The third and last week of Spring MET II 2022 concluded on Sunday with the CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort and it was once again Julien Epaillard that took home the win after a jump-off between eight horse-and-rider combinations.
Out of 44 starters, Julien Epaillard (FRA) on Caracole de la Roque (Zandor Z x Kannan), Anna Power (GBR) on McQueen (Cobra x Caretano Z), Abdelkebir Ouaddar (MAR) on Istanbull V.H Ooievaarshof (Casall x Calido I), Dayro Arroyave (COL) on Cascol Z (Casall x Calvados Z) and Philippe Rozier (FRA) on Le Coultre de Muze (Presley Boy x Vigo d’Arsouilles) were joined in the deciding jump-off by Virginie Thonon (BEL) on Spike Vd Withoeve (Sting Vd Withoeve x Rival Z), Lars N Pedersen (DEN) on Boegegaardens Gladiola (Boegegaardens Grafs Stakkato x Boegegaardens Apollo) and Marc Houtzager (NED) on Sterrehof’s Dante N.O.P. (Canturano x Phin Phin).
First out, Epaillard and Caracole de la Roque opened the jump-off with a clear round – stopping the clock on 34.43 seconds and setting the standard for those to follow. While Power rode a steady clear, Ouaddar gave it his best shot but the risk came on the cost of the penultimate fence falling. While Arroyave and Cascol Z were caught out on the very first fence, Rozier jumped a picture-perfect clear on Le Coultre de Muze, slotting into runner-up position behind Epaillard with a time of 37.54 seconds. That did not last long though as Pedersen crossed the finish line in 35.60 seconds with Boegegaardens Gladiola, taking over the runner-up spot with only one man left to go. Riding Sterrehof’s Dante N.O.P., Marc Houtzager challenged Epaillard but had to settle for runner-up position when the clock stopped on 34.57 – only fractions behind the French speed specialist who took yet another Grand Prix victory in Oliva Nova, leaving Houtzager to second, Pedersen to third, Rozier to fourth and Power to fifth place.
The Mediterranean Equestrian Tour 2022 in Oliva Nova now takes a week’s break before returning to action on March 8 when the Spring MET III 2022 kicks off.