Daan van Geel snatches the win in the CSI2* Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort at Spring MET III 2019
As last to go in the jump-off, Daan van Geel (NED) and the 11-year-old gelding Djam (Canturano x Carthago Z) snatched the victory in Sunday’s CSI2* Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort at the Spring MET III 2019
Fifteen out of the 52 horse-and-rider combinations in this 1.45m Grand Prix counting for the Longines Ranking produced clears over the first-round track set by world class course designer Louis Konickx. “When I walked the course, I thought it was quite difficult – especially with the open water at the beginning,” commented Daan van Geel after the class. “It was tough enough for a two-star Grand Prix, but there were many good horses and riders today.”
With a large number through to the jump-off, it was bound to be a race. It was Chloe Winchester (GBR) that opened the jump-off, and with a clear round in 45.58 seconds the target time was set.
However, one rider later, MET-regulars Clem McMahon (IRL) and Pacifico (Pacino x Aldatus Z) entered the Oliva Nova ring and took over the lead with a time of 44.88 seconds. While Frederic Bouvard (FRA) and Hugh Grant de Muze (Shindler de Muze x Jalisco B) gave it a good go a few riders later, it was not fast enough and the pair slotted into runner-up position with their time of 45.41 seconds.
For a long time it looked as if McMahon would walk away with the win, but as last to go Daan van Geel wanted it different. Going full speed on the last stretch down past The Club, Van Geel crossed the finish line in 43.45 seconds and could punch his arms in the air with delight when realising he had secured the victory.
“I did not watch so many in the jump-off, I tried to concentrate on my own round,” Van Geel said afterwards. “Then Mathijs van Asten came to me and said I should try to make the time. My plan was to do six strides to the Roelofsen oxer, but then Mathijs said that if I had enough speed I could do five – and that is what I changed in my plan. Then I went full speed to the last jump, and that was enough for the win.”
“I have had my horse Djam for two years, he is really careful and has easy scope. Djam has a top mentality and is easily fast, and today I had a really good feeling on him,” the happy winner said about his winning partner.
Van Geel is a regular at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour. “This is my fourth time here, and we really enjoy it. The facilities are great, not only for the horses, but for the grooms and the riders too,” the Dutch rider closed off.
The Spring MET III continues next week with CSI3* competitions, concluding on 31st of March. In April, the Spring MET 2019 will see its fourth and final part with two weeks of international competitions running from 9th to 21st of April.
Photo © Hervé Bonnaud / www.1clicphoto.com.
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