The 2020-autumn edition of the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour in Oliva Nova, Spain, concluded its second week of competition on Sunday with France’s Harold Boisset taking the top honours in the CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix presented by CHG
Eight of the 51 horse-and-rider combinations in the Grand Prix managed to jump clear rounds over the track designed by renowned course builder Louis Konickx (NED), to move on to the jump-off where valuable world ranking points were up for grabs. “The course in the first round was very good,” commented Boisset after his victory. “It was technical and the time-allowed was a bit tight; I like that.”
Operating under strict Covid-19 guidelines and protocols, the competitions at the Autumn MET run without spectators this year – but even without anyone cheering them on, the riders turned out to be highly motivated as the jump-off got underway.
It was Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann (GER) and Leotie KJ (Lord Pezi x Couleur Rubin) – fifth to go – that set the first clear in the jump-off, stopping the clock on 38 seconds. Carlos Lopez-Fanjul Tartiere (ESP) was next to go and delivered on behalf of the host nation. With a clear round in 39.06 seconds aboard Ashaane Villa Rose (Utrillo van de Heffinck x Galoubet A), the Spanish rider slotted in behind Meyer-Zimmermann.
Meyer-Zimmermann’s time was up for a real test as Harold Boisset (FRA) and Darragh Kenny (IRL) were the two last to go – both riders are known for being incredibly fast, and Boisset has won countless of classes in Oliva Nova on previous occasions. Today would be no different, as Boisset set Divine de La Roque (For Hero x Kannan) in top gear – cruising effortlessly around to cross the finish-line 2.46 seconds ahead of Meyer-Zimmermann. Kenny set out with winning ambitions too, but the turn to the MET wall did not go quite as planned and the bricks fell for Belo Horizonte (Baloubet du Rouet x Clearway) – leaving yet another win with Boisset at the MET, followed by Meyer-Zimmermann in second and Lopez-Fanjul Tartiere in third.
“This was my first international Grand Prix with Divine de La Rouque,” Boisset explained about his partnership with the 12-year-old mare. “However, she has already done great things with her former riders, first with Adeline, Marie and Michel Hecart as well as more recently with Edward Levy in the saddle.”
“There were only two clears when I went in for the jump-off, but I still had Darragh Kenny coming in behind me so I knew I had to take some risk if I wanted to win,” Boisset told about his strategy for the jump-off. “That’s what I did, it worked out and I am really happy with my horse today!”.
Photo © Hervé Bonnaud / www.1clicphoto.com.
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