The third part of the 2016 Spring MET kicked off this week, with 272 riders from 33 different countries having found their way to Oliva Nova. Big names such as Janne Friederike Meyer (GER), Constant van Paesschen (BEL), Marlon Zanotelli (BRA), Cameron Hanley (IRL), Marc Houtzager (NED) and Pius Schwizer (SUI) are among the riders competing at the 2016 Spring MET III, so the bar is raised high.
The young horses were the first to compete at the 2016 Spring MET III. The first day the 5-, 6-, and 7-year-old horses did not have to jump against the clock, but yesterday and today the youngster gave it a shot in the jump-off.
In today’s 7-year-old class, Ireland’s Jonathan Gordon took home the victory in the Valencia Arena aboard Charles G 2 (Contendro I x Ibikus). With a jump-off time of 32.30 seconds, Jonathan beat his compatriot Clem McMahon riding Pacifico (Pacino x Aldatus Z) who stopped the clock at 32.45 seconds. France’s Guillaume Foutrier finished third aboard Chief Tibri Z (Corland x Berlin).
The 21-year-old Irish talent competes for the first time at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour. In addition, the 2016 Spring MET is the first outdoor show of the season for Jonathan and his string of horses. “I am really pleased with the 2016 Spring MET. The facilities are top class, and the organization is really helpful – I like it a lot here! For both me and my horses this week is the first week competing outdoors. Actually, even at home we have only jumped indoors until now because of the weather so for us this is truly the beginning of the outdoor season,” Gordon explains.
For the last four years, Gordon has been based in Germany at the stables of Manfred Marschall and although Charles G 2 doesn’t have the most experience he has been quite successful already. “He came to our stables as a 5-year-old and last year, as a 6-year-old, I competed him in San Giovanni. He won the finals for the 6-year-olds two times and that has been pretty much all he has done last year. MET Oliva is his first show this year,” Jonathan tells about the 7-year-old by Contendro I. “I am very pleased with his performance. Although he is quite inexperienced, he jumped clear all three days. He has a unique style of jumping and he is very careful and has lots of blood. I think he has a bright future ahead of him.”
The coming weeks, Jonathan Gordon will try to produce Charles G as well as possible. “I know what he is capable of, so I will only ride him a bit faster on the last day. I don’t want to blow his head so early in his career; I have to produce him well. Out here, it is fantastic to produce young horses, because they can jump in three different arenas with great grounds and different courses. The horses can learn a lot!”
Ireland’s Clem McMahon was not only successful in the 7-year-old class; he also won the 6-year-old competition aboard Hilton Alibi. Just like his 7-year-old Pacifico, Hilton Alibi is sired by Clem McMahon’s former number one mount Pacino that sadly passed away in 2013.
With a jump-off time that showed 34.34 seconds, Clem McMahon and Hilton Alibi beat Dutch rider Ivo Biessen and the Dutch bred Firefly H (Douglas x Tenerife VDL) who stopped the clock at 35.21 seconds. Italy’s Danielle Cancogni and Eloisa del Castello, sired by Quite Easy, finished third.
The youngest horses in Oliva, the 5-year-olds, also jumped against the clock today. Ukraine’s Oleg Krasyuk took home the victory aboard Ping Pong, sired by Pan Am VDL. Norway’s Fredrik Seim settled for runner-up position riding Quevara van de Vlierbeek Z (Quintus x Omar), while Daniele Cancogni finished third again. This time the Italian rider rode Orfeo del Sole (Flower Piper del Sole x Burggraaf).
Photo credit: Photos © Hervé Bonnaud / www.1clicphoto.com. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.