I’d say it was probably back to the second-last fence,” Coyle explained. “I was very tight there, and there was a hedge behind it, which made it not easy to jump, and I took a big risk there, and that’s probably what did it.”
Deslauriers finished second. Garza Perez was relegated to third.
The victory marks Coyle’s second five-star grand prix title of 2018. In March, he and Cita topped the Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix CSI5* in Wellington, FL.
“Cita’s been amazing since the moment I got her. But this year she’s been right up there. She’s just been amazing,” said the Irishman.
“It took me a little bit in the beginning to figure out which way she likes to go and where she likes to jump the bigger fences easier. She likes you to be very nice to her, just like any girl does. She’s very sweet horse, and the more you believe in her, the more she believes in herself. That’s probably the biggest thing I had to learn.”
On Sunday, Coyle will look to add a third piece of wrist wear to his growing collection when he jumps for Ireland in the week’s feature event, the $400,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Canada.