Wellington, Fla. – March 13, 2020 – The third and final week of the 2020 Palm Beach Masters Series continued on Friday with the $89,500 Palm Beach Masters Qualifier CSI5*, where Ireland’s Jordan Coyle blazed to victory aboard Eristov to out-pace a field of 56 competitors aiming for Sunday’s $300,000 CSI5* CP Palm Beach Masters Final.
The welcoming speed track created by Ireland’s Alan Wade featured 13-obstacles that included three double combinations. While rails fell across the board, the course eventually yielded 22 clear rounds, with almost 40 percent of the field finishing with all the rails intact. The clear rounds created a true foot race for spots atop the leaderboard, and if athletes wanted to qualify for Sunday’s main event they had to be accurate over each jump.
Fellow Irish athlete Billy Twomey was the first to cross the finish line in under 70 seconds, breaking the beam in 69.62 seconds aboard his own and Sue Davis’ Lady Lou, wearing a target on his back for the remainder of the event.
Twenty-six rounds later, it was Coyle’s chance to tackle the track, and with a new horse, Essenar Crixus, waiting for Sunday’s main event he could put the pedal to the metal aboard his own and Elan Farm’s Eristov. Utilizing the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood’s massive stride, the duo left out strides in several lines and never wasted a second in the air to stop the clock in 67.27 seconds, taking over the lead.
The only other duo to challenge the top spot would be the world’s number one horse and rider combination, Great Britain’s Ben Maher riding his own, Charlotte Rossetter and Pam Wright’s Explosion W. They also left all the fences intact, finishing in a time of 68.63 seconds to take over second place while Twomey would place third.
Coyle was thrilled to capture the win with Eristov, admitting that they have had a few hiccups to get to this point. While they do not usually aim for speed wins, Coyle knew that he could trust the horse on the large, open field and use the gelding’s stride to his advantage. The decision paid off and Coyle now hopes to use his talented veteran partner in more speed events
On Sunday, Coyle will return to the Palm Beach Masters at Deeridge Farms for the highlight event, the $300,000 CSI5* CP Palm Beach Masters Final, kicking off at 1:30 p.m. in the Grass Arena, where he will be aboard Essenar Crixus.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Jordan Coyle – $89,500 Palm Beach Masters Qualifier CSI5* winner
On his win:
“It wasn’t part of the plan with him, we’ve had a few hiccups with him. This wouldn’t normally be his class, the grand prix would be his class, but just with everything that happened I thought I should try and win. I came here this week and jumped the 1.45m yesterday and went fast, which was something I never would do with him, and then also today. I think after doing it it’s something I should do more often. He enjoyed it. I am delighted.”
On 22 clear rounds:
“That’s a lot. I am scared for the grand prix. Twenty-two clear for Alan Wade is a lot, that’s a lot of clears for him. It was a speed class so he couldn’t build it up big. It was only the qualifier. I enjoyed it, it was good for me.”
On his plan with Eristov:
“The horse has a massive stride. For example, from fence three to fence four it is five strides, but for him it’s four strides quite normal. He just has a massive stride, so on a field like this with the jumps set like this it’s perfect. I did watch Billy and I didn’t even think Billy was going that fast. I couldn’t believe that no one had gone faster! But it is only the qualifier. At Spruce Meadows that horse is one of the best in the world. The field plays well to him. He loves grass and he loves when you can leave out strides, it’s just easier for him. To do the right numbers all the time, that’s when you get caught up with him. I think today he felt free. When you are doing the right numbers with him it takes a lot of control, and I don’t have much control of him most of the time. So today to not have to control it was nice. I will try it more now.”
$89,500 Palm Beach Masters Qualifier CSI5*:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Faults | Time
1. Eristov / Jordan Coyle / IRL / 0 | 67.27
2. Explosion W / Ben Maher / GBR / 0 | 68.63
3. Lady Lou / Billy Twomey / IRL / 0 | 69.62
4. Gun Powder / Bertram Allen / IRL / 0 | 69.98
5. Cosa Nostra / Alberto Michan / ISR / 0 | 70.78
6. With Wings / Karen Polle / JPN / 0 | 70.96
7. Paloma / Lauren Hough / USA / 0 | 72.01
8. Classic Dream / Darragh Kenny / IRL / 0 | 72.50
9. Davidoff de Lassus / Zoe Conter / BEL /0 | 74.11
10. HH Conrad / Quentin Judge / USA / 0 | 74.70
11. Carmen / Jens Baackmann / GER / 0 | 74.71
12. Mr Visto / Lauren Tisbo / USA / 0 | 75.06