The young horses wrapped up their competitions at the 2016 Spring MET on Thursday. The tour is in it’s very last week, and today it was time for the 2016 Spring MET IV finals for 5-, 6- and 7-year-old horses in the Valencia Arena.
Dominique Hendrickx produced one of only five clears in the first round of today’s 7-year-old final aboard Danaide du Houssoit (Ogano Sitte x Sherman Sitte), and finished with a time of 41.31 seconds in the jump-off. Spain’s Diana Marsá-Lafarge came close aboard Andi d’Emiralia (Diamant de Semilly x Hurlevent) finishing as runner-up in a time of 41.79 seconds. Her compatriot Imma Roquet Autonell took the third spot riding Ivea del Maset – a Spanish bred mare sired by her former mount Indret del Masset (Indoctro x Cassini I).
Imma Roquet Autonell was not the only one riding offspring of an own superstars in the young horse final. Danaide du Houssoit is sired by Ogano Sitte that jumped at Grand Prix level with Dominique Hendrickx himself, and her dam is Artemis du Houssoit who has been ridden by Hendrickx for a couple of months now. “I got the ride on both mother and daughter at the beginning of this year, and so far so good. This 7-year-old is a lot like her sire Ogano Sitte: She really wants to go, she is extremely careful and always wants to work. But the more I get to know her mother, the more I think she also resembles her. For sure her looks are the same; people think I am riding the same horse all day long!” Dominique laughs.
Danaide du Houssoit is a classic example of an inexperienced horse that caught up very quickly through the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour in Oliva. “Before Oliva, she had not competed since August last year. The first week of 2016 Spring MET III, I jumped her in the classes for 6-year-olds – obviously out of competition. Now, about four weeks later she has the experience to take the victory in the final of her own age group,” Hendrickx reflected.
Hendrickx competed in Oliva for the first time during last year’s Autumn MET. “I had an excellent experience, so I decided to compete here in the spring as well. It is a great and fun show to prepare your horses for the outdoor season. You can actually build up your horses here, you don’t have to put any pressure on them,” Dominique explains. “Throughout MET III and MET IV, I have turned two horses into Grand Prix mounts thanks to this event. You can jump the horses in some smaller classes to let them get used to the arena, and the week after you can jump them in the bigger classes. In a short period of time, your horses can gain loads of experience!”
The weather conditions and training facilities also play a major part in the development of the horses during MET, according to Hendrickx. “The horses stay fresh during the tour; you are never riding a tired horse. Every day they can go out for a walk on the beach, play a bit in the sea and get their minds clear and fresh. When they get home from the tour, they are immediately fit to compete and they are in great shape!”
In today’s final for 6-year-olds, Slovakia’s Bronislav Chudyba turned out to be a dominating force aboard Tina Poll’s talented horses. Riding the Numero Uno-daughter Nora XLI CH, Bronislav Chudyba took the victory with a time of 45.58 seconds, while he ended up third riding Frederiks (Carambole x Up To date) in a time of 48.98 seconds. Spain’s Diana Marsá-Lafarge again finished as runner-up, this time riding Avel de la Lande (Lamm de Fetan x Muguet Manoir).
Great Britain’s Emma Stoker had a good end to the youngster circuit and took the win in the 5-year-old final, aboard the Cadensky-daughter Cool Cash and ending up as runner-up on Vienna – sired by Valentino. Her compatriot Jessie Drea took home the third spot aboard the Irish bred Amazon JD.
Photo credit: Photo © Hervé Bonnaud / www.1clicphoto.com. This photo may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.