Daniel Coyle and Uptown Girl win opening round of the 2014 HSI Connolly RED MILLS Spring Tour at Cavan

Writes Brian Hennessy
Reigning champion Daniel Coyle got his defence of the title he won in 2012 and again in 2013 off to the perfect start, by winning the opening round of the 2014 Horse Sport Ireland/Connollys RED MILLS Spring Tour, at Cavan Equestrian Centre.
Riding the prolific winner Uptown Girl, Coyle was second last to go in the jump-off, and knocked almost two seconds off the target time, to take the lion’s share of the €2,500 on offer from sponsors Cavan Equestrian Centre. 
Uptown Girl’s latest win provided the perfect boost for her owner Linzi Johnston who was recovering at home from a recent accident as she explained afterwards,
“I couldn’t get to Cavan to see the competition, I am laid up at home with a broken back, not from horse riding, but from a recent parachute jump. I was watching the class on-line but unfortunately our internet speed isn’t the best and my screen froze just as Daniel went into the ring. I didn’t actually know that Daniel had won until one of the girls at the show rang me”
“We are really delighted, we have had Uptown Girl (who is by the sire Concorde), since she was a five year old and she has been a winner since the day we got her, she has such a big heart”. 
Forty – three starters went to post and course designer Stuart Clarke saw eighteen combinations make it into the jump-off. Galway’s Olive Clarke posted the first clear of the clock round with Kofi Annan (Colander x Baloubet du Rouet) and their time of 42.93 seconds would eventually be good enough to take fifth place. 
Co Tyrone’s Emily Turkington then held the lead for quite a while with Willem(Corland x Corofino), a brilliant clear round in 40.85 seconds, that included a daring dash to the last fence, laid down a target that looked to be unbeatable. 
Junior rider Anna Carway from Co Kilkenny produced an excellent clear (42.78), with the Helen Carway owned “Winner” (Ohorn x Kenwood), a round which would see them finish in fourth place at the finish. 
Double handed in the jump-off, Emily Turkington was again in sparkling form with her second mount Allihes Diamond Boy (Covers Diamond Boy X Clover Hill), and once again she kept all the poles standing stopping the clock at 41.20 seconds and at that stage she held the top two positions.
But just as he did on several occasions in the past, Co Derry’s Daniel Coyle scorched round the course with Uptown Girl, in a remarkable time of 38.99 seconds to take the winners prize.
The Horse Sport Ireland/Connollys RED MILLS Spring Tour, which is also supported by the Show Jumpers Club, ShowjumpingIreland, Castlefield Sport Horses and Darragh Equestrian Solutions, features a double header of action this coming weekend. Kildare International is the venue for round two of the series on Saturday March 1st before the action moves to Ravensdale Lodge in Dundalk on Sunday.


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