The 2021 autumn edition of the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour in Oliva Nova, Spain, continued this week with its third and last part – which runs until December 12th. The first week concluded with an Italian victory in the CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix presented by Dammann Reitplatz- u. Sportplatzbau GmbH, as Emilio Biccochi (ITA) and the 10-year-old mare Rondine Del Terricio (Tinka’s Boy x Cento) took home the win.
A total of 16 horse-and-rider combinations from a field of 68 competitors cleared the first-round track designed by Franz Madl (AUT), which counted 13 obstacles and 16 efforts – joining the deciding jump-off. First to go in the jump-off, Kendra Claricia Brinkop (GER) on Nector vd Bisschop (Echo van’T Spielveld x Darco) set the standard with a clear round in 40.28 seconds – a time eventually good enough for the fifth place.
In the end it was the Italian rider Emilio Bicocchi on Rondine Del Terricio that took the tightest twists and turns in the jump-off to record the quickest time of the day, in 36.66 seconds, pushing Richard Howley (IRL) and Arlo de Blondel (Tialoc M x Kassidi) down to runner-up position with their time of 37.14. Marcel Marshall (GER) on Extra Strong (Diamant de Semilly x Colino) placed third, Nicolas Deseuzes (FRA) on Feyah (Verdi TN x Goodtimes) fourth and Brinkop fifth.
“The strategy was simple, because Richard Howley was really, really, fast,” Bicocchi said afterwards about his plans for the jump-off. “I tried from the beginning to be faster if possible, and in the end it was enough.”
“I think the course designer built each class very good from the beginning of the show, it has been interesting to ride and it has been good for the horses to progress in the levels,” Bicocchi continued. “In the first round today, the faults came a little bit everywhere and this too means that the course designer did a good job.”
Bicocchi’s winning mount Rondine Del Terricio has been with her rider since she was a youngster. “She won the Italian Championship in three age categories, for 6, 7- and 8-year-olds, so she is really a competitive horse,” Bicocchi said. “This year is the first year that she starts to jump the Grand Prix classes and I hope this is the first of many more victories. She is a very easy horse. In her head she is really good; she always wants to help her rider. The feeling with her is that she can jump very big classes; I hope to jump some Nations Cups with her in the coming year.”
Bicocchi enjoys competing at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour and said: “It is a really good show here, especially for the horses – and the ground is perfect. I was here in January, and enjoy being back here again.”