Oliva Nova, Spain – February 16, 2020 – The 2020 spring edition of the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour resumed this week with its second part, the Spring MET II. The first week of competition concluded on Sunday with an exciting €30,300 Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort Grand Prix CSI 2* and it was Marlon Módolo Zanotelli (BRA) and Sweet Tricia that went off with the top honours.
In glorious sunshine, a total of 56 horse-and-rider combinations had lined up for the challenge set by course designer Peter Schumacher (GER). Nineteen pairs cleared the first round and joined the deciding jump-off over a shortened, seven-fence track. In the jump-off, things really heated up and the audience was in for a treat as only the top four pairs managed to deliver a double clear result.
In the action-packed jump-off, Fanny Skalli (FRA) on the 11-year-old mare Jonka-A (Cardento x unknown) set the standard early on when stopping the clocks on 41.18 seconds.
Marlon Módolo Zanotelli (BRA) & Sweet Tricia
However, Skalli’s lead was short-lived as Marlon Módolo Zanotelli (BRA) and the 11-year-old mare Sweet Tricia (Berlin x Tampa) shaved off over a second on the time – setting the time to beat to 40.00 sharp.
Despite some serious efforts, no one could beat Módolo Zanotelli. Marie Demonte (FRA) on the 12-year-old gelding Dindoctro (C Indoctro x Hemmingway) got closest, taking the runner-up position with a time of 40.49 and pushing Skalli down to third. Megan Moissonnier (FRA) on the 11-year-old stallion Cordial (Casall x Chicago Z) placed fourth with a time of 42.55 seconds, while one down for Nicolas Delmotte (FRA) on the 12-year-old gelding Urvoso du Roch (Nervoso x Grand d’Escla) in 40.60 seconds left him in fifth.
“She is an amazing mare, we all know her from before and I am very lucky to have the chance to ride her,” the happy winner said about Sweet Tricia – that joined his string of horses towards the end of last year after previously being successfully campaigned by Darragh Kenny (IRL). “For me, it is just a matter of getting to know her – and that was the idea of coming to the Spring MET 2020,” Módolo Zanotelli explained. “I still have to figure her out, even though I already had a very good feeling with her in the last CSI 3* Grand Prix here in Oliva. Then she was double clear and placed fourth, but we were not as quick then as I thought we could be. I knew there was more inside of her, and today it luckily all worked out.”
“I don’t think I was riding that fast, I think the key today was that Sweet Tricia is naturally very quick,” Módolo Zanotelli detailed on his winning round. “After the double I had a good shot to the next vertical, but then I actually added an extra stride. I think Sweet Tricia did the first line so fast, and she won this Grand Prix today – not my riding.”
Marlon Módolo Zanotelli (BRA) & Sweet Tricia during the awards ceremony
Módolo Zanotelli is a familiar face at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour. “I love Oliva, I have been coming here since it started,” he said. “Bettina and her whole team are doing an amazing job, every year there are improvements here. What I like is that the organising committee is always thinking about the horses and riders. Also, I love the facilities around the show – with the hotel and all that is on offer. You can really enjoy the time here with the whole family.”
Spring MET II runs over a total of three consecutive weeks, continuing until March 1st when it concludes with a CSI 3* Grand Prix.
For full results, please click here.
Source: Press release from Mediterranean Equestrian Tour
Photos: © Mediterranean Equestrian Tour / Hervé Bonnaud / www.1clicphoto.com.