When Ireland’s Daniel Coyle elected to compete in Europe this season instead his usual winter haunt of Wellington, Florida, he dubbed it a “training exercise.”
Preparation for the Paris Olympics is likely a more accurate descriptor as Coyle vies for a spot on the highly competitive Irish team. But if the 30-year-old had any lingering reservations about the transatlantic move, they’ve been well put to rest after Sunday.
In the span of eight days, the Irishman has collected not one but two World Cup titles. It’s his third 5* Grand Prix win in Europe in two months.
The latest feather in his competitive cap: the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Amsterdam, where Coyle left no room for doubt about the victory. In a field of 40 starters, including six of the world top 15, he and Legacy were in a class of their own.
Seven of 40 starters advanced to Quintin Maertens and Louis Konickx’s short course. As the penultimate pair to return, Coyle took every risk from the first to the last, speeding through the timers in a blistering 35.45 seconds. Willem Greve (NED) finished second for the second day in a row, clocking in at a distant 38.33. Countryman Jur Vrieling finished third on Griffin van de Heffinck in 40.40.
“I was going through the finish still looking at the clock hoping I was fast enough, I didn’t know if I was slow or fast or what was the difference but anyway I was on the right side of it and it’s much better to win by three seconds than three-hundredths!” said Coyle
The back-to-back victories are likely to move Coyle, currently ranked no. 14 in the world, within spitting distance of the top 10 next month. It’s also on pushing forward his upward trending earnings.
Coyle’s winnings over the past three seasons read like hockey stick graph, doubling from €309,892 in 2021 to €736,459 in 2022, his then best year to date (Jumpr App). In 2023, he cracked the million euro mark for the first time with €1,064,371 in earnings. One months into 2024, he’s already trending ahead of those projections.
Within those figures, Legacy has been his most consistent earner, accounting for over €1 million of his €4 million in career earnings. According to Jumpr App, the 14-year-old mare jumps clear at a 41% average at 1.60m and into the top 10 in 51% of her 51 rounds at the height.
Legacy will now head back to owner Ariel Grange’s new farm in Orlando, Florida (USA) for a well deserved break ahead of the 5* Nations Cup in Ocala.
“We’ve a huge year ahead with the World Cup Final and the Olympics, and for sure we’ll be looking at both with her but we have to have a conversation about it all. The main thing is to get her to the Olympic Games like she is right now and to try and win a medal! She’s in the prime of her life, she’s got better, she’s got older, and maybe so have I, so I’m delighted!” said Coyle.
If Coyle is named to the Irish team, it’ll be his first Olympic appearance.
Two legs remain in the Western European League. Next stop: Bordeaux, France on Feb 4.