After three weeks of great sport, the second part of the Autumn MET 2022 in Oliva Nova, Spain, came to an end on Sunday with the CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort.
With 50 horse-and-rider-combinations at start, only six pairs cleared the first-round track set by the German course designer Peter Schumacher. As the first man out in the jump-off, Switzerland’s Niklaus Schurtenberger and the 11-year-old Lireu (Legolas x Landgraf I) set the time to beat to 44.54 seconds – only to be matched by Germany’s Philip Houston and the 12-year-old Sandros S Bella (Sandro Boy x Chacco-Blue), who crossed the finish line in the exact same time.
While Belgium’s Jerome Guery and Great Britain V (Nabab de Reve x Carolus H), the last pair out in the jump-off, clocked the quickest time of the class – 42.12 seconds – they had to settle for the third place when a pole fell. Schurtenberger and Houston shared the win ahead of Guery in third, while Jason Foley (IRL) and Rockwell RC (Kannan x Guidam) finished fourth and Maartje Verberckmoes (BEL) aboard Guidam’s Willow The Second (Willow x Indoctro) fifth.
“My plan was to go fast, but not risk too much,” Schurtenberger commented afterwards about his jump-off, that only Houston could match. “And I think it was a good plan! I have had Lireu since he was five, and this is for sure the biggest win I have had with him.”
Schurtenberger is a regular at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour. “We have been coming here since the very beginning,” he said about the venue in Oliva. “We love coming here – it is good for both the younger and the older horses. Coming to Oliva always feels like coming home.”
The Autumn MET 2022 now takes a week off before resuming action on November 22nd with the third and last part of the tour. For more information, visit metoliva.com.
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