Any horse person will tell you the old expression “the best laid plans gang aft awry” is never more true than with horses. And Daniel Coyle can attest to that following his win with Jasper in Thursday morning’s CSI2* Cabana Coast Qualifier 1.45m speed class at Thunderbird Show Park to come out ahead in the field of 59 starters by nearly two full seconds.
The class marks the 9-year-old gelding’s FEI debut and while they won, it didn’t go quite as Coyle intended.
“Nothing went according to plan,” he laughed following the presentations. “The first line and the triple bar also [as the first fence] when they’re a little green and it’s a speed class, they can either jump it very well or not at all—and usually both ways clear it.
“Jasper didn’t really cover the ground to the second fence so I had to do one more stride there and then I was very tight back on the third fence, which left me very dead and slow. I had to do an extra stride…and then I knew I was a few strides behind, so I took some risks on some of the roll backs and I think that’s where I caught it. It was never in a straight line that made me win today.”
Purchased by Ariel Grange as a 5-year-old, Jasper is new to Coyle having been brought along by Hyde Moffatt and Brady Hayes before taking an unplanned vacation during the covid pandemic. Coyle’s philosophy is to teach his young horses to go slowly and relaxed before learning to run and jump — because generally going faster is the easier part.
“Jasper needs to learn to be faster. But he also is not very good at being slow and lazy. So I start there and if I can get him to achieve that, he’ll learn the quick thing pretty quick,” he explained.
“I feel like if I can use my experience to make him better horse, then that’s also better for him rather than just leaving everything to him always.”
Fellow Irishman and tbird’s winningest rider Conor Swail took second with Casturano on a time of 63.96, and Mexico’s Patricio Pasquel with Alicia Santa Rosa took third on 64.6.
CSI2* $38,500 Cabana Coast Qualifier 1.45m
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Country / Faults:Time
- Jasper / Daniel Coyle / Ariel Grange / IRE / 0:61.87
- Casturano / Conor Swail / Rider / IRE / 0:63.96
- Alicia Santa Rosa / Patricio Pasquel / Rider / MEX / 0:64.6
- Oaks Come By Chance / David Cameron / Rider / AUS / 0:64.99
- Fasole Du Seigneur / Alexis Sokolov / Rider / USA / 0:65.4
- NKH Cento Blue / Shawn Casady / October Hill Sales / USA / 0:65.62
- KS Coradina / Susan Horn / Kingsfield Farm / CAN / 0:66.9
- GCS Athena / Amy Millar / Brookstreet Stables / CAN / 0:67.01
- Viamdios D’Avril / Lauren Esdale / Pauline Esdale / USA / 0:67.69
- Edita / Zume Gallaher / Blue Gate Stables LLC / USA / 0:67.8