The third and last week of Autumn MET II 2023 at Centro Ecuestre Oliva Nova in Spain concluded with a British victory in the CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prix presented by CHG – Construcciones Hispano Germanas S.A.
Ten out of the 50 horse-and-rider-combinations at start cleared the first-round track set in the beautiful Oliva Nova arena and joined the deciding jump-off, where Louise Simpson (GBR) and the 11-year-old Cindy R (Clarimo x Quidam de Revel, bred by Dietmar Rohling) clocked the quickest time. Stopping the clock on 39.69, the British duo took the win ahead of Koen Vereecke (BEL) and Halima van het Bonte Hof Z (Hos d’O x Heartbreaker, bred by Leen Braeckmans) in second in 39.99.
“When there first were quite a few clears, I thought ‘Oh God’ – I did not think it was that easy, but as it turned out, ten clears was the perfect number,” Simpson said about the course set by Gerard Lachat. “I think the course was built brilliantly, I thought the wall quite tight out of the corner would cause more trouble than it did, but actually it jumped really good. It was into a short four stride distance, but actually most of them jumped the wall a bit steady so it worked perfectly.»
“Cindy R is not the fastest horse and I have only been riding her for a few months, so I don’t know her inside out. She does have a very big stride, so the only way I was going to be quicker than anyone else was that I planned to do seven from one to two, where I think most did eight. I stuck with that, and then again, her stride came into place to the last, where I could just keep going – and she eats up the ground. However, I did not think I would be anywhere near fast enough to win!” Simpson explained about her plan going into the jump-off.
“We have had her for about a year now,” Simpson said about her winning horse Cindy R. “She is a huge mare, and on paper you would definitely say she’s a guy’s horse. My husband David has been riding her for most of the year, but actually, ignoring her size, she is so sweet and easy that I kind of stole her three, four months ago and she’s been a hero. The plan was to put me on her to speed her up, so I feel like I’ve done that a bit now. She was actually just breeding until she was eight or nine, so she is not super experienced and she has kind of had a tough year to catch up, but she has definitely done so and come on really quickly.”
“The horses have improved from being here; you can break it up with jumping in different rings and going to the beach, and there is plenty for the kids to do as well. We have had a great time and we are definitely coming back,” Simpson said about the venue at Centro Ecuestre Oliva Nova.
Vincent Lambrecht (BEL) and Varennes du Breuil (Jarnac x Fetiche du Pas, bred by Jean-Michel Lorin) placed third in 40.36, while Seamus Hughes Kennedy (IRL) and Cuffescrange Cavadora (Z Wellie 72 x Luidam, bred by Eamon Sheehan) finished fourth in 40.54 and Gaj Riossa (SLO) aboard Hero (Diamant de Semilly x Quidam de Revel, bred by Redfield Farm) fifth in 40.89.
The Autumn MET 2023 now takes a break for one week before returning with Autumn MET III, which runs from November 28 to December 17.