The first week of the Autumn MET II 2022 concluded with an Irish victory in Sunday’s CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix presented by Rent a Car Dénia at Centro Ecuestre Oliva Nova, Spain.
Twelve pairs out of the 67 horse-and-rider-combinations at start in round one cleared the first-round track set by Elena Boix (ESP) and joined the deciding jump-off. First out in the jump-off, Olivier Robert (FRA) on Vivaldi des Meneaux (Chippendale Z x Bamako) set the time to beat to 38.54 – but had to settle for the runner-up position in the end when Foley crossed the finish line in 36.51 seconds aboard the only 8-year-old Rockwell RC (Kannan x Guidam).
“When I walked the course for the first round, I thought it was quite open from the beginning; nice and inviting, and built fairly for the number of starters,” Foley said after his victory. “There were also parts that were difficult – like the last line with seven short strides to a plank, which saw a lot of faults. The time allowed in the first round was also a factor: You had to be up to a good rhythm and that made things a little bit difficult throughout the round. The jump-off really suited me, starting with a new fence in the middle of the arena. My horse has a lovely big stride, and she is so good and brave that I could make the roll-back to the second last fence tighter than I think most others did, and we did one stride less to the last jump. My horse is really competitive and fast across the ground, it is really just about trying not be going too quick in the beginning of the course with her.”
“My plan going into the jump-off was obviously to be competitive, but my horse is only eight,” Foley continued. “She is very good going against the clock: She wants to be a winner and she knows herself – she knows how to be quick. For me, I was always going to have a go at winning, and luckily it happened today.”
“She is really quite special for an 8-year-old,” Foley said about his horse Rockwell RC. “I think it is only onwards and upwards from here for her. I got the ride on her back three months ago, after having ridden her already as a 5-year-old at the FEI WBFSH Jumping World Breeding Championship for Young Horses in Lanaken where we won. It is brilliant getting the ride on her back now that she is eight. She has answered a lot of questions every time I have asked more from her in a good manner, and I think that is going to make her better than most.”
“This is my second time to do a tour here,” Foley said about the venue at Centro Ecuestre Oliva Nova. “Everybody is nice, it is just genuinely easy here; the location is great with lovely weather. The courses are always lovely, also for the young horses, to produce the 5,6 and 7-year-olds. It really suits at this time of the year, to pack up everything and move down for a while, and let the horses grow and develop in a nice environment.”
Martin Dinesen Neergaard (DEN) on Carpe Diem van de Geeneinde Z (Connor 48 x San Patrignano Cassini) took the third place, while Marion Skalli (FRA) on Cornelia Nok (Chef Rouge HN x Le Tot de Semilly) placed fourth and Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann (GER) on Cornela (Cornet Obolensky x Caretino 2) fifth.
The Autumn MET II 2022 continues next week with classes up to CSI3* level and runs until November 13th, followed by MET III which kicks off November 22nd.
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