The Spring MET II 2018 concluded on Sunday, with the CSI3* Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach and Golf Resort and it was Swiss rider Pius Schwizer and Chidame Z that sprinted to the victory.
Sunday’s 1.50m Grand Prix worth 50.000 Euro was the highlight of the second part of the spring edition of the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour 2018, that now takes a short break before it resumes to competition on March 13th. Today’s Grand Prix track was build by Christian Wiegand and Peter Schumacher, and counted thirteen fences that included an oxer-oxer-vertical triple combination, as well as an open water followed by a vertical-vertical combination.
“The course today was very well built,” commented Schwizer. “it was a clever course, big enough and everything was included.”
A total of 57 horse-and-rider combinations lined up to start in the Oliva Nova grass ring, and with beautiful sunny February weather many came out to watch the world-class competitors in action. In the end, fifteen riders managed to jump clear over the first-round track and it was ready for an exciting and fast jump-off.
The jump-off was a tight fight between the top three, and only 0.10 seconds separated the winning pair from the third placed couple. Using much of the arena, the shortened track opened both for daring gallops and some accurate turning – testing the flexibility of the horses and the skills of the riders.
Best of them all was Pius Schwizer and the 10-year-old mare Chidame Z (Chippendale Z x Quidam de Revel), that blazed around in a time of 43.23 seconds – which no one else could match. Very close behind trailed Belgium’s Hendrik Denutte on Don Flamenco vd Kranenburg (Flamenco de Semilly x Kannan) in 43.30 seconds – good enough for runner-up position. As second-last in the ring, Italy’s Alberto Zorzi pushed into third place after a quick round in 43.33 riding Contanga 3 (Catoki x Contango). With his performance, Zorzi moved France’s Simon Delestre and Filou Carlo Zimequest (Coronas x For Pleasure) down to fourth place with their time of 44.01. Closing off the top five was Delestre’s compatriot Maelle Martin on Carreau of Greenhill Z (Clintissimo Z x Caretino).
“I have not been riding so fast in the jump-offs with Chidame before, but she needs to learn how to go a bit quicker so I gave it a try today,” said the happy winner. “With some short turns and a bit of luck it worked out for us.”
“Chidame Z has been fantastic here at the Spring MET, and jumped twelve rounds including the jump-offs without any faults. She is almost always clear,” Schwizer said proudly of his partner that finished fourth in last weekend’s CSI2* Grand Prix and seventh in the CSI2* Grand Prix during the opening weekend of Spring MET II. “I have had Chidame for two years now, and she has quite a special character but an unbelievable scope!”
A regular visitor to Oliva, Schwizer enjoys his time at the Spring MET. “Oliva is fantastic; you can’t get it much better than here. The grass ring is top, the courses are good and everything is very well organized and calm. I have been here for three weeks now. It is the perfect place to prepare the horses for the outdoor season, and to get to know new ones,” the Swiss Olympian and former European Team Gold Medallist concluded.
Click here for full results from the Grand Prix.