WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Ireland's Daniel Coyle earned the first World Cup qualifier victory at the Longines FEI World Cup jumping event at Wellington, the United States, on Sunday.
Only five of the 40 competitors qualified for the jump-off, which featured the defending champion of the World Cup final McLain Ward, two-time Olympic gold medalist Laura Kraut, and 17-time World Cup Finals veteran Margie Engle. Second to go in the jump-off, Coyle jumped clear once again and set an unbeatable time of 34.79 seconds.
Last to go over the shortened track, Kraut, aboard St. Bride's Farm's Confu, made a valiant run at Coyle's time but settled for second, finishing her round in 35.14 seconds. Engle and her veteran partner Royce finished third with a time of 35.30 seconds.
"It's an amazing feeling to beat any one of these two women, and everybody in that jump-off," said Coyle.
Eight of the top 20-ranked American riders in the east coast sub league of the World Cup Jumping North American League competed in Wellington. With a fifth-place finish aboard HH Callas, Ward sits atop the standings, although he is automatically qualified based on his victory in last season's final.
With his result, Coyle, ranks 10th in the east coast sub league standings, and he may now consider competing at the final stop on the North American League. That will take place at Live Oak Plantation in Ocala, Florida on Sunday 18 March 2018.