Third Time’s the Charm for Daniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna in $100,000 Grand Prix de Penn National CSI3*

© Taylor Renner: Daniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna
Daniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna raced to victory in the $100,000 Grand Prix de Penn National CSI3* to conclude the 2016 Pennsylvania National Horse Show.

Harrisburg, Pa. ­– Oct. 22, 2016 – After placing second in every FEI class thus far this week, 21-year-old Daniel Coyle, native to County Derry, Ireland, pulled off his first Pennsylvania National Horse Show title on the final day of the event in the $100,000 Grand Prix de Penn National CSI3*, presented by the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund. Coyle rode Fortis Fortuna, owned by Susan and Ariel Grange, to a double-clear performance to claim the win in 33.63 seconds.

“I wasn’t very happy the first two nights with Leslie beating me but tonight was the big night and I wanted to do everything I could to win,” said Coyle. “I had a great show and I couldn’t be happier. That’s show jumping. One day you’re on top of the world and the next day you’re not. I just was concentrating on myself tonight and hoping that I could do it. I wasn’t overly sure with the mare if she was fit to handle that big of a track, but I’m over the moon with her.

© Taylor Renner: Daniel Coyle and Fortis FortunaDaniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna

“Leslie’s been very mean to me,” laughed Coyle. “She’s been after me for a while. I’m delighted tonight. I want to thank Susan and Ariel Grange for giving me this chance to get out here and have such good horses. It’s been hard work for me, but I have to thank them for everything because they’re the people that gave me the chance to be here.”

Twenty-three exhibitors went head-to-head over the Bernardo Costa Cabral-designed first-round course, where horses and athletes were tested over 13 1.50m obstacles around sharp bending lines, an oxer-vertical-oxer triple combination, a vertical-vertical double combination as well as multiple wide oxers.

Ten jumped clear to advance to the jump-off, and it was Ilan Bluman (COL) and Ladriano Z, the youngest horse competing in Saturday’s international competition at just 8 years old, owned by Blue Star Investments, who kicked things off in the tiebreaker. The pair set the bar high for the rest of the remaining athletes, posting the first double-clear finish in 36.13 seconds and eventually taking home third place honors.

© Taylor Renner: Ilan Bluman and Ladriano Z
Ilan Bluman and Ladriano Z

“I’m really happy,” said Bluman. “The first day I had one down. I knew that I was going to be clear today. My horse is big and very young. It’s his first time competing in an indoor but look at me, I’m here! It’s my third time qualifying for a grand prix so I’m really happy.”

Christine McCrea (USA) was the first U.S. rider to jump clear over the short course aboard Candy Tribble’s Nektarina B in 37.88 seconds, which was just one second too slow to catch Bluman and good enough for fourth place by the end of the night.

© Taylor Renner: Christine McCrea and Nektarina BChristine McCrea and Nektarina B

Callan Solem (USA) and Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC’s VDL Wizard, Solem’s 2016 Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Final of Gothenburg and Olympic shortlist mount, showcased their experience and speed in a small indoor arena, crossing the finish line in 35.44 seconds to take over Bluman’s top spot. Yet their time would prove to only be enough for second place honors in the end.

“I was really pleased with him today,” said Solem. “He felt great. He felt like the jumps could’ve been a foot bigger. He just is a great horse. I’m so fortunate to have him. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and to get to do it on a horse like that is remarkable and really special for me. I’ve had a lot of generous horses but never one as capable as Wizard so I’m having a great time.

© Taylor Renner: Callan Solem and VDL Wizard
Callan Solem and VDL Wizard

“Before the shortlist I was trying to compile this resume of clear rounds,” continued Solem. “There’s a lot of metrics involved with the selections so I was really just logging in the clear rounds and now that that’s passed I feel like I can try to win a class and try to be a little more aggressive. He certainly now has the indoor mileage. He was so, so great at Gothenburg. I really know him well now. So much of what we do as riders, putting a program together for them, is trial and error so I’m excited because I feel like he told me today that some of the choices that I’ve made for him have been good and that means more to me than any ribbon, but it was nice to be second.”

