The 2023-season has kicked off at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour in Oliva Nova, Spain. The first week of Spring MET I 2023 concluded on Sunday with the CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix presented by Dammann Reitplatz- u. Sportplatzbau GmbH and it was Belgium’s Constant Van Paesschen and the 10-year-old Diaz du Thot (Ready Boy des Forets ‘Hn’ x Diams du Grasset) that took the win after an exciting jump-off.
A total of 16 horse-and-rider-combinations from the 66 pairs at start cleared the first-round track which counted 13 obstacles and 16 efforts with a time allowed of 77 seconds – and joined the deciding jump-off.
With a time of 41.69 seconds in the jump-off, Van Paescchen and Diaz du Thot took the win ahead of Abdelkebir Ouaddar (MAR) and Istanbull vh Ooievaarshof (Casall x Calido I) – who had to settle for the runner-up position when the clock stopped on 42.45 for the Moroccan rider. Mariano Martinez Bastida (ESP) and Quark de Preuilly Z (Quaprice Boimargot Quincy x Cento) took the third place for the host nation with a time of 42.66, while Gudrun Patteet (BEL) and Sea Coast Donna Z (Diamant de Semilly x C Indoctro) finished fourth in 43.28 and Jörne Sprehe (GER) fifth in 44.11 aboard Hot Easy (Andiamo Z x Otangelo).
“She is the type of horse that any rider would be happy to have in the stable,” Van Paesschen said about Diaz du Thot. “She has won so much, and she has a fantastic mentality. I have been riding her since she was six, and we have built a very strong bond together. She fights for me, and I know her – she is very special.”
“I think I made the difference in the roll-back to number three,” Van Paesschen said about his winning jump-off. “My horse does not have the biggest stride, even though she is very fast, so I think I definitely won it in the turns.”
The first part of Spring MET 2023 runs through to 29 January, followed by Spring MET II from 20-26 February, Spring MET III from 7-26 March and Spring MET IV from 4-23 April 2023.
For more information, visit metoliva.com.