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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

'Incredible' Finish for Daniel Coyle in NAL finale

Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Incredible - winners of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ NAL 2023/24 - Ocala (USA) (Copyright ©FEI/Shannon Brinkman) 

World Cup success is nothing new for Daniel Coyle (IRL), but he reached another milestone Sunday at the Live Oak International (USA) when he topped the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Ocala aboard his exciting new mount, Incredible.

“I’ve had a really, really good experience with the World Cup already, but I think this is the first year I’ve ever won three [in one season],” Coyle expressed, “so I’m really, really happy about that.”

Coyle, a veteran of the 2023 World Cup Finals in Omaha (USA), changed up his routine this year and elected to divide his season between the North American League and Western European League. Aboard his championship mount Legacy, he won WEL legs at both Leipzig (GER) and Amsterdam (NED). He then made it three-in-a-row when returning stateside for the final NAL leg of the season with Incredible, a horse he only started riding in January.

"Every time I go in the ring, I'm finding something new [in Incredible]. It's great that I can find that out while competing at the top of the sport," Coyle said.

"He was incredible before I got him, and it's good to know that I was a good rider before, he was a good horse before, and today I can say that we are also very good together."

Daniel Coyle (IRL)

Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER) set a stiff track in Ocala, characterized by its connectedness and uniquely designed fences. Just four combinations were able to execute a clear round and advance to a competitive jump-off. 

Jessica Leto (USA) and Cimbura returned first with an eye toward putting pressure on the remaining combinations with a clear round, but a rail would fall in the process, placing them on four faults. The same score befell Dermott Lennon (IRL) and Millview Cicero when the horse slipped just before takeoff while turning back tightly on an oxer. 

Always fiercely competitive, Kent Farrington (USA) brought forward the athletic mare Toulayna as the penultimate combination, and the pair executed the first double-clear effort of the day, taking the lead thanks to an efficient track and some impressive turns. 

That left only Coyle to jump, and he had a target to chase. He and Incredible displayed full trust in each other as they dared to gallop at high speed around the short course. They flew through the timers well in front, with a winning time of 30.37 seconds. Farrington settled for second (42.58 seconds), with Lennon third (4/44.05).

“I didn’t get to see anyone else go. The six [strides] down the first line got very long for me, but that probably made the whole ride faster,” Coyle said. “He jumped a little high coming in [to the double], and that’s something I need to know going forward. [Then] I was really risky back to the second-last [fence]. Thankfully, he helped me out there, and at the last fence, he gave me a great jump. I’m delighted.”

Coyle’s mentor, Olympic and World champion Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED) scouted Incredible for Coyle, who was looking to add a horse to his string to support Legacy at the top of the sport. Incredible had produced some nice results with Eric Ten Cate (NED), jumping strong rounds throughout the Longines EEF Series in Drammen (NOR) and Ebreichsdorf (AUT). 

“[Incredible] wasn’t so much in the spotlight. He had already done some Nations Cup [events] and done some really good things, but his rider didn’t get the chance to go to the big shows every week,” Coyle said. “Jeroen said, ‘We should try him.’ Immediately we saw that he would fit with us, and he could really help Legacy. He has done that and more.

"I'm really, really happy," he added. "I have somebody like Ariel [Grange] who can step up and buy the horses and somebody like Jeroen as a mentor who can actually find the horses for me.

"It's hard to to scout horses when you're concentrating on riding the horses that you have...We have a really good team right now."

Daniel Coyle (IRL)

Coyle ends the season atop the NAL standings with 75 points. Daniel Bluman (ISR) sits second with 43 points, while Shane Sweetnam (IRL) has sescured third with 41 points. The 2024 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final takes place 16-20 April in Riyadh (KSA).


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