Victor Bettendorf and Simolo de La Roque Z back in winning form at Autumn MET III 2023 1

Victor Bettendorf and Simolo de La Roque Z back in winning form at Autumn MET III 2023

This week, the third and last part of the Autumn MET 2023 kicked off at Centro Ecuestre Oliva Nova in Oliva, Spain and the first of three competition weeks concluded on Sunday with the CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix presented by Dammann Reitplatz- u. Sportplatzbau GmbH. 

Eleven out of the 67 horse-and-rider-combinations at start cleared the first-round track set by France’s Gregory Bodo – the course designer who will be responsible for building at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris alongside Santiago Varela – and joined the deciding jump-off, where Victor Bettendorf (LUX) and Simolo de La Roque Z (Spartacus TN x Casall, bred by Top Stallions Company) were the fastest pair, crossing the finish line in 36.07.

“I think Bodo did a great job the whole week,” Bettendorf said after his victory. “I know him well from France, and when he is building the courses, it always seems to work out quite well for me – so I am happy when he is there. Probably he is already thinking about the Olympics, testing some fences and lines. I really like his courses; they are never too high, they are more technical and the efforts towards the horses are not too big – they are more geared towards the rider.”

“I saw many mistakes on the two last fences, so I went a little bit more outside for the penultimate fence and had one stride less on the last line and I think that is the distance where I won,” Bettendorf said about his plan for the jump-off. “It was a bit my idea, and I am happy that it worked out as it did.”

Victor Bettendorf and Simolo de La Roque Z back in winning form at Autumn MET III 2023 1

Speaking about his winning mount, the 11-year-old Simolo de La Roque Z, Bettendorf said: “He is a very competitive horse and has won a few Grand Prix classes here already, he has won a lot of 1.45m and 1.50m classes. I can always count on him; it is a nice feeling having him on the truck when I go to a show.”

“For me, this is the third or fourth year I am coming here,” Bettendorf said about the venue in Oliva Nova. “This is a great place for producing horses, with good course builders and good footing. I really like to come here with my horses, either to end a season or to start one. The atmosphere is nice and it is great to be in the sun while others have half of meter of snow at home.”

Stopping the clock over a second behind Bettendorf and Simolo de La Roque Z, Fernando Martinez Sommer (MEX) and Charlie Harper (Comme Il Faut 5 x Salinator, bred by Bernd Hirnstein) had to settle for the runner-up spot in 37.11, while Jamie Kermond (AUS) and Isis (Bodubai x Labor’s VDL Indorado, bred by A.S. Okkema-Koopmans) placed third in 37.73. Kim Emmen (NED) and Macho V (Falco x Quidam de Revel, bred by Leo Vermeiren) finished fourth in 39.23, followed by Adrian Speight (GBR) aboard Millfield Baloney (Balou du Rouet x Kanudos, bred by S. Jagger) in fifth with one down in 35.61.

The Autumn MET III 2023 continues next week and runs until December 17. 

Click here for full results

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