The third and last week of Spring MET IV 2022 in Oliva Nova, Spain, concluded on Sunday with the CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix presented by CHG (Construcciones Hispano Germanas S.A), as well as a Grand Prix in each of the youth categories; Children, Junior and Young Riders.
In the CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix, 14 pairs out of the 50 horse-and-rider combinations at start cleared the first round and joined the deciding jump-off: Kristaps Neretnieks (LAT) on Tako Dilait (Tailormade Diarado’s Boy x Levantos I), Rocio Lazaro Alonso (ESP) on Infamia Del Amor 3 05 (Grand Rivage x Numero Uno), Sacha Beguin (BEL) on Elcup Van Beek II Z (Elvis Ter Putte x Armitage), Kevin Gonzalez De Zarate Fernandez (ESP) on Conthargos Rouge (Conthargos x Papillon Rouge), Anouk de Ruijter (NED) on Jones (Kannan x Numero Uno), Ismael Garcia Roque (ESP) on Halifax W (Plot Blue x Libero H), Borja Villalon Puras (ESP) on Nero van’T Prinsenveld (Toulon x Quadrillo), Xabier Zabaleta Susperregui (ESP) on Aragorne de Tel (Castronom Z de Hus x Roi des Elfes), Lieven Devos (BEL) on Inca’s Big Think (Think Big van TL x Lanciano), Jérôme Guery (BEL) on Eras Ste Hermelle (Vargas de Ste Hermelle x Andiamo Z), Antonio Mariñas Soto (ESP) on Expresso Minotiere (Tsunami de Hus x Cellebrio), Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) on Malibu de Muze (Nabab de Reve x Tornedo FCS) and Jordan Thompson (GBR) on Quidam B Z (Quasimodo Z x Ramiro Z).
In the jump-off, Kevin Gonzalez De Zarate Fernandez and Conthargos Rouge set the standard early on, mastering the difficult rollback to the penultimate double to stop the clock on 37.52 seconds – which left him in the lead for a long time. But then came Jérôme Guery on the 12-year-old stallion Eras Ste Hermelle, and shaved nearly a second off on the leading time, taking home the win in 36.69 seconds. De Zarate Fernandez had to settle for the runner-up position, while Matos Almeida placed third, Neretnieks fourth and Garcia Roque fifth.
“That was a very good day for the family,” Guery said after his victory. “My son Mathieu won the junior Grand Prix, so we are very happy.”
Speaking of the jump-off, Guery said: “I knew I had to take risk, because Kevin Gonzalez De Zarate Fernandez was really fast. I know my horse has a really big stride, and from fence two to three I did one stride less. Sergio was still behind me and I knew he would try to beat me; I was a little bit lucky because he was faster but had one down.”
“I am really happy to have my horse back after an injury, he did not jump for six months. I came here for him to come back to the high level. He did a good job, he was third Friday and won today,” Guery said.
“I love to come to the MET,” Guery said about the venue in Oliva Nova. “This year, I have been here for 15 weeks. I can really improve my young horses and keep my good ones in shape here. We have everything here, the facilities are the best, and we have the beach as well. That is why, when I come with my young horses, I sometimes take Quel Homme with me, just for the beach. I think this is the best place for producing horses and doing the sport.”
The CSI Children 1.30m Grand Prix presented by Roelofsen Horse Trucks went to Carlos Garcia Sanchez (ESP) on Citing du Breche (Numero Uno x Nabab de Reve) “I am really happy, my horse jumped very good,” the happy winner said. “My horse is great, sometimes he can get a bit hot. I have had him since September, and this was my first Grand Prix victory.”
Nuria Gili Serra (ESP) on Belle Nuit de Vallier (Levistan x unknown) took the runner-up position, while Uxue Arruza Rodriguez (ESP) on Clarin de Llamosas (Clarence C x Clarin de Llamosas) placed third, Liv Linssen (NED) on Lacona (Contendro II x unknown) fourth and Filipe Miguens Malta Da Costa (POR) on Colombe des Quarts (Drakkar des Hutins x unknown) fifth.
The CSI Junior 1.40m Grand Prix presented by Stephex Horsetrucks went to Mathieu Guery (BEL) on Ascalvaro de Bo Z (Asca Z x Calvaro Z). “I got this horse from Stephex Stables three months ago, and she is a super mare,” Guery said. “Here, it was quite difficult, and I saw my friend Micky was already very fast. I tried to keep a good rhythm, and in the end it was close – 0.15 seconds, so I had a bit of luck. But I am super happy, it was a great round,” he said about his jump-off.
Speaking about the venue in Oliva – which in July will host the FEI Jumping European Champioship for Children, Juniors and Young Riders – Guery said: “Oliva is super, we come here every year, it is an amazing show. I try to aim for the Europeans, but we have many competitive riders in Belgium so we have to see. But I do hope so.”
Miquel Canals Ripoll (ESP) on Quintinus II (Quidam’s Rubin x Argentinus) placed second, while the third place went to Leon Brutsaert (BEL) on Corleone Tour Vidal (Mylord Carthago x Sisley de la Tour), fourth to Jimena Garcia Rueda (ESP) on Diane du Val (Diamant de Semilly x Urbain du Monnai) and fifth to Pablo Rueda Martinez (ESP) on Kaiser de Roulard (breeding unknown).
With the only clear round of the class, Luis Ortiz Agüera (ESP) and Altesse du Domaine (Kannan x Allegreto) won the CSI Young Rider 1.45m Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort. “My mare was super fresh, and the most difficult part was the triple combination, but my horse gave her all,” he said afterwards. “I did not expect only one clear, there are so many good horses and riders here.”
David Moser (AUT) on Chicca Blue 2 (Chacco-Blue x Stakkato) took the runner-up position, while Alex Codina Leria (ESP) on My Passion vd Donkhoeve (For Passion d’Ive Z x Vigo d’Arsouilles) placed third, Carolina Villanueva Suarez (ESP) on Indigo Blue Biolley (Chacco-Blue x Argentinus) fourth and Pilar Mateos De Urbina (ESP) on Azure des Roches (Norton d’Eole x Zandor Z) fifth.
In July, Centro Ecuestre Oliva Nova will be hosting the FEI Jumping European Championship 2022 for Young Riders, Juniors and Children, before the Autumn MET 2022 returns at the end of September. For more info, visit metoliva.com.