A blink would have missed Ireland’s Daniel Coyle and Ivory TCS in the $226,000 JTWG, Inc. CSIO4* Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon during the IDA Development sponsored Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Week 8 at Wellington International. The 28-year-old stole the win mounted on Dutch-bred Ivory TCS, a 10-year-old mare (Falaise de Muze x Ukato) Coyle owns together with Ariel Grange’s Canadian-based Lothlorien Farm.
Four horses battled for blue in a jump-off speed duel over a course designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA). Returning second, Coyle watched Beth Underhill (CAN) pull two rails and was conscious of fellow Americans Lacey Gilbertson and Mclain Ward packing a double punch of speed behind him.
“I had to leave very little room, give them something to chase, but not leave very much,” he said before stopping the jump-off clock at 38.06 seconds over the short course. “I think I was beatable but there wasn't much of a gap, which was my plan. Ivory is a very fast horse in every jump-off. She might take two extra strides than a big horse, but that doesn’t mean she’s necessarily slower because she does it so fast. I tried to use that today because there were no related distances; it was single fences then turn back and gallop halfway across the track, so I tried to use the quickness that she naturally has to my advantage.”
Gilbertson and Karlin van’t Vennehof gave it a respectable effort, crossing the timers in 39.3 seconds to take second for owner Seabrook, LLC. Ward and Callas, owned by Beechwood Stables, LLC finished third with one rail in the jump-off.
Coyle started his week with all his focus on Sunday’s grand prix. “I wanted to give her a nice easy day in the qualifier. Coming out today I felt like we had a good shot. I told Ariel earlier that it might be our day and I’m thrilled that it was. Everything worked exactly to our plan.”
Ivory TCS was purchased at the 2020 WEF Sport Horse Auction as a seven-year-old and has been climbing the ranks with Coyle. Their most recent successes include a CSI5* 1.50m win in Thermal, CA, and second in the CSI4*-W in Las Vegas, NV.
“She was bought to be sold and I've had a few people try her, but I have to say I’m delighted that she has not gone yet,” admitted Coyle, who was presented as winner of the $226,000 JTWG, Inc. CSIO4* Grand Prix by Jaqui and Travis Gould, and William Harvey of JTWG, Inc.
To close the afternoon, winning groom and Ivory TCS’ caretaker Greg DeBie was honored with the $500 Grooms Award, presented by Double H Farm, by Lenore Brown of Wellington International.Coyle also accepted the Niall Grimes “Sheers” Perpetual Trophy as top money-earning Irish rider during CSIO week at WEF.