It was all about Spanish home hero Sergio Alvarez Moya in Sunday’s CSI2* Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach and Golf Resort at the Spring MET IV 2018. Leading the way from start to finish in a jump-off counting seventeen horse-and-rider combinations, Alvarez Moya scripted a perfect end to the 2018-edition of the Spring MET in this 30,000 Euro Grand Prix counting for the world ranking.
With such a large field moving on to the jump-off after producing clear rounds over Bernado Costa Cabral’s first-round track, it was bound to be a race against the clock. The shortened track was twisting and turning its way around the large grass ring in the Oliva Nova arena, with seven fences that included a combination half-way.
As first to go, Alvarez Moya and the only 8-year-old mare MHS Attraction (Numero Uno x Diamant de Semilly) set the time to beat at 40.32 seconds after some really tight turns and a good gallop the whole way around.
“Being first to go can sometimes be a bit hard, especially when there are a lot of riders in the jump-off – like today,” Sergio commented. “I did not want to go really fast, it was MHS Attraction’s first Grand Prix today and she is really one for the future. So I just started with a bit of a rhythm, as she is anyway a naturally fast horse and then I slowed her down a bit before the three last jumps – doing eight strides down the final line where many of the others did seven.”
Despite Alvarez Moya not going flat out, none of those to come could catch up with him – however hard they tried. In the end, only two more combinations managed to produce double clears – and much to the joy of the hosts they were both Spanish. Second place went to last weekend’s Grand Prix winner Mikel Aizpurua Quiroga on Cartanya (Cartani 4 x Riverman) with a time of 43.50, while Carolina Aresu Garcia Obregon finished third in 44.80 riding Untrepide de Puychety (Mr Blue x Hand In A Glove). Ireland’s Bertram Allen managed to push the time down to the 38-second mark, but paid the price on the third-last upright aboard Hector van d’Abdijhoeve (Cabrio van de Heffinck x Utrillo) and had to settle for fourth, while fifth place went to France’s Aldrick Cheronnet on Uris de La Roque (Capital x Quick Star) – also on four faults.
MHS Attraction came to Alvarez Moya in the autumn of 2017, after his brother spotted her at the World Championships for Young Horses in Lanaken, Belgium. “I did not take her to any shows before in January this year, when she came with here to Oliva. I just kept it quiet, working her at home. She is a really promising horse, with amazing quality and has a lot of blood which makes her very light – she does not have to make a big effort when she jumps. I think in the near future, she will be one of my best horses – but I want to take it easy with her,” Sergio said.
The 33-year-old Spanish Olympian is happy to come to the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour whenever he can, and finds the Tour a perfect place to bring up younger horses or simply train a bit with the more experienced ones. “The ground here is great, in the sand rings and the grass arena – and it is a very well-organized show. I always like to come here, and it is a great advantage to have such a show here in Spain,” concluded Sergio.
The Mediterranean Equestrian Tour now takes a break after four circuits of competition during the spring edition, and will return for the Autumn MET that runs from October 2-14 (Autumn MET I) and from October 23-November 11 (Autumn MET II). More information on metoliva.com/riders/.