Ireland’s Daniel Coyle won the opening International Ring event of this week’s meeting at Spruce Meadows, Canada, when posting the fastest clear round on board Fortis Fortuna in the 1m50 AON Cup yesterday, writes Mike Dunne.

Coyle overtook the lead time of Conor Swail on Kanisso, with American Richard Spooner finishing third on Cornancer.

“I would say Conor and I had very similar rounds, but my horse was just that small bit faster”, said Coyle.

Fortis Fortuna is an 11 year-old Belgian Warmblood mare and was previously ridden by Conor Swail, both riders working with owners Ariel and Susan Grange’s Lothlorien Farm.

It was Coyle’s second win with the horse in consecutive weeks at the venue, and his first in the International Ring.

“It was fabulous. It is always brilliant to win an international competition, especially in that International Ring.

“For a young horse, it is brilliant for their experience. For an older horse that has done it for a while, they go in there and the atmosphere is different and the horse can sense that, and so can I obviously.

“There is always more pressure on, and some horses rise to it and some horses don’t. It is a fabulous ring. It is one of the best rings in the world, and there is always a crowd here. It is a lovely place to jump.”