Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 19, 2017 – Daniel Coyle of Ireland captured the win in the $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by EnTrust Capital, at the Equestrian Village on Sunday morning with a blazing fast speed round on Simba De La Roque, owned by Susan Grange. In a time of 36.28 seconds, the talented combination made it unmanageable for any of the other 14 riders in the jump-off to catch them.
“I would like to have been a little later in the jump-off so I didn’t have to go as fast but thankfully it worked out in the end,” said Coyle. “I’ve been given an amazing opportunity by Sue and Ariel Grange. I came here last year and had nothing and now, all of a sudden, I have all of these horses that have done 5* level classes. I just got very, very lucky.”
The field was narrowed down to 15 horse-and-rider combinations from the original 41 starters. Only four were able to negotiate double-clear rounds on the imposing Richard Jeffery-designed course set on the derby field.
Ailish Cunnifee set the mark with the first double-clear in a catchable time of 46.80 seconds. Two riders later, the time was beat by Coyle leaving the remaining 10 riders the difficult task of beating his time. Hayley Barnhill and Zephire, owned by Barnhill, LLC, came close, tripping the timers in 43.88 seconds with a clear round to earn second place.
“I knew there was no way that I would go as fast as Daniel,” said Barnhill. “I just wanted to jump a clear round and be quick enough and it worked out in my favor. I think everyone was trying to catch him so a nice, smooth clear round worked out.”
Emma Butchard followed Barnhill, leaving all of the rails intact in a slower time of 45.05 seconds for third.
“I’ve had Brasil for a year now and he brought me from the 1.10m to the 1.50m,” said Butchard. “It’s our first time doing a jump-off at 1.45m so we were just trying to go clear. We call him the professor because he teaches me everything. He’s a horse-of-a-lifetime for me so it’s nice.”
Developed as a bridge to the international level of grand prix competition, placing well in the class was key as the top 30 riders in the series standings qualify for the $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Final on Sunday, April 2.
“I was aiming for the class today,” said Coyle. “I really like the U25 series because it gives me a chance to get to the next level with whatever horses that I’m unsure about. It’s a really good class for me to get to know my horses. It’s great for me to be able to jump in these classes.”
$35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix
Place / Rider / Horse / R1 Faults / R2 Faults | Time
1. Daniel Coyle / Simba De La Roque / 0 / 0 | 36.28
2. Hayley Barnhill / Zephire / 0 / 0 | 43.88
3. Emma Butchard / Brasil / 0 / 0 | 45.05
4. Ailish Cunniffe / Casper / 0 / 0 | 46.80
5. Katherine Strauss / All In / 0 / 4 | 38.07
6. Sophie Michaels / MCB Maya / 0 / 4 | 40.696
7. Lauren Fischer / Tosca du Feugre / 0 / 4 | 41.362
8. Lucas Porter / Diamonte Darco / 0 / 4 | 41.397