The third time was definitely the charm for Ireland’s Daniel Coyle, who took home yet another consecutive Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifier on Sunday, March 17 during Live Oak International in Ocala, Florida.

Riding his mount of less than two months, Incredible, Coyle won the final event of the North American League (NAL), widening his lead in the standings to 75 points—more than 30 points ahead of the next highest-ranked riders, Daniel Bluman (ISR) on 43, and Shane Sweetnam (IRL) on 41.

Much of that gap is thanks to his performances in January of this year, when Coyle took home back-to-back Western European League qualifiers in Leipzig (GER) and Amsterdam (NED) aboard top horse Legacy. With this win in Ocala, Coyle has official made it a hat trick.

“I’ve had a really, really good experience with the World Cup already, but I think this is the first year I’ve ever won three [in one season],” Coyle said. “I’m really, really happy about that.”

Coyle was one of only four competitors in the field of 32 to master Course Designer Olaf Petersen Jr.’s (GER) impressive and tightly connected first-round track. The USA’s Jessica Leto & Cimbura were the first to return for the jump-off course, but added four faults to their total. The same score befell Dermott Lennon (IRL) with Millview Cicero after the gelding slipped before takeoff during a tight turn back to an oxer. Next to go, Olympic Team silver medalist Kent Farrington (USA) & Toulayna earned the first double-clear of the day, stopping the clock at 42.58 seconds.

Last to attempt the shortened course, Coyle had his work cut out for him, and proved he was more than up for the challenge. Making the most of Incredible’s speed across the ground, Coyle set out with intention, opting for an early leave-out in the first line, then a quick slice-and-turn approach at Jumps 3 and 4. In the end, he had more than done enough to secure victory on a time of 30.37 seconds.

“The six [strides] down the first line got very long for me, but that probably made the whole ride faster,” said Coyle, adding that he had not been able to watch any of the other riders in the jump-off before his turn.

“[Incredible] jumped a little high coming in [to the double], and that’s something I need to know going forward. [Then] I was really risky back to the second-last [fence]. Thankfully, he helped me out there, and at the last fence, he gave me a great jump.”

This is the first win and a big one for Coyle and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding previously campaigned by the Netherlands’ Eric Ten Cate. But even in their short time together, the pair have already posted some impressive stats, finishing on the podium in three of their six international rounds together, with a 100% top-10 finish record in three rounds at 1.55m-1.60m (Jumpr App).

When it comes to finding quality horses, it appears Coyle and Lothlorien Farms’ Ariel Grange are two for two with their European-based scout Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED). The Olympic and World Champion—who is also Coyle’s longtime coach and mentor—previously helped to make the match with Legacy, and now seems to have repeated the magic with Incredible. “I have somebody like Ariel [Grange] who can step up and buy the horses and somebody like Jeroen, as a mentor, who can actually find the horses for me,” Coyle said.

Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Incredible – winners of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ NAL 2023/24 – Ocala (USA) ©FEI/Shannon Brinkman

“It’s hard to scout horses when you’re concentrating on riding the horses that you have… We have a really good team right now.

“[Incredible] wasn’t so much in the spotlight. He had already done some Nations Cup [events] and done some really good things, but his rider [Ten Cate] didn’t get the chance to go to the big shows every week,” Coyle said, noting that he first tried the gelding on Dubbeldam’s suggestion.

“Immediately, we saw that he would fit with us, and he could really help Legacy. He has done that and more.”

And if these early results are any indication, Coyle and the grey gelding are likely to have some pretty incredible things on the horizon in years to come. “Every time I go in the ring, I’m finding something new [in Incredible], “ Coyle said.

“It’s good to know that I was a good rider before [I got him], he was a good horse before, and today, I can say that we are also very good together.”