Oliva Nova, Spain – November 10, 2019 – In a hotly contested jump-off, it was William Funnell (GBR) and Billy McCain that went off with the win in Sunday’s €31,500 Grand Prix CSI 2* presented by Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort during the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour‘s 2019 Autumn MET II in Spain.
No less than 21 horse-and-rider combinations in the class made it to the jump-off after producing clears over Santiago Varela’s (ESP) first round track that counted fourteen fences which included a double, a triple combination as well as an open water. “It was a nice course,” Funnell commented. “With nearly 90 in the class, it is only so much a course builder can do in a two-star Grand Prix,” Funnell said with reference to the many clear rounds.
William Funnell (GBR) and Billy McCain
Coming in as no. six to go in the jump-off, Funnell put his 11-year-old grey Anglo-European Sport Horse gelding (Cevin Z x Cruising) in top gear from the beginning. With a great turn to the penultimate upright and then a perfect run to the last vertical, Funnell crossed the finish line with the best time of the day – 41.47 seconds.
“I was very pleased with Billy McCain, he jumped really well this weekend. He was 4th in the world ranking class on Friday and won today – both very fast classes,” Funnell said. “However, after being 4th on Friday I did not want to be too slow today – I’d rather knock one down,” the winner laughed when speaking about his strategy for the jump-off.
Billy McCain comes from Funnell’s own successful breeding program at the Billy Stud, which he runs together with Donal Barnwell. “Billy McCain is by Cevin Z, one of our top stallions and out of a Cruising-mare. He is owned by a really good supporter of mine, Denise Stamp, who bought him as a young horse – so she will have followed him on the live stream today and will be happy with the win,” Funnell smiled.
None of those to come in the jump-off were able to catch up with the British rider, who has countless of Grand Prix and Nations Cup wins on his record as well as a team gold medal from the European Championships.
Closest came French rider Charles Henri Ferme on Bellini Dufaure de L (Mylord Carthago x Dollar de la Pierre), who finished in the runner-up position with a time of 41.95 seconds.
Third place was claimed by Dutch rider Mathijs van Asten (NED) on Yagudin (Berlin x Irco Mena), with a time of 42.18 seconds.
Marie Hecart, also representing France, finished fourth with Boheme de La Roque (Kannan x Quick Star) in 42.32 seconds and Tom Tarver-Priebe (NZL) with Popeye (Cardento x breeding unknown) fifth in 42.82 seconds.
William Funnell (GBR) & Billy McCain during the awards ceremony
“We came to the MET last year too, and we really enjoyed it – both Pippa and I,” Funnell said – referring to his famous eventing wife who has also been seen in action in Oliva Nova. “It’s almost a bit of a holiday for us here, being away from home. We have had a very nice time and even better now with this win!”
The Autumn MET II runs for one more week, concluding with a CSI 3* from the 12th to the 17th of November.
For full results, please click here.
Source: Press release from Mediterranean Equestrian Tour
Photos: © 1clicphoto @ http://www.1clicphoto.com / Hervé Bonnaud