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Coyle is ecstatic after qualifying for first World Cup showpiece

 

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Daniel Coyle

Daniel Coyle

�INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Daniel Coyle

Londonderry showjumper Daniel Coyle galloped to victory in Ocala, Florida to secure his ticket to the Longines FEI World Cup final in Las Vegas next month.

There were 32 starters in the Live Oak $100,000 (£78,000) FEI World Cup qualifying round, with eight making it through to the jump-off.

Last to go, Coyle steered 10-year-old Farrel to record the fastest clear in 37.07 to clinch victory and automatically qualify for his first ever final, which takes place from April 15-19.

Coyle said: "Everything was going great until that little slip around the last turn. I thought I had lost it and was wondering if I could still catch the girls.

"Both Margie Engle and Adrienne Sternlicht have fantastic horses and are fantastic riders. The plan was to come to Live Oak International with the hopes of qualifying for the final and this win has done that for us.

"Farrel is a very small horse, he does not have as big a jump as most, but he believes he's the best. Belief overdoes talent."

US rider Margie Engle and Dicas took second on 37.37.

Carrickfergus rider Christopher Megahey, meanwhile, recorded two runner-up placings at Valencia Horse Show, while Alex Duffy was runner-up in the Grand Prix and Eoin McMahon won the Grand Prix in Braunschweg, Germany.

Ballyskeagh's Dermot Lennon and Jonathan Smyth from Victoria Bridge excelled in Spain and are aiming for Balmoral in May.

Belfast Telegraph