Coyle thrilled to kick off 2020 in style with double Florida success
It was a double New Year celebration in sunny Florida for Londonderry showjumper Jordan Coyle, who excelled in two major classes - including the Grand Prix - at the Palm Beach International Horse Show.
Not only did Coyle scoop the $50,000 (£38,000) Equiline Grand Prix in a four-horse jump-off, he earlier claimed first and second in the $10,000 (£7,600) Equiline Open Stakes.
Coyle clinched the Grand Prix with Elan Farm's Essenar Crixus from 45 entries with a winning round in 40.38, beating Lebanese rider Wilhelm Genn with Oh Van Gogh, who went clear in 40.76.
A delighted Coyle said: "Essenar Crixus has just turned 10. I've had him for about five months and am still getting to know him. He should be able to do some bigger classes and be very competitive. He's definitely fast enough."
Coyle added that he was fortunate as he was last to jump.
"I got to watch everyone. I thought I was a lot faster than Wilhelm so I slowed down to the very last jump, which nearly caught me. It was a lot closer than I thought," he added.
Coyle took first in the Open Stakes on Elan Farm's Picador after going clear in 33.31, beating his own score of 33.53 on Essenar's Crixus.
Meanwhile, Lisburn's Olympic three-day event rider Clare Abbott will be on the guest panel for the forthcoming 'Take on Tokyo' fundraising tour in support of the Irish team's preparation and participation in the Olympics.
Abbott will join fellow senior long-listed riders including Cathal Daniels, Padraig McCarthy, Joseph Murphy, Sarah Ennis and Sam Watson for the tour in Maryville, Cork on February 7, Ravensdale near Newry on February 8 and Spruce Lodge, Wicklow on February 9.
Ulster event riders will gather at the La Mon House on Wednesday, January 22 for their AGM Northern Region where the guest speaker is world team and individual silver champion Padraig McCarthy.