For Gold and Jordan Coyle Can’t Be Caught in Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 9

Jordan Coyle & For Gold, winners of the $116,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 9. Photo by Sportfot

Edited Press Release

Ireland’s Jordan Coyle proved a need for speed in the jump-off for the $116,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 on Thursday. He topped a list of eight short-course challengers, winning aboard For Gold, owned by Falkirk Farm, during Wellington International’s Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). WEF 9 features the $385,000 Bainbridge Companies CSI5* Grand Prix during ‘Saturday Night Lights’ on March 9.

After a podium finish in the WEF 5 five-star with For Gold, Coyle piloted the13-year-old Holsteiner gelding (For Fashion x Heraldik) to win this week’s grand prix qualifier with seconds to spare. Over tracks built by course designer Alan Wade (IRL), 31-year-old Coyle bested current leader Kendra Claricia Brinkop (BEL) in a winning time of 36.29 seconds.

Brinkop settled for second in her debut week at WEF riding In Time for owner Stephex Stables. Their time clocked in at 38.34 seconds. Ireland bookended the podium with Olympian Cian O’Connor taking third in the irons of Coolmore Showjumping’s Fancy de Kergane in 39.32 seconds.

Kendra Claricia Brinkop & In Time. Photo by Sportfot

Coyle’s jump-off round was ground-eating and quick, but he admits the gelding’s speed has been a long time coming. “It doesn’t feel that fast, but he’s so naturally quick now,” said Coyle of the gelding he added to his string one year ago. “He started off quite a slow horse, but not anymore.

“I have to thank [For Gold’s] home rider Dermott Lennon for that,” continued Coyle. “Since he started with the horse, he has turned inside out; he’s just a completely different horse in four or five months. Without Dermot Lennon, I would never have got the horse to this stage.”

Cian O’Connor & Fancy de Kergane. Photo by Sportfot

Wade’s jump-off course offered sweeping turns and long gallops, a perfect recipe for Coyle’s success. “I won my first five-star grand prix when Alan was building, and I think he’s one of the only course builders that—if you look down the score card—there’s 90% four-faulters. Alan’s the best in my opinion.”

Jordan Coyle & For Gold are presented as winners of the $116,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 by Chelsea Buttermore, Senior Equine Event Manager. Photo by Sportfot

When asked about For Gold’s recent success at the top level, Coyle noted, “It was always a dream to have a horse like this, and literally it was only a dream until my wife [Kim] bought him, so I have to thank her for that.”

The day started with a clean sweep of the podium for the home country with Cathleen Driscoll (USA) taking top call in the $32,000 Dodd Technologies CSI5* 1.45m aboard Donald Stewart’s Flotylla. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) finished second riding Bull Run’s Hesed, and third went to Laura Kraut (USA) on Calgary Tame, owned by Stars and Stripes.

Cathleen Driscoll & Flotylla, winners of the $32,000 Dodd Technologies CSI5* 1.45m. Photo by Sportfot

Also, taking a blue in the International Arena, Lacey Gilbertson (USA) topped the $32,000 Helgstrand Jewellery CSI2* 1.45m Qualifier aboard LouLou MPSZ, owned by Seabrook, LLC. Beezie Madden (USA) finished second riding Hummer Z for owner Abigail Wexner, and Great Britain’s Jessica Mendoza rounded out the podium on her own Summerhouse. Two-star competition comes to a peak on Saturday afternoon with the $62,500 Helgstrand Jewellery CSI2* Grand Prix.

Lacey Gilbertson & LouLou MPSZ, winners of the $32,000 Helgstrand Jewellery CSI2* 1.45m Qualifier. Photo by Sportfot