Saturday’s highlight at the fourth and final part of the Spring MET 2019 was the CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prix presented by CHG. Next to prize money worth 50.200 Euro and valuable Longines world ranking points on offer, the competition also counted as a qualifier for the 2019 European Championships in Rotterdam as well as for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
With a lot on stake, a total of 51 horse-and-rider combinations lined up for the Grand Prix. The course set in the beautiful Oliva Nova arena by Spanish course designer Javier Trenor counted 13 obstacles and 16 efforts on the first round. It was especially the last line from an oxer as fence number 11 followed by a vertical on a bending line as fence number 12, before a long five strides to the very last oxer, that took its toll and only six pairs kept a clean score.
The deciding jump-off went over a shortened, six-fence track. Laura Renwick (GBR) on the 11-year-old gelding Dublin V (Vigaro x Calvados), Greg Patrick Broderick (IRL) and the 10-year-old mare Dabelle (Nabab de Revelle x Chin Chin) and Jose Fumero Hernandez (ESP) on the 11-year-old mare Donita (Canturano x Jazz) took a pole each, leaving the three to follow with a choice of opting for a steady clear.
Antonio Matos Almeida (POR) on the 10-year-old gelding Volver de la Vigne (Diamant de Semilly x Cumano) continued his strong form, delivering a clear round in a time of 35.14 seconds to take over the lead. However, Harold Boisset (FRA) on the 9-year-old mare Katinka vh Valenberghof (Corland x Montender) put another gear on, going around the track in top speed from start to finish and pushed Almeida into runner-up position when the clocks stopped on 32.54 seconds – over two seconds faster than the Portuguese rider. But in the end Boisset had to settle for second place as the final man in the ring – last weekend’s winner Pedro Veniss (BRA) – cruised around in his trademark effortless style aboard the 14-year-old mare For Felicila (For Pleasure x Espri) in a time of 32.09 taking home another win in Oliva.
“I think today’s course was just perfectly built again, with six clears in a three-star Grand Prix like this,” the happy winner said afterwards. “I would really like to thank my team. They do an amazing job, every day. Great results like we have had here over the last two weeks would not be possible without them,” Veniss said – praising the people behind him.
“I think it really helped me today that I was the last to go, and I was lucky that Laura had a fault – otherwise she is always really fast,” Veniss continued to speak about his tactics for the jump-off. “Even though the weather was not perfect today, the footing was. Waking up to rain this morning, I was anyway happy because I knew that the conditions for the horses still would be perfect,” he closed off.
Saturday’s Silver Tour 1.40m Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort went to Mariano Martinez Bastida (ESP) on Eberlin M (Eurocommerce Berlin x Diamant de Semilly). Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) on Gazquine Tag (Mylord Carthago *HN) took the runner-up position, while Nuno Tiago Gomes (POR) on Alienor de B’Neville (Apache d’Adriers x breeding unknown) took the third spot. Fourth place went to Antonio Matos Almeida (POR) on G&C Urika du Plessis (Quantum x breeding unknown) and Steven Smith (IRL) on Pauline F (Bravour 1197 x Casa Grande) placed fifth.
The 1.40m Bronze Tour Final presented by CHG went to Joanne McGlory (GBR) on Calimera (Conthargos x Pontifex). McGlory made it a double, also taking the second place with Cupid (Cardento 933 x Indoctro). Anna Louisa Vogt (GER) on Rainers (Reinaldo x Dekonde) took the third place while Dolores Zambrano (ESP) on Zirco (Lupicor x Voltaire) placed fourth. Fifth went to Shannon Meinert Ketterle (DEN) on Edeka’s La Vue (Ludwig Von Bayern x Acord II).
After the final classes tomorrow, the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour takes a break over the summer before resuming again with the Autumn MET 2019 in October and November.
For full results and more info, please visit metoliva.com.