New Zealand’s Samantha McIntosh wrapped up three weeks of competition at the Spring MET III with a win in Saturday’s CSI3* Grand Prix presented by CHG – Construcciones Hispano Germanas S.A. Riding the 16-year-old stallion Check In 2 (Böckmann’s Cordalme Z x Lord Pezi), McIntosh snatched the victory as last to go in a four-horse jump-off.
Only two of the four riders that had reached the jump-off after jumping clear rounds over the 1.50m track set by Alan Wade managed to repeat a clean score against the clock. As second last to go Edwin Smits (SUI) went into the lead after a steady clear on the big grey Best Of Berlin BS (Caspar x Colman), but was quickly overtaken as McIntosh put up the speed to shave off three seconds on his time – taking the top honours. Third place went to Jenny Rankin (IRL) on Benny’s Legacy (Lupicor x Voltaire), with one rail down in the jump-off – putting her on four faults. Sören Pedersen (DEN) and Carlo M (Catoki x Cornet Obolensky) placed fourth with two poles down, finishing on eight faults.
“It was pretty technical,” McIntosh commented on the Grand Prix course. “Today’s Grand Prix was a three-star at the end of the tour, so it was a step up from the other Grand Prix classes we have had here. I think Alan Wade did a really good job with the building, it was tough to ride and you had to be on the map. I aimed Check In towards this Grand Prix over these three weeks, and it went well.”
Of her faithful partner Check In 2, a horse she competed at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA, last year, McIntosh said: “He is the darling of the stable, we have had him for four years now. He just gets better and better, this year he turns 16 – and this was actually our first Grand Prix win. He can be a bit of a handful to ride sometimes, but we have a pretty good partnership by now and he helps me out when he can.”
The next stop for McIntosh and Check In 2 will be the Nations Cup event in La Baule in May, before even bigger tasks are coming up. “New Zealand has their Olympic qualification event in August, so that would be the next major event for Check In this year,” McIntosh said.
McIntosh is a regular at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour, and was full of praise for the event. “I love coming back here, it’s the best place to come in winter. It’s organised down to every last little detail and the facilities are fantastic, and on top of that they keep improving. The footing is fantastic, and they have lots of good course designers here. The team here works really hard behind the scenes to keep everything perfect for us, I think most people will agree with me there.”+
In the 1.40m Silver Tour Grand Prix presented by Lindenberg Sport Horses, Edwin Smits went to the top riding Lantaro Von Hof (Ladirio Von Hof x Lombard). Chloe Winchester (GBR) followed in second place with Corcon (Corrado I x Contender), while third place went to Remco Been (NED) on Fitou Eurocool’s Apple (Lexicon x Maaswaal).
The 1.40m Bronze Tour Grand Prix presented by CHG – Construcciones Hispano Germanas S.A saw Isabelle Betz (GER) and Carmelita 30 (Diarado x Carry 22) on top of the podium. Betz was followed by Telmo Busca Roca (ESP) and Con-Qui La (breeding unknown) in second, while Ingrid Gjelsten (NOR) and Violetta D (Quinar x Candillo 3) ended third.