Daniel drives off in Audi after double success in Kentucky
Super-talented Londonderry showjumper Daniel Coyle was awarded the Leading International Rider of the Year prize at the 136th National Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky after taking two wins and a second with his consistent nine-year-old Irish mare CHS Krooze.
He drove off in an Audi Q7 car, which he will have use of for a year, as part of his prize.
The Kentucky show was a happy hunting ground for local riders as Darragh Kenny claimed the Welcome Stakes with Billy Dorito, and David Blake finished third in the World Cup qualifying round on the former David Simpson horse Keoki.
As Irish riders dominated in Kentucky, Ballyclare veteran Harry Marshall won in Vilamoura, Portugal and young Banbridge pony international John McEntee claimed the FEI Pony Speed trophy in Lyon.
Not only did Coyle and CHS Krooze win the $36,000 (£28,000) Speed class, he also took the $36,000 Accumulator event for the Whitney Stone trophy, beating Lillie Keenan (USA) and Saintfield's Conor Swail on Gamble.
CHS Krooze came to Coyle at the start of the Florida season last year.
"I think now both of us have clicked and know each other well. That's why we are so consistent," said Coyle.
"Every show I take her to she gets better and better. She is pretty amazing at this level. She still impresses me every time I take her into the ring."
Kenny, on Teddy Vlock's Billy Dorito, won the Cavacote Welcome trophy with a fast time of 53.74, which was enough to beat Coyle and CHS Krooze's time of 53.80.
Bertram Allen and Lafayette Van Overis were third in the $135,000 (£104,000) Jumper Class.
Blake, with Keoki, excelled in the $225,000 (£174,000) Longines World Cup class to take a cheque for $34,000 (£26,000) after finishing in third place in an eight-horse jump-off.
There were 40 starters, with eight in the jump-off and four double clears. Eighteen-year-old Brian Moggre won with MTM Vivre Le Reve ahead of Karen Polle and Kino, with Blake taking what was a very creditable third place.
Keoki by Catoki was formerly competed on by Derry's Simpson, who predicts a great future for Blake with the horse.
Simpson, who was the leading showjumper at the recent London Horse of the Year Show, said: "Keoki is a major Championship horse."
Keoki was also seventh in the 1.60m Tryon Grand Prix in the US two weeks ago.
Veteran Ballyclare international Marshall claimed the 1.40m Jump-Off class in Vilamoura with Barcelona from 54 entries, beating Jerome Hurel with Byron du Termin.
Marshall's clear overhauled Hurel on 34.18 and Michel Hecart in third on 34.73.
There were also fourth placings for Marshall and Kingdom Come in the two phase, and a fourth for Dermott Lennon in the 1.30 speed with Absolute Kingsman.
Both Alexander Butler and Michael Pender were able to record runner-up efforts in the 1.40 classes.
Banbridge teenager McEntee scored his first international success at Lyon when he took the CDW Speed trophy from 25 entries with Carrickaduff Pet.
The 11-year-old black mare showed a clean pair of heels to win in 65.21 ahead of Ann Sophie Seidl (Germany) with Berkzicht Bob, clear in 65.35.
Ella Quigley and Barbara O'Reilly Hyland's Rock Dee Jay finished fourth in the main Pony Grand Prix.
Harry Allen also toasted success at Wierden in the Netherlands in the two star ranking class with Izzy by Picobello, which was formerly jumped by his brother Bertram.
The Allen family currently compete from their base in Germany where they purchased Chesney Farm, formerly owned by Cullybackey's Jessica Kurten.
All roads now lead to the Cavan International Show, which begins tomorrow and runs until Sunday, with hundreds of entries booked.