Sunday’s CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort saw Germany’s Marcel Marschall and Extra Strong take the top honours, to conclude nine weeks of top sport at the 2021 autumn edition of the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour in Oliva Nova, Spain. Over the nine weeks, the tour has welcomed some of the world’s very best riders and today’s Grand Prix was yet again the scene for high-level sport – with a blue sky and a bright December sun providing the ultimate conditions.
It was a demanding 13-fence track designed by Frank Rothenberger for the conclusion of the tour, which included challenges to the very end with a triple combination at 12abc and an airy, tall, white upright as the last jump at no. 13. The line with two Liverpools at no. nine and ten claimed many victims, as did the triple combination – where poles fell again and again.
More than ten riders attempted the course before the first clear came from Marcel Marschall and the 12-year-old gelding Extra Strong (Diamant de Semilly x Colino). A jump-off was secured when Christoph Könemann (GER) on Frederiks (Carambole x Up To Date) posted the second clear of the class, and eventually Thiago Ribas De Costa (BRA) on Kinky Van’t Heike (Epleaser Van’t Heike x Grandeur) also joined in.
Opening the jump-off on this beautiful and sunny December afternoon, Marschall returned to deliver yet another clear in a time of 45.29 seconds. This would turn out to be good enough for the win; Könemann crossed the finish line a second slower, while Ribas De Costa opted to retire after having one down as last to go. With one time fault each, Dominique Hendrickx (BEL) on Floris TN (Quality Time TN x Vancouver) finished fourth and Tobias Meyer (GER) on All I Need H (Inshallah de Muze x Utrillo vd Heffinck) fifth.
“It was quite difficult and big enough today,” Marschall said about the course. “As you could see, there were only three clears in the first round. Anyway, there were really good riders with really good horses here – but also the two previous weeks the Grand Prix classes have been quite difficult and big.”
“I’m really, really happy with my horse, he jumped fantastic,” Marschall continued. “He was also third in the Grand Prix here two weeks ago. I have had him for almost a year, before that he was with Marcel Wolf who did a fantastic job with him. Extra Strong is just outstanding, and I’m really proud to be able to ride a horse like him.”
“Everything has been perfect here these three last weeks, also the weather has been fantastic!” the happy winner smiled. “But now I am also looking forward to go home and enjoy the Christmas time with my family.”
The Mediterranean Equestrian Tour takes a short break over Christmas, and returns on January 11 for the Spring MET 2022 – which will run in four parts. For more info, visit metoliva.com.