Belgium’s Constant Van Paesschen and Diaz du Thot (Ready Boy des Forets x Diams du Grasset, bred by E.A.R.L. Elevage du Thot) won the CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort as the second week of Spring MET I 2024 concluded at Centro Ecuestre Oliva Nova in Spain on Sunday.
With a time of 40.90 seconds in the jump-off between fifteen horse-and-rider-combinations, Van Paesschen took the win ahead of Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt and Coby 8 (Contagio x Escudo 19, bred by Jürgen Geffken) in second in 41.09.
“I am fortunate to have a good friend in Scott Brash,” Van Paesschen said after his victory. “He helped me in the warm-up today and said I should not go and chase Philipp’s time, because he was very fast. I told him that my mare is very quick, but my plan was to ride for the second place and then see where we would end up. I told Scott that if I would get a good first turn, I would maybe risk a bit more. And the turn was good, so then I risked more than planned.”
“She is an unbelievable horse,” Van Paesschen said about his 11-year-old Diaz du Thot. “I have had her since she was six, and she has been winning her whole life. She is just a winner, a trier, she is an unbelievable mare. Before I was getting on her, I told her that if she would jump good today, she would get a week off next week. And before the jump-off, I told her that if she jumped another good round, I would only ride her at the beach for two weeks – and I think she understood me.”
“Oliva is a great place,” Van Paesschen – a familiar face at the venue – said about Centro Ecuestre Oliva Nova. “The arenas are good, the warm-ups are good; everything is good.”
Koen Vereecke (BEL) and Lector vd Bisschop (Bamako de Muze x For Pleasure, bred by Tom De Craene) placed third with a time of 41.52 seconds, while Clement Boulanger (FRA) and Ghanati (Epleaser van’T Heike x Quadrillo, bred by Karen Van De Woestijne) finished fourth in 42.32, followed by Jörne Sprehe (GER) aboard Sprehe Hot Easy (Andiamo Z x Otangelo, bred by R. Teunissen) in fifth in 42.80.
Next week, Spring MET I 2024 moves on to its third and last week, and will be followed by Spring MET II in February, Spring MET III in March and Spring MET IV in April.