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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Jordan Coyle won the $226,000 Sapphire Grand Prix at Devon

DEVON, Pa.--Ireland's Jordan Coyle on For Gold won the $226,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon in a seven horse jump-off in front of a huge, sell out crowd on Thursday evening, May 30 at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair.

Jordon Coyle on For Gold Oliia AirhartJordon Coyle on For Gold (Photo y Olivia Airhart)Despite having to go second in the jump-off, Coyle laid down such a quick trip that no one could beat him.

Riding For Gold, Coyle finished in 37.45 to win over Lillie Keenan on Kick On, clean in 38.12, with Mark Bluman of Columbia on Ubiloc third in 38.67, the only other clean in the jump-off.

Sarah Segal on Boreale de Foncombe was fourth , four faults in 38,52m Chloe Reid on Crossover 4 was fifth, four faults in 43.89, Mimi Gochman on Inclen BH was sixth, eight faults in 36.54, and Alex Matz on Ikigai was seventh, eight faults in 39.66.

Two of the favorites, McLain Ward on Contagious and Darragh Kenny on VDL Cartello, both on their mounts from the Tokyo Olympics, had a rail down for four faults in the first round to finish ninth and 10th respectively.

"I've had For Gold for about a year," said Cole. "She's been an amazing horse for me. She's won a lot of classes. She's very genuine."

 

"I THINK I won it, probably because I was quite fast to the double combination, and I did eight to the last fence, which was quite far, but when she's galloping her stride is pretty long. It worked out well."

This was Coyle's first time riding at Devon, and he also finished second to Kenny in the Welcome Stake Tuesday evening.

"It's an amazing crowd," said Coyle. "It's the best show in America. Some horses can be distracted by the crowd, but nowadays horses see so much it doesn't bother them."

At Devon on Grand Prix night the crowd is eight to 10 deep right up against the rail, with the fences set right beside the rail in the Dixon Oval.

Irish riders have won all three Open Jumper classes at Devon and have dominated jumping throughout the winter and spring in America.

"To be fair,Irish riders have dominated all over the world," said Coyle. "There are so many good Irish riders now. It's crazy."

With that many top Irish riders, the battle to make the team for the Paris Olympics has been intense.

"I think the team has been pretty much set by now," said Coyle. "It's too controversial for me to say who may make the team. Maybe next time I'll get my chance."

Although, Like Kenny, Coyle has maintained his Irish citizenship and competes for Ireland internationally, he lives in the States.

"My wife Kim has a farm in Central Valley, N.Y., about two hours from Devon," said Coyle. "We have 11 horses there."

Earlier in the day, John French on Paradigm won the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.

French on the 2012 gelding by Carrico led after the first round with a 188.5 going into the handy.

Maintaining his position at the top of the leaderboard, French on Paradigm scored 90.5 + 4 bonus points, and a 91 + 4 bonus points from the two sets of judges for a total handy score of 189.5.

At the end of the two rounds, French had a grand total of 378 points to take the win.

Devon’s 2024 Leading Hunter Rider, Nick Haness, was both second and third on Estimated Prophet and C’est Jolie, respectively.

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