World of Showjumping
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A great night to be Daniel as Coyle and Bluman top opening international jumper classes at 2022 WIHS

Friday, 28 October 2022
CSI5*-W Washington International Horse Show 2022

Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography. Daniel Coyle of Ireland rode Legacy to win the first international jumper class of the 2022 WIHS. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.


Press release from Washington International Horse Show



The 2022 Washington International Horse Show continued on Thursday, October 27, at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, where daytime junior hunter competition gave way to the first evening session, featuring the opening international jumper classes during Barn Night, held in partnership with Green Is The New Blue. It was the Irish who struck first as Daniel Coyle and Legacy turned and burned for victory in the $75,000 Welcome Stake, followed by a win for Israel with Daniel Bluman and Ubiluc leading the victory gallop for the $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator class.

“The first class is usually a smaller class, which makes it a little easier for everybody to get introduced to the ring and the crowd, obviously,” remarked Coyle of his first trip around the Show Place Arena. “Sometimes it can be daunting going straight into a big class like that, but it worked out for me tonight.”

Twenty-eight starters represented 10 countries in the star-studded field, where nine combinations managed to jump fault-free across Bernardo Cabral’s (POR) first round track to advance to the jump-off. Katie Dinan (USA) produced the first double clear with Grant Road Partners LLC’s Atika des Hauts Vents in 30.80 seconds. Next in the ring, Coyle shaved more than three seconds off the time, blazing through the timers in 27.42 seconds. Hunter Holloway (USA) and Pepita con Spita, owned by Hays Investment Corp., came the closest with a clear effort in 30.32 seconds, but in the end it was Coyle and Legacy who finished on top. Holloway ended in second, and Dinan was third.

“Actually, the jump-off was only six fences, and an indoor arena is usually quite short,” explained Coyle. “I would say probably the turn back to the double combination and the second to last fence is where it came up good for me.”

Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography. Daniel Coyle and Legacy in their winning presentation with Greg de Bie, WIHS President Vicki Lowell, and ringmaster Steve Rector. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Coyle has had the ride on Legacy for four years. She was purchased with major championship classes in mind, and she’s lived up to those expectations. Last year, Coyle and the 12-year-old Zangersheide mare (Chippendale Z x Bon Ami) made their championship debut at the European Championships with a top 10 finish and were also selected for this year’s World Championships.

“She’s been incredible to me,” said Coyle of the superstar owned by Ariel Grange. “She knows the ropes now, and we’ve sort of gelled together over the last four years, and hopefully we continue to. She’s funny because she’s always trying so hard. At a new place sometimes you’re not sure how much effort she’s going to put in. Her main thing is she doesn’t want to knock the jumps down.”

When you’re the boss mare of the barn, you basically get to do what you want, and Coyle wouldn’t have it any other way.

“She’s very opinionated,” shared Coyle. “My groom, Greg, gets on great with her. Sometimes he’ll leave food sitting where he’s tacking her up, and she’ll take it. She kind of gets away with everything because she wins a lot and she’s a fantastic horse, and nobody ever wants to tell her anything. It’s great because I only need her for an hour a day, so whatever she does in her own time, that’s up to her.”

For his win, Coyle was presented with the Ben O'Meara Memorial Cup.

Bluman and Ubiluc are blessed with a win

Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography. Daniel Bluman and Ubiluc on their way to a win. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Daniel Bluman (ISR) came with a plan, and Ubiluc executed it, to be christened the winners of the $36,600 International Jumper Accumulator class, where riders earn points for each clear fence they jump in the course plus an additional 20 points for the final fence. Bluman and Ubiluc finished with a perfect score of 65 in a lightning-fast time of 41.58 seconds to be presented with the Crown Royal Trophy.

Though Ubiluc was dressed to kill from the start, Bluman needed a little extra push before the course walk to get into character.

“I was going to dress as an Hermés rider, which is normally how I dress every time I compete, and I’m very proud to wear that,” stated Bluman. “I felt like I was out of place before the class when we were going to walk the class, so Baylee McKeever very kindly gave me this priest outfit to wear in tonight’s class.”

McKeever’s divine intervention paid off for Bluman and the 10-year-old Mecklenburg gelding by Ubiko x Lucian. Though he’s normally used to jumping five-star grands prix, Ubiluc looked like a true speed specialist.

“My strategy was to try and turn as tight as I could all over the place and do the leave-outs in the lines,” explained Bluman. “Ubiluc felt really good, and he was responsive from the get-go. I felt like he was looking for the jumps and felt great. The time held up all the way, so I’m very happy with the result.

“Ubiluc is a pretty easy ride, I would have to say,” continued Bluman of the bay owned by Blue Star Investments and Over the Top Stables LLC. “He has personality, and he plays. He’s not a very big horse, so he has to have some personality in order to perform. Today the distances showed up out of the turn, so I didn’t have to pull. I was just going forward the entire way. That’s the name of the game, and it worked out for me tonight.”

Bluman hasn’t set foot in the Show Place Arena since he competed in the Children’s Jumper Finals at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in 2001, but it was nice to be back in a familiar venue with a whole new look.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been here,” noted Bluman. “We’re very happy to have the Washington International Horse Show here. The horses are happy. The ring seems to be in good condition. We have the possibility to attract the best riders in North America and Europe. It’s great, and we have great sport.”

The night was made even better by packed stands of horse enthusiasts, many of which were kids and riders from local barns celebrating and enjoying the Barn Night festivities.

“We always really like when the crowd comes and enjoys the event,” said Bluman. “It’s fun for us. Not that many years ago, I was one of them in the crowd, cheering and watching for the riders that I liked. It’s really cool, and I honestly really like it. It’s good that all the kids were here and made the time to come. They have school tomorrow and still they’re here and supporting until the late hours of the night. We’re very grateful that they show up.”

The best costume award went to the Mother of Dragons, Grace “Khaleesi” Debney of Great Britain and her fearless dragon, Zarina du Vidau.

In this class, a clear round meant more than just a top placing as each fault-free effort raised money for the Jump for a Cure initiative. In the end, $5,000 was donated to the Capital Breast Care Center.

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