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Show Jumping - Coyle Fails In Brave Bid For World Cup Success

IT'S NOT EVERY show jumper who gets a chance to better a second place in the World Cup, but Trevor Coyle's brave bid to take the crown in 2003 came to a disappointing finish at Las Vegas today (Sunday), with a 21st place in the final leg of the three-part Final, and a 22nd place overall.

But for a man written off by many as a has-been in 2000, the comeback trail to Las Vegas has been nothing less than spectacular. Since losing the ride on the Irish-bred <Cruising> shortly after the so-close 1999 World Cup bid, Coyle languished in the lower ranks of international show jumping, until six months ago, when the wealthy Sapersteins of California gave him the former ride of American Ray Texel, the 12 yr old bay mare, <Fleur>. But half-way into the World Cup season, it seemed preposterous that the Armagh-born rider could make the cut for qualification. Only 18 riders from Western Europe would reach Las Vegas in April, but Coyle, with a late, and determined, campaign, made sure he was one of them.

The only Irish qualifier for the World Cup Final, 44 yr old Coyle was never optimistic about his chances in the closing competitions, citing his relatively short period riding the American-owned mare. A consummate horseman, Coyle has been famous for building lasting relationships with horses, never to greater effect than with <Crusing>,
and pundits were doubtful that the relatively short spell with <Fleur> would bring out the best in the combination by April. But he did well enough in the opening two legs in Nevada to qualify for Sunday's Final, one of only 28 riders in the world to do so.

Today, in the gambling capital of the world, Germany's Marcus Ehning, riding <Anka>, completed his calm play for the World Cup with a joint-first double clear that was enough to clinch the title on an aggregate score of just two penalties, with former World Champion, Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa, slotting into Second with a total of six penalties. Sweden's Malin Baryard, one of the stars of the Las Vegas show, took Third overall on an aggregate of eight penalties.

Coyle lowered three poles in the opening round of tonight's third competition, earning 12 faults, and elected not to jump in the second round, maintaining his overall score at 30 penalties. America's Leslie Howard also pulled out of the second round of jumping, while US fellow-countryman Mclain Ward retired before the first round.


Budweiser World Cup Final III
International Jumping Competition
Table A 1m50/1m60 with two rounds
FEI Art. 658.2.5.1 / 658.2.5.2
Sunday, April 20, 2003

=1) TINKA'S BOY; Markus FUCHS (SUI) Faults 0.00/0.00
=1) ANKA 191; Marcus EHNING (GER) Faults 0.00/0.00
=3) FIGHTING ALPHA 3; Lars NIEBERG (GER) 0.00/4.00
=3) PARCO; Ludo PHILIPPAERTS (BEL) Faults 4.00/0.00
=3) COSTER; Christian AHLMANN (GER) Faults 4.00/0.00
=3) GOLDFEVER; Ludger BEERBAUM (GER) Faults 4.00/0.00
=3) ANTHEM; Laura KRAUT (USA) Faults 0.00/4.00
=3) BALOUBET DU ROUET; Rodrigo PESSOA (BRA) Faults 4.00/0.00

21) FLEUR 195; Trevor COYLE (IRL) Faults 12.00

WORLD CUP FINAL RANKINGS (after three competitions)

1) Marcus Ehning (GER) ANKA 191; Total Penalties 2
2) Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) BALOUBET DU ROUET; Total Penalties 6
3) Malin Baryard (SWE) H&M BUTTERFLY FLIP; Total Penalties 8

22) Trevor Coyle (IRL) FLEUR 195; Total Penalties 30


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