Photo, from left, Joanne Blair (groom to winning horse) John Geraghty and Nia O'Malley from Connolly's RED MILLS with Daniel Coyle and Uptown Girl
Having won the opening round of the H.S.I/Connolly’s RED MILLS Spring Tour at Cavan Equestrian Centre in February, Daniel Coyle and Uptown Girl produced a repeat performance, to win the ninth round of the series at the same venue.
A superb jump-off performance from Coyle and Linzi Johnston’s incredible Concorde sired mare Uptown Girl, saw them take a big slice of the €2,500 on offer from sponsors Cavan Equestrian Centre and in the process Daniel Coyle has jumped to the top of the Spring Tour League table.
Speaking afterward’s, Derry rider Coyle, who has won this series for the last two years said,
“I am delighted to win here at Cavan again, it was a tough course, probably the biggest round of the tour so far, it was close to 1.40m I think. Peter Smyth really put it up to us all, he was really quick and I wasn’t too sure that I could beat him, but Uptown Girl is an incredible mare”.
“I wasn’t sure if I could make it down the last line in five strides but she made it down easily in five in the end. I’m very happy to move back to the top of the league table but it won’t be easy to stay there, this is a very competitive league, next up for me will be the round at Kernans on Sunday”.
A huge field of 74 went to post in the opening round and course builder Stuart Clarke saw 19 make it into the jump-off. Gabriel Tunney set the early pace with Lavish (Limmerick x Golden Cliff), a clear in 41.55 would eventually be good enough for fifth place, just ahead of Jordon Coyle who piloted VDL Cassius (Ard VDL Douglas x Lord Noble) into sixth place.
Zoe McElligot shaved a fraction off Gabriel Tunney’s target to take the lead with the Tara Clover gelding Knockatee Lad (41.50) and she held the lead for quite a while before eventually settling for fourth position.
The competition was set alight by a brilliant clear round from Peter Smyth and Corrib House (Harlequin Du Carel x Cavalier Royale), who posted a super fast time of 36.02 to storm into the lead. James Hogg and Interpreter (Cruising x Diamond Rock), who had won the sixth round of the Spring Tour at Portmore, produced another excellent clear round (39.64) to briefly move into second place at Cavan, just before Daniel Coyle entered the arena.
One of the fastest partnerships in recent years on the national circuit, Coyle and Uptown Girl seemed to go faster and faster as the round went on and after he jumped the second last fence, Daniel Coyle galloped to the last to take over a second and a half off the target, and leave Peter Smyth as runner up.
When he looked at the clock and realized he had won, a delighted Coyle threw his hat in the air in celebration, as victory at Cavan has moved the Derry rider to the top of the league table on 44 points, two ahead of Galway’s Thomas O Brien, with Conor McEneaney close behind in third on 37 points.
The HSI/ Connolly's RED MILLS Spring Tour will host a double bill on the same day next Sunday, Kernan’s Equestrian Centre in Co Armagh will host a round north of the border while in the south, Maryville Stables will also hold a leg of the series in Co Cork.
The Horse Sport Ireland/Connollys RED MILLS Spring Tour, is also supported by the Show Jumpers Club, ShowjumpingIreland, Castlefield Sport Horses, Thermatex, Platinum by Harry Dabbs, Darragh Equestrian Solutions, and Jumpinaction.net.
HSI/ Connolly's RED MILLS Spring Tour - Top Six Following Round Nine at Cavan
Daniel Coyle 44 Points
Thomas O'Brien 42
Conor Mc Eneaney 37
James Hogg 27
Liam O'Meara 25
Sven Hadley 14
Result - H.S.I/Connolly's RED MILLS Spring Tour - Cavan Equestrian Centre Sunday 23/03/2014 - Sponsored by Cavan Equestrian Centre
1st Daniel Coyle/Uptown Girl 0/0 34.36
2nd Peter Smyth/Corrib House 0/0 36.02
3rd James Hogg/Interpreter 0/0 39.64
4th Zoe McElligot/Knockatee Lad 0/0 41.50
5th Gabriel Tunney/Lavish 0/0 41.55
6th Jordan Coyle/VDL Cassius 0/0 41.90
7th Noelle Barry/Norway Venture 0/0 45.98
8th Max O Reeilly Hyland/Dorado 0/0 51.37
9th Frank Curran/New World 0/4 35.81
10th Daryl Walker/Alfurist 0/4 37.59
19 into Jump-Off
Highest Placed Young Rider - Daniel Coyle
Winning Owner - Linzi Johnston
Best Turned Out - Java Kvarnas (Michael White)