by Catie Staszak
Jordan Coyle (IRL) recorded the biggest win of his career when he topped a two-horse jump-off with Eristov to win the $1,910,000 (~$100,000 U.S. dollars) Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Leon, the newest leg on the North American League.
Coyle, 25, and the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding had the disadvantageous position of having to jump first over Anderson Lima’s (BRA) shortened track at the Leon Equestrian Club. However, after crossing the timers in 40.37 seconds, they put the pressure on Salvador Onate (MEX) and Big Red, who were fresh off a win in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Guadalajara just two weeks prior. That pair settled for second with their 41.96-second clear round. Federico Fernandez (MEX) and Davidoff finished third, having recorded just a single time fault in the first round.
“My horse is naturally very fast,” Coyle said. “Going first, I wasn’t sure what to do, as I’m new to Mexico [and this show circuit]. I went as fast as I could go, and it worked.”
Clear rounds were hard to come by in the first round, as Coyle didn’t crack the code to a faultless performance until more than halfway through the class. Even an increase in the time allowed from 79 to 81 seconds only benefited Onate; Coyle was the only competitor to jump the first round cleanly and within the original time allowed.
“On a day like this, I don’t think that there are many horses in the world that are as good as him,” Coyle said. “This is without a doubt my biggest win so far.”
One More Chance
The race for points and qualification for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, will come down to the wire.
The west coast sub league has officially concluded, and Richard Spooner (USA) leads the standings with 49 points. Eve Jobs (USA) is hot on his heels with 48 points, and Nayel Nassar (EGY) sits in third with 46 points after prevailing in World Cup competition at both Thermal (USA) and Las Vegas (USA).
Beezie Madden (USA) leads the east coast standings with 58 points, but as the reigning World Cup Final Champion, she automatically qualifies. That leaves Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) in strong position with 55 points, just three behind Madden. Wilhelm Genn (GER), McLain Ward (USA), and Laura Kraut (USA) follow closely behind the top two with 47, 45, and 42 points, respectively.
There’s just one more chance for riders to punch their tickets to Gothenburg. The 2018-2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League comes to a close with its final qualifier at Live Oak, Ocala. Part of the east coast sub league, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Ocala gets underway 10 March 2019.
1. Eristov, Jordan Coyle (IRL) 0/0 40.37
2. Big Red, Salvador Onate (MEX) 0/0 41.96
3. Davidoff, Federico Fernandez (MEX) 1 83.94
Full results can be viewed here.
Watch highlights here
Standings for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League — West Coast can be found here.
Standings for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League — East Coast can be found here.
Jordan Coyle (IRL) – 1st
“[Eristov] steered [today], which has been his biggest problem. The jumps were always unbelievable, and sometimes gets nervous and is hard to steer, but today he was just unbelievable.”
Salvador Onate (MEX) — 2nd
“Big Red is a super horse. Today, I was very happy to be clear in the first round. When I walked it, I knew it was a super nice but difficult course. I was thrilled to be in the jump-off.”
“My horse and I have grown with time. He believes in me, and I believe in him. Hopefully, we keep doing this for a long time.”
Federico Fernandez (MEX) — 3rd
“My horse jumped unbelievably. When you have a time fault, it’s not the horse’s fault. I rode a little bit slowly. I couldn’t be happier with my horse.”