The third and last week of Autumn MET I 2022 concluded with a Belgian victory in Sunday’s CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prix presented by CHG – Construcciones Hispano Germanas S.A, with Nicola Philippaerts and the 10-year-old H&M Luna van’T Ruytershof Z (Levisto Z x For Pleasure) taking the top honours.
The 1.50m course set by Dutch mastermind Louis Konickx counted 13 obstacles and 16 efforts, and with a related line from a liverpool at fence number eight followed by an oxer at fence number nine and a triple combination at fence number ten, it asked plenty of questions from the starter field of 33. Eventually, eight horse-and-rider combinations cleared the track, and as the second pair out in the jump-off Philippaerts and Luna van’T Ruytershof Z – who were the quickest in last weekend’s CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort, but had one fence down – stopped the clock on 36.41, a time that proved unbeatable.
“We always try to come here with a few horses to build them up,” Nicola Philippaerts – who along with his whole family are frequent quests at Oliva Nova – said about the MET venue. Speaking of the today’s Grand Prix course, he said: “I think the course today was very fair; the time was good, the jumps were good and I think we had enough clears – even if there were not so many in the Grand Prix today. I am happy I won it!”
The 10-year-old Luna van’T Ruytershof Z looks like another superstar in the making for Philippaerts. “I think she is an unbelievable mare, we bought her last year,” the Belgian rider said. “She can be a bit hot and strong, but she has really developed very well over the last months. She had one fault in a four-star Grand Prix at Sentower Park, then she won the Belgian Championship in Lanaken, and last weekend we had the fastest time here in the jump-off for the three-star Grand Prix – and today we got a win! I think I can be very happy, as my father and Charlotte Söderström from H&M co-own her: I am delighted as there is not too much pressure on selling her, so hopefully I can have another good horse for the top sport. She is easier than my championship horse Katanga vh Dingeshof, and I think she has all the potential. She just started very late; last year she was only jumping 1.30m classes. I have really taken my time with her. Now, she will have a few weeks off and then I think she will go to CSI5*-W Verona with Katanga. I will try to build her up, and hopefully one day, she can be as good as Katanga.”
Last to go in the jump-off, Melanie Cloarec (FRA) and Nora de Mariposa Pleville (Elvis Ter Putte x Berlin) crossed the finish line in 36.69 seconds slotting into the runner-up position and pushing Tomas Galilea (ARG) on Vertigo Waf (Van Helsing x Contendro I) down to finish third. Ben Maher (GBR) and his new mount Dallas Vegas Batilly (Cap Kennedy x l’Arc de Triomphe Bois Margot) had to settle for the fourth place in the end, after clocking the fastest time of the class – 34.35 – but on the expense of the last fence falling, while Marie Demonte (FRA) on Drisse du Phare (Newton de Kreisker x Olala de Buissy) placed fifth with four faults in a time of 36.75.
Autumn MET 2022 now takes a week off, before MET II starts on October 25. The second part of the autumn tour is followed by MET III which runs from November 22 to December 12. For more information, and last minute bookings for MET III, visit metoliva.com.