Christian Coyle and Celest Seize First in $40,000 Equinox Grand Prix at HITS Vermont :: HITS


Christian Coyle and Celest Seize First in $40,000 Equinox Grand Prix at HITS Vermont

Manchester, VT. – August 6, 2023 – On a splendid Sunday during Manchester & the Mountains at HITS Vermont, Christian Coyle extended his triumphant run by winning the $40,000 Equinox Grand Prix with Celest. Maintaining the lead from being the first contender on course and to return to the jump-off, Coyle showcased a flawless double-clear round that propelled him to the forefront of the victory gallop.

“I got Celest five weeks ago and I jumped her three weeks ago in Saugerties – she was brilliant -- she won a really good class. She's only eight years old, maybe a little bit inexperienced, but she's learning to go fast,” Coyle said after his double-clear. “I really like her – she's pretty talented.”


Christian Coyle and Celest. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

Crafted by the skilled hands of Florencio Hernandez, the course unfolded with a medley of wide-oxers and towering verticals, challenging riders with its intricate design. Featuring three combinations and a lofty, skinny vertical near the tail end of the course, horses and riders alike were tested on their stamina.

Reflecting on the course, Coyle mused, "I think it was a good course. It took plenty of jumping and was a long track. I think that caught a few people out as a lot of people had the second to last down; the skinny vertical which was a little bit taller than the rest. I think fatigue came into play at the end. But, I thought the course was great – at the end of the day we're jumping for $40,000, so it can't be too easy."


Christian Coyle and Celest. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

Leading the parade in the order of performance, Coyle and Celest, proudly owned by The Berry Group, were slated to be the trailblazers in the three-horse jump-off. Setting a blazing precedent, Coyle artfully negotiated the compact circuit confidently, crossing the finish line with a clear run in a swift 36.273 seconds. Coyle’s triumph was already embellished by a previous victory secured in Wednesday’s Open Welcome, where he once again orchestrated a masterful double-clear display.

"Vermont’s been great," Coyle remarked with a satisfied smile. "We're here for another week now, so hopefully our luck continues."

A commendable second place achieved by Stephanie Bourassa and her own Chrome D’Argouges. Delivering another impeccable double-clear performance, Bourassa secured a remarkable finish, clocking in at 41.199 seconds.


Stephanie Bourassa and Chrome D'Argouges. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

Among the contenders to enter the jump-off was Morgan Ward in partnership with Jiran R, owned by Morlynn Farm. Crossing the finish line at 34.123 seconds and 4 faults, Ward rounded out the triumphant trio that occupied the top three positions.


Morgan Ward and Jiran R. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

HITS’ time in the mountains is coming to a close as anticipation mounts for the final week of the Vermont Summer Festival. Riders will have another week of opportunities to chase victories and year-end points.