Photo FEI/Ashley Neuhof

Ireland’s Daniel Coyle has earned the first World Cup qualifier victory of his young career at the $220,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping in Wellington, USA.

Amazing feeling

The 23-year-old produced one of only five clears, out of 40 starters, around the technical track. He was joined by USA’s McLain Ward, two-time Olympic gold-medalist Laura Kraut and 17-time World Cup Finals veteran Margie Engle, as well as Israel’s Danielle Goldstein.

Second to go, Daniel jumped clear once again with Cita and set an unbeatable standard of 34.79sec. Laura Kraut made a valiant run at his time with Confu, but had to settle for second with a time of 35.14sec. Marie and her long-time partner Royce finished third in 35.30sec.

“It’s an amazing feeling to beat any one of these two women, and everybody in that jump-off,” said Daniel, who is now based in Ontario, Canada. “It never makes it any easier when the riders are as good as they were. I saw Margie’s round and thought that was going to be tough to beat, let alone McLain and Laura after me.”

Top ranked riders

Eight of the top 20-ranked American riders in the World Cup North American east coast sub league competed in Wellington. McLain is currently at the top of the leaderboard, after placing fifth in Wellington on HH Callas. However, he automatically qualifies for the final, based on his victory in last season’s competition.

Following his win, Daniel now ranks 10th and he may now consider competing at the final stop on the North American League in Ocala, Florida on Sunday 18 March 2018.

You can watch FEI World Cup Jumping 2017/2018: Wellington online at Horse & Country TV and Amazon VideoIt’s also available to watch on Sky 253.