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Wellington, Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Wellington, Florida

Daniel Coyle and Simba De La Roque Set Blistering Pace to Win Sunday's $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm U25 Grand Prix

Jamie Saults

Reporting from Wellington, Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Wellington, Florida
Sunday, February 19, 2017 :: Posted 12:38:06 PM EST

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© Morgan McClelland: Daniel Coyle and simba week 6 U25 jump 1st placeDaniel Coyle and Simba De La Roque rose above the competition on Sunday to win the $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix to conclude WEF Week Six.

Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 19, 2017 – Daniel Coyle of Ireland captured the win in the $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by EnTrust Capital, at the Equestrian Village on Sunday morning with a blazing fast speed round on Simba De La Roque, owned by Susan Grange. In a time of 36.28 seconds, the talented combination made it unmanageable for any of the other 14 riders in the jump-off to catch them.

© Morgan McClelland: Daniel Coyle and simba week 6 U25 gallop 1st placeDainel Coyle and Simba De La Roque    

"I would like to have been a little later in the jump-off so I didn't have to go as fast but thankfully it worked out in the end," said Coyle. "I've been given an amazing opportunity by Sue and Ariel Grange. I came here last year and had nothing and now, all of a sudden, I have all of these horses that have done 5* level classes. I just got very, very lucky."

The field was narrowed down to 15 horse-and-rider combinations from the original 41 starters. Only four were able to negotiate double-clear rounds on the imposing Richard Jeffery-designed course set on the derby field.

© Morgan McClelland: Haley Barnhill u25Hayley Barnhill and Zephire

Ailish Cunnifee set the mark with the first double-clear in a catchable time of 46.80 seconds. Two riders later, the time was beat by Coyle leaving the remaining 10 riders the difficult task of beating his time. Hayley Barnhill and Zephire, owned by Barnhill, LLC, came close, tripping the timers in 43.88 seconds with a clear round to earn second place.

"I knew there was no way that I would go as fast as Daniel," said Barnhill. "I just wanted to jump a clear round and be quick enough and it worked out in my favor. I think everyone was trying to catch him so a nice, smooth clear round worked out."

© Morgan McClelland: Emma Brutchard, brasil week6 U25 sunEmma Butchard and Brasil

Emma Butchard followed Barnhill, leaving all of the rails intact in a slower time of 45.05 seconds for third.

"I've had Brasil for a year now and he brought me from the 1.10m to the 1.50m," said Butchard. "It's our first time doing a jump-off at 1.45m so we were just trying to go clear. We call him the professor because he teaches me everything. He's a horse-of-a-lifetime for me so it's nice."

Developed as a bridge to the international level of grand prix competition, placing well in the class was key as the top 30 riders in the series standings qualify for the $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Final on Sunday, April 2.

"I was aiming for the class today," said Coyle. "I really like the U25 series because it gives me a chance to get to the next level with whatever horses that I'm unsure about. It's a really good class for me to get to know my horses. It's great for me to be able to jump in these classes."

Results: $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix

1. Daniel Coyle, Simba De La Roque 0, 0, 36.28
2. Hayley Barnhill, Zephire 0, 0, 43.88
3. Emma Butchard, Brasil 0, 0, 45.05
4. Ailish Cunniffe, Casper 0, 0, 46.80
5. Katherine Strauss, All In 0, 4, 38.07
6. Sophie Michaels, MCB Maya 0, 4, 40.696
7. Lauren Fischer, Tosca du Feugre 0, 4, 41.362
8. Lucas Porter, Diamonte Darco, 0, 4, 41.397

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