Londonderry’s Daniel Coyle has become the first Irish rider to win the five-star Grand Prix of Rotterdam since 1964, after a brilliant performance saw him claim victory aboard Oak Grove’s Carlyle.
Fourteen of the 45 starters made it into the jump-off and six of those had gone clear in the second round when Coyle entered the arena as last to go.
Coyle is always among the favourites when it comes to beating the clock and he was at his brilliant best as he crossed the line clear in 36.69 to take victory.
Kevin Jochems (NED) with Cornetboy took second place in 37.20, while Frenchman Julien Epaillard took third place with Caracole de la Roque (37.49).
Asked about his win, Coyle said he could not quite believe what had happened yet.
“To be honest, we weren’t the most hopeful heading into the competition. With this horse, you don’t really know beforehand what you’re going to get,” he said.
“Last Thursday he did very well so I decided to also ride him in the Grand Prix and he did his very best for me today.”
While a Dutchman may not have won on home turf, the winning combination still had some connection to the Netherlands as Dutch rider Jeroen Dubbeldam used to be Oak Grove’s Carlyle’s rider before Coyle took the reins.
“Jeroen helps me with him and I’m very happy with that. He has taught me to assess the horse more. Jeroen’s help is very valuable to me.”