The first week at the Autumn MET 2021 concluded with the €30,000 CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix presented by CHG – Construcciones Hispano Germanas S.A – and the victory went to the young French rider Melie Gosa riding Alouette d’Eole.
The course designed by Gerard Lachat (SUI) counted 13 obstacles and 15 efforts, and with the time allowed set to 74 seconds, it proved tricky enough. Nine pairs out of a field of 35 starters produced a clear round: Virginie Thonon (BEL) on Spike Vd Withoeve (Sting Vd Withoeve x Rival Z), Hendrik-Jan Schuttert (NED) on Hertogin van de Kouberg (Den Ham Blue R x London), Alberto Zorzi (ITA) on Cinsey (Contendro I x For Pleasure), Michael Greeve (NED) on Guan Gjb (Namelus R x Sydney), Wout-Jan van der Schans (NED) on A S Bombay (Diamant de Semilly x Contender), Mario Wilson Fernandes (POR) on Georg van de Windeweg (Diamant de Semilly x Nimmerdor), Melie Gosa (FRA) on Alouette d’Eole (Mylord Carthago *HN x Helios de La Cour), Clem McMahon (IRL) on Pacato (Pacino x Cavalier Royale) and Nina Piasecki (GER) on Sheikh (Stakkato x Exorbitant).
Four riders were caught out by the time allowed in the first round. A single time penalty kept Cecilie Tofte (DEN) on Cismet 4 (Coronas 2 x Quidam de Revel), Dani G. Waldman (ISR) on Katinka Dree Boeken (King Kolibri x Perigueux), Vladimir Tuganov (RUS) on Good Morning B (Eldorado vd Zeshoek x Zandor Z) and Coralie Maitre (SUI) on Flawless (Cheers Cassini x Kigali) out of the jump-off.
Third out in the jump-off, it was Italy’s Alberto Zorzi on Cinsey that produced the first double clear result in a time of 44.08 seconds. However, there was still room for improvement: The Netherlands’ Wout-Jan van der Schans stopped the clock on 43.70 and took over the lead. But then came the French rider Melie Gosa on Alouette d’Eole – the pair that picked up a victory in Friday’s Grand Prix qualifier. Going full speed around the track, they crossed the finish line in 39.68 seconds, pushing van der Schans down to second and Zorzi to third. Clem McMahon and Pacato followed with a good try on catching the French rider, but Gosa’s time was unbeatable. With a time of 41.60 seconds, McMahon had to settle for the runner-up position, leaving van der Schans to third, Zorzi to fourth and Mario Wilson Fernandez on Georg van de Windeweg to fifth.
“I always love the courses in this amazing arena,” the happy winner commented afterwards. “This huge ring makes me want to ride fast, the arena itself is a true motivation for me.”
“I bought Alouette when she was six,” the 22-year-old told about her winning ride. “She was competing under the saddle of Stéphane Dufour when she was four and five. I always wanted to do things slowly with her: We had time to learn to know each other. And finally, this year, it feels like we have found top form, it has been a real breakthrough year for us. We have won six ranking classes.”
Gosa knew from the start that her horse was something special. “I knew, I was sure, that this will happen. It was my feeling. This year, we have reached a perfect understanding, and she is absolutely amazing! She goes wherever I want.”
“I love MET,” Gosa says about the venue at Oliva Nova. “It has always been my favourite show. For me, the mental well-being of my mare is a must. This week she has only been hacking on the beach, she feels really happy here. For me, everything is five-star for the horses here at MET.”
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