The Spring MET 2017 came to a close on Sunday afternoon, with Jamie Wingrove (GBR) and Bart VI winning the CSI2* Grand Prix presented by Suzuki.
The victory was the icing on the cake for Wingrove, who also took the top honours in Friday’s 1.45m Longines Ranking class aboard the 11-year-old KWPN gelding by Lord Z x Levanto – two wins that add to several other top results during the Spring MET 3 and 4 for the 29-year-old British rider.
The last competition of the Spring MET 4 had 53 riders in it, and ten of them went clear over the 1.45m first round track set by Javier Trenor Paz (ESP) in the Oliva Nova grass ring that was bathed in sun for the final jump-off of the Tour. The shortened track counted seven fences, and included a combination half-way to which the riders faced a long stretch and then a roll-back to a line of an upright with six strides to an oxer before going right up towards The Club to jump a vertical.
It was not until the fourth rider in the ring that a clear round came, and it was delivered by Tobias Bremermann (GER) on Quintino B (Quebec x Concerto II ) that went for a steady performance stopping the clock at 51.11 seconds. Two riders later another clear was produced, by Cameron Hanley (IRL) who took over the lead after a lovely round on the only 8-year-old gelding Quirex (Quirado x Concept) with a time of 50.81 seconds.
However, Hanley’s lead was short-lived as Jamie Wingrove and Bart VI were next in the ring – setting off in a blistering pace to shave off an incredible 4.74 seconds. It looked like it would be hard to beat, and with only two left to go things were looking good for the British rider.
Home hero Alfonso Arango gave it a good go, but hit the last fence to record four faults – leaving the door open for his compatriot and last-to-go Iván Serrano Sáez on Cinderella Man (Lanito). The pair put up a great performance, cheered on by the local crowds – but were just behind when they crossed the finish line having to settle for second behind Wingrove this time around. Still, with two Spanish riders in the top five there was plenty to celebrate for the hosts as Alberto Marquez Galobardes finished fifth with the fastest jump-off of the day – unfortunately on the expense of a rail down.
“I think we have witnessed some great sport here during the Spring MET,” concluded a happy Bettina Pöhls, Event Director of the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour, after the Grand Prix. “We have had a lot of positive feedback from the riders during the Tour, who all seem to appreciate the improvements that are being made here in Oliva from year to year.”
“This year we have had 886 riders participating over the four Tours of the Spring MET, and all together 3100 horses. Riders from more than 40 countries have been competing here, which illustrates that the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour is becoming an international attraction. Riders from all over the world come to jump at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour,” Pöhls said.
“We are also happy to see that the fourth part of the Tour, the Spring MET 4, had a real increase in entries this year going up 40 % compared to last year!” Pöhls added.
“On behalf of the organizers here in Oliva I would like to thank all the riders that chose to compete here during the Spring MET, and I hope we will be able to welcome them back for the Autumn MET that runs with the first part from 3rd of October to the 15th of October, and then with the second part from 24st of October to 12th of November,” Pöhls concluded.
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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.