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Jordan Coyle and Eristov emerge victorious in the Sun Life Derby at the Spruce Meadows 'North American'

Monday, 20 September 2021
CSI5* Spruce Meadows 'North American' 2021

Photo © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk Jordan Coyle and Eristov taking on the bank in the Sun Life Derby to close out the Spruce Meadows 'North American', presented by Rolex. Photo © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk.


Edited press release from Spruce Meadows



The final competition of the Spruce Meadows 'North American' CSI 5*, presented by Rolex, took place on an unseasonably warm and sunny Alberta afternoon. The 1.50m Sun Life Derby is a unique competition which requires a horse with good endurance, as well as the ability to tackle classic obstacles such as the open water, the Devil's Dyke, the bank, and the table top.

Athletes from five different nations took to the course today, and in the end, it was a showdown between the Irishman and the Australian. Jordan Coyle (IRL) and Rowan Willis (AUS) each had two horses in the competition, including Willis' Everse W, whom he previously won this derby with in 2018 and 2019.

Tied after the first round with four faults, Jordan Coyle and Eristov (Cicero Van Paemel x Concorde) as well as Kyle King (USA) and Etalon (Otangelo x Concorde), moved on to a jump-off to battle it out for the spot in the winner's circle. King was first to go, and delivered a clean round with a time of 34.94 seconds. This really put the pressure on Coyle to keep the rails up and his time as short as he could. With what looked liked ease, Coyle cruised the the 350m long course at a great pace and with a strategic track, to finish clean with a time of 32.97 seconds. Third place went to Rowan Willis on Conlando 55 (Conthargos x Lando) with five faults in round one, and the Australian also took fifth place with Everse W (Lexicon x Carthago Z) while Coyle squeezed into fourth with Picador (Lupicor x Concorde).

"The derby is something you take one jump at a time," Coyle explained following his win. He then went on to describe his plans for Eristov for the next year, with a laugh. "He's going to get a little rest, for sure. As I said, Spruce Meadows is his place. He probably won't do very much more, he'll come back here next year... This is his horse show. He won't do anything else, anywhere else."

The Sun Life Derby is a notoriously difficult competition, requiring endurance and bravery from both horses and riders alike. Out of the 723 rounds that this derby has seen since it's inception in 1990, only 24 have gone clear. 


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