Irish show jumper Jordan Coyle has zero filter.
At least, not one that he’s exercising around the media just yet.
At the rate he’s winning, that day will come. Too many unabashedly honesty quotes in the press tends to have that affect on people. (See London 2012 gold medalist Scott Brash’s “My Gold? I hope it gives me more pulling power with women, if I’m honest”—a quote that deserves a medal in its own right.)
Until the day arrives when he starts measuring his words (a sad, sad day if there ever was one), Coyle is trending on our in-house list of most delightful riders you can point a mic at RN.
The stage for his latest performance: Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON. The Irish rider won the $35,500 CSI3* Capital Classic, presented by RBC, on Thursday at the CSI3* Ottawa International Horse Show and proceeded to give the best post-win interview in recent history.
Here are his top five quotes, all delivered in under fives minutes.
On why he’s in Canada (and how his girlfriend feels about it)
“The truth?” said Coyle. “The truth is I worked for Old Salem Farm [in North Salem, New York]. I went home [to Ireland] after [the winter circuit in] Florida for a holiday to see the grandparents with the girlfriend and I wasn’t allowed back in the country. Because Old Salem didn’t have the right paperwork for me and I wasn’t aware of that.” (For the record: Old Salem Farm rebuts this version of events.)
“I’m in Canada until I can get my VISA [for the United States],” he continued. “Hopefully, it’s very soon! If it’s not, this woman over here [points at girlfriend] is going to cut the head off me and run away from me.”
On how his top horse Eristov has changed…for the worse
Coyle has been campaigning the nine-year-old KWPN grey gelding Eristov since the beginning of the 2018 winter circuit in Florida. In the seven months since, they have collected an impressive string of results, including a 2* victory at the Winter Equestrian Festival in March, a second place finish in a 1.55m CSI5* at Spruce Meadows in June, and a 12th place finish in the 1.50m CSI5* Derby in July before capturing Thursday’s class in Ottawa.
But outside the show ring, things aren’t going quite as smoothly.
“His personality has changed since Florida. He was very easy, everything was very easy for him in Florida. Now he’s got a little more of an opinion himself. He’s a little more difficult now,” laughed Coyle.
“In the warm up he has become very difficult. He’s now gotten scared of horses for absolutely no reason whatsoever…In Langley, at Thunderbird [Showpark], I couldn’t get him warmed up.”
“He nips now. He’ll kick the odd time. He’s just a bit of personality now,” said Coyle. “It’s good, but it’s bad.”
Only turns out maybe there is a reason
Does a key detail feel like it’s missing from that story? It is. Coyle immediately followed his “absolutely no reason why” with “Well, it was probably my fault.”
Elaborated the 25-year-old rider: “He never, ever stopped. He jumped the puissance in Central Park, 2.15m, never would stop [in the ring]. But in the warm up, at the second to last jump or last jump, he would stop. And I’d give him a pat on the neck and walk into the ring and he’d start up normal.
“But it just got worse and worse and worse. To the point that he wouldn’t warm up at all,” said Coyle. “So maybe it was my fault. I let him get away with it for too long.
“But I felt sorry for him because he’s so good! I was like, ‘Ah, you’re that good. Fair enough. Away you go.’
“Then it backfired.”
Whether he turns Eristov’s “personality” around remains to be seen. Here’s hoping Coyle keeps his personal quips coming. Because if the internet needs anything, it’s more unfiltered anecdotes from unapologetic Irishmen.