The first week of the Autumn MET III 2022 in Oliva Nova, Spain, came to an end on Sunday with the CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix presented by Dammann Reitplatz- u. Sportplatzbau GmbH.
The course in the first round counted 13 obstacles and 16 efforts, with the time allowed set to 75 seconds, and a total of 26 pairs cleared the track to join the deciding jump-off. Besting the field of 65 horse-and-rider-combinations, Victor Bettendorf (LUX) and the 12-year-old Astuce de La Roque (Kannan x Quick Star) took the win after stopping the clock on 40.23 in the jump-off.
“Astuce de La Roque won here in Oliva and Caracole de La Roque won the World Cup in Madrid with Julien Epaillard – the La Roque horses are jumping great! This is good for the breeders – which is nice – and I am so happy about it,” Bettendorf said after his victory. “I watched Julien’s jump-off before I rode, so I was inspired.”
“My horse is so quick, to be honest I don’t care how many we are in the jump-off when I am on her, because I know how fast she can be if I just manage to ride well,” Bettendorf said about his winning mount Astuce de La Roque. “She is really fast, and really careful. I have been riding her for about two years now, and this year alone she has won over ten world ranking classes. She has competed and placed on top in three-star Grand Prix classes as well, and has jumped 1.55m classes on the Longines Global Champions Tour circuit. She is my speed horse, but she is able to jump bigger classes too.”
Speaking about his plan for the jump-off and where he thought he won it, Bettendorf said: “Astuce de La Roque is reactive, so when I want to go fast it is easy with her. She does not lose a second on the ground; she can land and turn immediately.”
“I think it is a great place,” Bettendorf said about the venue in Oliva Nova. “The footing is good and the courses are nice, it is a super venue to stay and produce horses.”
Even though the Autumn MET III continues until December 11th, Bettendorf would be happy to stay a little bit longer under the Spanish sun. “I would continue even longer, I like to be here in Spain,” he said. “And if it is working as it is working at the moment… I would rather stay longer here than go back to the cold.”
Sameh El Dahan (GBR) and the 12-year-old WKD Aimez Moi (Je T’Aime Flamenco x breeding unknown) came closest to Bettendorf and Astuce de La Roque, but could not beat the leading time and had to settle for the runner-up position when crossing the finish line in a time of 41.23 seconds. Alexander Zetterman (SWE) and the 11-year-old Conrad (Catoki x Robin Z) took the third place when the clock stopped on 42.22 for the Swedish rider. Aldrick Cheronnet (FRA) and Atlantys By Wisbecq (Argentinus x Darco) finished fourth, while Bassem Mohammed (QAT) and Caletto Cabana (San Patrignano Cassini x Cape Canaveral) took the fifth place.
The Autumn MET III 2022 continues next week with competitions up to CSI3* level and runs until December 11th.
For more information, visit metoliva.com.