Katherine Dinan (USA) and Dougie Douglas, owned by Grant Road Partners LLC, followed in Solem’s tracks and jumped faultlessly in 38.26 seconds, garnering them fifth place in the final standings.

© Taylor Renner: Katherine Dinan and Dougie Douglas
Katherine Dinan and Dougie Douglas

Coyle and Fortis Fortuna, an 11-year-old Belgium Warmblood mare, were the final athlete and horse combination to complete the shortened track with no faults to their name, outpacing all of those who went clear before them as well as besting Solem’s time by two full seconds.

“He blew us away!” laughed Solem. “It wasn’t even close! He didn’t edge me out, he just trashed us didn’t he?! I was thrilled with Wizard though obviously.”

“I saw Ilan’s ride and it was very good and fast,” said Coyle. “To be honest, I wasn’t sure where I was going to be faster. I missed Callan’s round unfortunately but I knew it must’ve been very good and fast as well. I just went in and had a plan to be as fast as I could be and if that was good enough to win then that was good enough, and if it wasn’t then that was all I could do.

“I got Fortis Fortuna in Spruce Meadows and she was brilliant there,” contiued Coyle. “Last week at Split Rock I jumped the grand prix on her and that was my first time stepping her up. She was very good there as well and I’m starting to believe she could do that more than just once every now and again. She’s a great horse and I’m delighted to have her.”

© Taylor Renner: Daniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna
Daniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna

After a very successful show jumping career in Europe, Coyle made the decision to move overseas and, through some helpful connections, found himself riding for Lothlorien Farms, owned and operated by Susan and Ariel Grange, of Caledon, Ontario, with fellow Irishman Conor Swail. With the support of Lothlorien Farms, Coyle had a stellar first summer competing all over the U.S. and Canada, winning at Spruce Meadows, Thunderbird Show Park and the Split Rock Jumping Tour as well as winning the $25,000 U.S. Open Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 FEI Grand Prix with Fortis Fortuna at the Central Park Horse Show in September. However, as Swail recently announced that he is amicably parting ways with longtime partner Lothlorien Farms, who owned a handful of Swail’s top 5* grand prix horses such as Lansdowne and Martha Louise, the question is whether or not Coyle will now be the one to take over Swail’s rides.

“I’m sure I’ll be riding ones that Conor has rode,” said Coyle. “We haven’t made a plan about what is actually going to happen, but I know I will be getting a few of Conor’s horses but I couldn’t say for sure I’ll get them all.”

In the meantime, moving forward with his current mounts, Coyle plans to compete in the U25 classes at The Royal Agricultural Fair in Toronto before going on a break and competing in Florida at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival.

As for Solem, she will continue to focus on moving up in the World Ranking List in hopes of once again competing in the Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Finals in Omaha, Nebraska, in March 2017.

“The World Ranking List is obviously really important as it’s how you get into these shows,” said Solem. “It’s been a really hard thing for me. Wizard’s the only horse that I have at that level so I have to try to make really good choices. He’s my horse for Washington and Kentucky. He’s going to show for three weeks in a row, which wouldn’t be my first choice, but he’ll have a break after and he had a break before. I would love to try to qualify for the World Cup finals again. I didn’t get in to Toronto to do the World Cup qualifier there so I was disappointed about that, but I’ll do Washington and Kentucky and target those classes with him there and try to have a good result. This was our dress rehearsal. I’ll do that and then he’ll rest a little bit and we’ll head to Florida.”

© Taylor Renner: Katie Cox and Hocus Pocus VH Hof Ter Heide
Katie Cox and Hocus Pocus VH Hof Ter Heide

Earlier in the afternoon, the $20,000 U25 Jumper Classic went to Katie Cox and Hocus Pocus VH Hof Ter Heide, owned by KLC Investment Group, LLC. They secured the top prize with a double-clear effort in 26.64 seconds to outpace the jump-off field of five. Hunter Holloway and Hays Investment Corp.’s VDL Bravo S took second place honors in 27.24 seconds, while Lucy Deslauriers and Hamlet, owned by Lisa Deslauriers, rounded out the top three in 25.41 seconds as the fastest of the 4-faulters. Holloway was also awarded the U25 Jumper championship for her top finishes throughout the week, while Cox grabbed reserve champion honors.

“This has been amazing,” said Cox. “I’ve only ever done Prix des States here. I haven’t been back since my junior years, which was four years ago. So to come back here and be reserve champion and win the classic is awesome. It’s a great feeling.”

© Taylor Renner: Hunter Holloway and VDL Bravo S
Hunter Holloway and VDL Bravo S

“It’s an honor to win the championship here,” said Holloway. “It’s such a privilege and it’s such a cool horse show to come and be able to say you were champion at. It’s my first time actually being champion here. It’s a very big honor. This is such an historic horse show and the whole team behind me is amazing. It takes a village and I have a really good one between my mom, Don Stewart Stables, Serenity Ridge Farm, Rozanne Holloway — they’re all great.”

Results: $100,000 Grand Prix de Penn National CSI3*, presented by the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund

1 30 FORTIS FORTUNA Daniel Coyle (IRL) Susan & Ariel Grange 0 72.05 0 33.63
2 28 WIZARD Callan Solem (USA) Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC 0 73.23 0 35.44
3 50 LADRIANO Z Ilan Bluman (COL) Blue Star Investments 0 73.63 0 36.13
4 98 NEKTARINA B Christine McCrea (USA) Candy Tribble 0 74.86 0 37.88
5 92 DOUGIE DOUGLAS Katherine A. Dinan (USA) Grant Road Partners LLC 0 72.74 0 38.26
6 48 SHORAPUR Kevin Babington (IRL) Shorapur LLC 0 72.86 4 34.65
7 117 LE CONTE Andrew Kocher (USA) Andrew Kocher 0 73.00 4 36.70
8 120 ARISTOTELES V Jonathan McCrea (USA) Candy Tribble 0 75.29 4 38.42
9 15 THORNHILL KATE Laura Chapot (USA) Laura Chapot 0 70.42 8 37.15
10 29 DIXSON Ian Millar (CAN) Susan & Ariel Grange 0 71.49 8 37.38
11 49 BACARA D’ARCHONFOSSE Daniel Bluman (COL) Daniel Bluman 4 69.45
12 77 ALDINE Jordan MacPherson (CAN) Sved Stables 4 71.13

Results: $20,000 U25 Jumper Classic

1 60 HOCUS POCUS VH HOF TER HEIDE Katie Cox (USA) KLC Investment Group, LLC 0 71.13 0 26.64
2 87 VDL BRAVO S Hunter Holloway (USA) Hays Investment Corp. 0 67.87 0 27.24
3 68 HAMLET Lucy Deslauriers (USA) Lisa Deslauriers 0 66.71 4 25.41
4 55 WHATEVER RV Mattias Tromp (USA) Beyaert Farm Inc 0 66.83 4 26.05
5 22 ATTENTION ET Z Callie Smith (USA) Smithfield Farms, LLC 0 70.68 4 26.37
6 26 SO LIVE HELAU Keely Mc Intosh (USA) Jenny Booth 4 67.44
7 45 ARWEN Christina Firestone (USA) M/M Bertram Firestone 4 67.46
8 88 CASSEVEL Hunter Holloway (USA) Hays Investment Corp. 4 70.03
9 19 PYRENES DE LOUZES Cassandra Kahle (CAN) Redfield Farm 4 70.13
10 46 EMILOU HARRIS Christina Firestone (USA) M/M Bertram Firestone 4 70.29
11 35 TOSCANE DE L’ISLE Sydney Shulman (USA) Jill Shulman 8 68.49
12 57 HUCKLEBERRY Coco Fath (USA) Hillside Farm LLC 8 68.90

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