Daniel Coyle is a Man With (Well Executed) Plans
Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Legacy, winners of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto, Canada, November 12, 2022. Photo by FEI/Mackenzie Clark
The partnership of Daniel Coyle and his championship mount Legacy has been a tale of two objectives.
They have certainly aimed high. The accomplished pair finished among the top 10 individually at the 2021 European Championships (GER) before earning a team bronze medal at the FEI World Championships at Herning (DEN).
This year, Coyle leads the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League, thanks to wins at both Toronto (CAN) and Fort Worth (USA), both with Legacy (and one other runner-up finish in Las Vegas with Ivory TCS). His eyes are set firmly on the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals in Omaha (USA) in April.
It's a focus that has evolved and changed in the more than five years that he has developed the mare, since Ariel Grange purchased her as an 8-year-old from Jeroen Dubbeldam, who continues to work with the pair.
"With Legacy, I've always tried to go to championships, like the Europeans and the World Championships, and I've done that," Coyle said following his World Cup win in Fort Worth. "Now, I'm going to try to get some [Grand Prix] results."
Indeed, the World Championships and World Cup have very different formats. The opening round of the World Cup Finals is held in a Table C, or faults converted format, and the second round Is a Table A jump-off, similar to a standalone Grand Prix. Speed is more of the essence than at the World Championships, which is conducted with similarity to a Nations Cup.
"I can ask her to do a whole lot more than in previous years. She’s actually quite quick now," Coyle said. "I knew how to go quick, but it was cool for me to learn how to go quick on her. Now, she’s very, very quick in the jump-off."
Do the numbers support this change in focus? Indeed, they do.
In 2020 and 2021, Coyle and Legacy averaged 5.34 faults and a finish position in the top 23. In 2022, their average faults has improved to just 3.44 faults and a finish position in the top 19.
Put into words, they're having fewer time faults, faster jump-offs and better finishes. The change is noticeable. From January 2021 through the 2022 World Championships (Aug. 2022), Legacy won three classes, all at the CSI3* level. In just five shows since the World Championships (Oct.-Dec. 2022), the pair has recorded four victories, all at the CSI4* and CSI5* levels. Legacy earned more than $405,000 last year.
It's also worth noting Legacy's overall development. The mare is now incredibly balanced: In 2021, 66.67% of her faults came off the right lead. In 2022, she was even-leaded, with faults coming equally off both the left and right leads (47.37%). Last year at 1.60m, she finished in the top three more than 44% of the time.
Achieving goals now in two distinct areas, Legacy has proven herself well-rounded, and there's no clear weakness in this mare, a testament to her team. It comes as no surprise that Coyle and Legacy are among the top 12 combinations in the world.
"She's an amazing horse for me, for Ariel and [our] team," Coyle said.
Follow Daniel Coyle and Legacy at Prixview.com.