By Randolph PR for Pennsylvania National Horse Show
For the second year in a row, victory in the Pennsylvania National Horse Show’s Friday night grand prix belonged to Christian Coyle. This time, the Irish rider topped the $30,000 Alltech/Lifeforce 1.30m Grand Prix, held on October 21, aboard Locato van het Kapelhof.
Coyle and the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding were one of 14 entries from the 30-horse field to advance to the Anderson Lima-designed short course. When Coyle returned to the Harrisburg Coliseum as the 10th to jump-off, Alex Granato and Indio had set the time to beat 35.52 seconds, but Coyle made short work of it. He and Locato van het Kapelhof, stopped the clock in a lightning fast 33.75 seconds that would hold up for the win. Granato held on to second place with Indio, owned by Reanna Stahl, and Laura Chapot and Gideon, owned by Mary Chapot, rounded out the top three with a time of 35.75 seconds.
“I just got [Locato van het Kapelhof] back off lease two or three weeks ago,” said Coyle of the horse that he owns with Helen Litt. “He’s a lovely horse; he’s naturally fast if you can stay out of the way and not make too many mistakes.”
Coyle and “Locato” came into Friday night having already won Wednesday evening’s $10,000 1.30m Speed and having finished third in Thursday’s $15,000 1.30m Welcome. The combination of their top results throughout the week also earned them the 1.30m Jumper Championship, for which they were presented with a gift from Vibershield and the William J. Cawley and Brian G. Cawley Perpetual Memorial Trophy, donated by Lauren Cawley and Jump PVC. Coyle was also named the 1.30m Jumper Leading Rider.
“I think this is a brilliant show; it was lucky for us!” said Coyle, who made his first visit to the PNHS last year and is now two-for-two on 1.30m grand prix victories at the venue.
For full results of Friday’s jumping competition, visit pnhs.showmanagementsystem.com.
Also earning a championship tricolor on Friday was Amateur Jumper Champion Christina Webb.
Much like Coyle, Webb and Fox View Farm’s FVF Sailor Man topped Friday’s $10,000 Amateur Jumper Classic for the second year in a row before also claiming the championship. For the win in Friday’s finale amateur class, Webb received the Otis R. Dodson Perpetual Trophy, donated by the PNHS.
“It’s always an honor to show here and ride here,” said Webb. “[Since we won last year] it felt like extra pressure, but it all came together. It feels amazing; I wasn’t so sure it was going to happen, but we managed to pull it off!
“I always ask [FVF Sailor Man], ‘Is this it Oliver? Do you think you’ve had enough?’ because he owes me absolutely nothing,” continued Webb in speaking of the 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. “I’ve had him his whole life. I tell him every day how special he is. That’s why it’s extra special too.”