Rare Tie for Leslie Howard and Daniel Coyle | McLain Ward Two for Two at Spruce Meadows Summer Series

A Rare Tie Crowns both Leslie Howard and Daniel Coyle as Champions in the Canadian Utilities Cup


It was a rare result tonight as Leslie Howard (USA) and Daniel Coyle (IRL) are both crowned Champions in the Canadian Utilities Cup.

Broken down to the hundredths of a second meant that both Howard and Coyle would lead the victory gallop in the 1.55m competition arriving simultaneously at 36.44 seconds. It was a great day of sport for fans, athletes and sponsors alike to see such a battle between the 51 horse and rider combinations in their attempt to qualify through an incredibly tough first round of competition for a chance at the jump off. The thrill continued as fans saw Spruce Meadows veteran, the amazing Leslie Howard, arrive at a dead even tie against the 23-year-old Daniel Coyle.

It was clear for the spectators watching, that Howard found her edge at the front half of the jump off round, finding the most efficient way around the winding and delicate track set by Leopoldo Palacios (VEN). A very pleased Howard boasted over her mare, Donna Speciale, and the round, “I thought she was brilliant going from 1,2,3ab,4 – I think at that Intermediate time we were ahead – She was amazing.” Howard continued “I took a wider more cautious approach to the Liverpool. I got a little scared because she can sometimes touch the front rail of the Liverpool – and then I knew I was probably behind, so I just decided to do a ‘Hail Mary’ to the last – and again she was amazing.”

Coyle was behind at the first half of the intermediate time with Tienna, a 9-year-old Canadian Sport Horse mare. Coyle commented, “I had a touch on the first part of the combination of the first round, so going into the jump off I knew there were a few places I may have had to be a bit more cautious of.” He continued, “In the jump off I was a bit slow to one and again I was careful over the double – but from what I felt out there, I knew I could start to get going after that and start to take some chances. I really made up a lot of time over those last four fences.”

Following behind, just a fraction off the pace of the two leaders, was Kent Farrington (USA). Farrington aboard his exciting and talented 10 year-old grey gelding, Dublin, galloped through the finish timers only 0.38 seconds behind for a third place finish. Farrington, very pleased with the overall result said, “Dublin is spectacular. He is ultra – ultra careful and sometimes too careful so there is a very small margin for error.” He continued, “My plan was always to take him to Spruce Meadows because if you can learn to jump here over these impressive fences and learn to be brave then it’s going to pay off in the long run.” When asked where he may have lost the win tonight, Kent explained, “Because Dublin is careful, and still a bit green, he can jump so high sometimes and spend a lot of time in the air – I think that’s where I lost today.”

The Canadian Utilities Cup 1.55m

By The Numbers:

  • 51 Entries
  • 11 Clear Rounds
  • 2 Clear Jumping with Time Faults

Course Stats:

  • Table 238 2.2 (One Jump Off)
  • Designed by Leopoldo Palacios(VEN)

Round One

  • 13 Obstacles
  • 16 Efforts
  • 400m/min Speed
  • 77 Seconds Time Allowed
  • 510m Distance

Jump Off

  • 7 Obstacles
  • 8 Efforts
  • 300m Distance
  • 45 Seconds Time Allowed
Together Leslie Howard and Daniel Coyle hoist the champions hardware with President and CEO of ATCO and Canadian Utilities, Nancy Southern
Together Leslie Howard and Daniel Coyle hoist the champions hardware with President and CEO of ATCO and Canadian Utilities, Nancy Southern

Click here for full results.

McLain Ward Takes Two for Two in the Canada 150 Speed Series

McLain Ward and HH Carlos

The Akita Drilling Cup was the second installment of the Spruce Meadows Canada 150th Anniversary Speed Series hosted on the Meadows on the Green Ring. McLain Ward(USA) riding HH Carlos, once again took the fast track, stopping the clock at 67.18, for another victory leaving him undefeated so far in the series.

The identical ‘Canadiana’ themed course to last week’s ATCO Classic was set today on the Meadows on the Green Ring for another great entry of speedy horse and rider combinations to produce another thrilling competition. The course rode a bit faster this week, with the top three horse-rider combinations coming in under last Sundays’ winning time of 70.61. Ward (USA) commented, “The experience helped. The big thing is that you know what’s coming.”

With many of the same riders entered to compete in the second round of the series, Ward went on to say, “You knew where the horses were strong and weak last Sunday and where you might be able to take a chance. The footing was great last week considering the rain – though it was a bit of a heavy go because of the water; whereas today I think the course rode a little bit quicker across the ground.”

The Akita Drilling Cup saw a podium topped with red, white and blue. As last to go in the competition, Richard Spooner (USA), took the advantage to cross the finish timers at 69.19 to finish second with new partner Urzo Diso, a 9 year-old Selle Francais owned by Gerardo Pasquel.

Finishing third with a time of 70.19 was the great Beezie Madden (USA). She once again rode the impressive Con Taggio, an 8 year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Abigail Wexner. It was also impressive to see the 17 year-old Student of John Madden stables, Madison Goetzmann, arriving to the finish for fourth place after a big win in yesterday’s U25 Canadian Utilities Winning Round.

The Akita Drilling Cup 1.45m
Part of the Canada150 Speed Series

By The Numbers:

  • 42 Entries

Course Stats:

  • Table 239 (True Speed)
  • Designed by Leopoldo Palacios(VEN)
  • 120 Second Time Limit
  • 595m Distance
McLain Ward(USA) hoists the Champions hardware with Ray Coleman, Vice President, Operations at AKITA Drilling
McLain Ward(USA) hoists the Champions hardware with Ray Coleman, Vice President, Operations at AKITA Drillingce 

Click here for full results.

Edited press release: Spruce Meadows

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed