A Tradition of Champions
A Tradition of Champions
A brilliant performance from Derry’s Daniel Coyle and the 14-year-old mare Legacy saw them take a sensational victory in today’s (Sunday) five-star Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Grand Prix at Leipzig in Germany.
One of 13 combinations to make it into the jump-off, 30-year-old Coyle posted a super-fast second round clear in a time of 31.70 seconds, which saw him secure the winners prize of €47,500. Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs and Commissar Pezi finished as runners-up with a time of 32.13 as last to jump, while fellow Swiss rider Steve Guerdat finished third with Double Jeu d’Honvault.
The result was Coyle and Legacy’s second five-star Grand Prix win in the space of a month after they also proved unbeatable in the London International Grand Prix in December.
“Legacy is like no other horse I’ve ever ridden. Once you ask her to do something, if it’s actually possible she will do it!” commented a delighted Coyle.
Coyle, who is currently ranked 14th in the world and who normally competes in North America, said he is riding on the European circuit this winter as a “training exercise”. When he is in Europe he stays with Dutch Olympic gold medallist Jeroen Dubbeldam who became his coach a year before Legacy came into his life seven years ago.
“Ariel (Grange) bought the mare when she was just turned eight, and Jeroen had her before so he could tell me immediately what she liked and what she didn’t like and what was the best way to go forward with her. She took me to my first championships and I owe so much to her in every way”, the Irishman said of the remarkable horse.
He describes Legacy as “not as simple as some people seem to think she is!”, but he feels very privileged to be her partner and there is an emotional bond between him, this horse and the whole team around them.
“I’m delighted for Jeroen Dubbeldam who found her, delighted that Ariel bought her for me, I’m over the moon – if I wasn’t good enough to steer her then it would be such a shame because she is so good!”
Irish riders have been in brilliant form so far in the 2023/2024 FEI World Cup Grand Prix series on both sides of the Atlantic. Cork’s Shane Sweetnam and James Kann Cruz (ISH), bred in Co Galway by Patrick Connolly, took victory in Lexington (USA) in November. Co Down’s Conor Swail and Count Me In scored a World Cup win in Las Vegas also in November, while in Europe, Sligo’s Richard Howley landed a double of wins in Oslo (NOR) and Helsinki (FIN) with the 12-year-old gelding Consulent de Prelet Z back in October.
The 2023/2024 FEI World Cup Finals will take place in Riyadh (KSA) this April boasting a prize fund of €1.3M.