The Mediterranean Equestrian Tour’s 2022 spring edition in Oliva Nova, Spain, has entered its last month of competition, and the first of three weeks of showjumping action concluded with a CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix presented by CHG – Construcciones Hispano Germanas S.A – won by home hero Luis Mateos Bernaldez (ESP) on the 10-year-old gelding Chamant de Biolley (Chacco-Blue x Argentinus).
A total of eight riders out of 34 managed to deliver clear rounds over Javier Trenor’s thirteen-fence track set in the Oliva Nova ring. With Bethanie Knight (GBR) opting not to return for the jump-off, seven riders were left to battle it out for the win and world ranking points.
As first to go, Luis Mateos Bernaldez gave it his everything and set the time to beat to a blazing 39.30 seconds. “I’m a very competitive rider, so I always start my jump-offs looking for the win. I knew Chamant could do it, so I went all out,” smiled the Spanish rider after his brilliant performance.
None of those to come could do anything about the leading time. Belgium’s young gun Mathieu Guery, winner of Friday’s world ranking class, gave it a good shot but a pole fell on the way, and the door was left open for the five remaining riders. Kristaps Neretnieks (LAT) and Tako Dilait (Tailormade Diarado’s Boy x Levantos I) were next to go but could not catch Luis Mateos Bernaldez with their time of 41.50 seconds, neither could Duarte Seabra (POR) on Dourados 2 (Diarado x Cornet Obolensky) in 41.30. As second last to go, it was Sascha Beghuin (BEL) that came the closest, crossing the finish line clear in 40.87 seconds with Elcup Van Beek II Z (Elvis Ter Putte x Armitage). Sira Martinez Cullell (ESP), last in the ring, delivered the quickest time of the class in 38.40 seconds, but the risk came on the expense of a pole down – which left Luis Mateos Bernaldez with the win, Sascha Beghuin in second and Duarte Seabra in third.
“It was a big class and very technical, it was not easy with the triple combination at 7abc,” Luis Mateos Bernaldez said afterwards about the course. “I’m very happy; my horse did it easy.”
“Over the last years, Chamant has been ridden by my brother; he started him when he was 4-years-old, and he did an exceptional job with him – bringing him up to this level,” Luis Mateos Bernaldez detailed. “I only started to ride Chamant last summer. It’s a horse with a lot of power, a lot of strength, so at the beginning it was not easy for me – mostly because I due to my job normally only ride during the weekends.”
It was a delighted winner who could finish his weekend in the best possible way, and he gave credit to his team for the victory. “Today, I would like to send a few kind words to Carlos López-Fanjul, who is helping me at the shows; he is doing a great job with me and my horse,” Luis Mateos Bernaldez closed off with a big smile on his face.
The Spring MET 2022 runs in four parts from January to April, gathering some of the world’s very best horses and riders under the Spanish sun. For more information, visit metoliva.com.