Oliva Nova, Spain – November 15, 2020 – The second part of the 2020 Autumn Series of the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour concluded on Sunday with the CHG Grand Prix CSI 2*. After taking top honors in Friday’s Grand Prix Qualifier CSI 2*, Belgium’s Koen Vereecke (BEL) continued his winning streak in the Grand Prix – this time riding the 10-year-old gelding Arioso du Bois (Rock’N Roll Semilly x Qredo de Paulstra).
The sun was shining from a clear and blue sky on the last day of the Autumn MET II, as 69 horse-and-rider combinations lined up to test themselves over the track designed by Javier Trenor Paz (ESP). Eitght of them managed to answer all the questions that were asked, moving on to the jump-off.
“With eight clears, it was perfect – not too many for the jump-off. The time allowed was short enough today, and it was a nice course as the faults spread out everywhere,” Vereecke said about the Grand Prix track.
The first clear round in the jump-off came from William Whitaker (GBR) and Galtur (Cornet’s Stern x Balou du Rouet) – who set the time to beat at 39.89 seconds. Their time was quickly bettered by Vereecke and Arioso du Bois, who took all the risk on the last line, blazing down on an angle to the penultimate oxer and then the last vertical to stop the clock at 37.08 seconds.
While those to come all tried, none of them could catch Vereecke. Vereecke’s compatriot Constant Van Paesschen (BEL) and Isidoor van de Helle (Canturo x Qredo de Paulstra) gave it a good shot, but with their 37.73 seconds it was not enough. The closest ones were David Will (GER) and Ted (Waranta x Jalisco B), who crossed the finish line in 37.20 seconds, pushing in between Vereecke and Van Paesschen. As last to go, Marie Demonte (FRA) slotted into fourth with Vega de La Roche (Diamant de Semilly x Baloubet du Rouet) after clocking a time of 38.20 seconds.
“I knew I had to be a bit careful coming into the double, so there I lost a little time,” Vereecke detailed about his plan for the jump-off. “My turn back to the third last oxer was not super but still quite good, and then I went straight on to the penultimate oxer – I think that’s where I won the class.”
“A friend of mine bought Arioso du Bois as a foal on an auction in St. Lô, where we were showing. One year ago, he asked me if I wanted to ride him. Now, we own him together,” Vereecke explained. “Arioso du Bois is brave, careful and has a lot of scope, sometimes he still has to open a bit on the jumps – but he gets better and better! Next year I hope to step him up to the three-stars and maybe a bit more – he is a very nice horse with a good mind.”
“This has been a very difficult year, so I am happy with a win here,” said Vereecke – who also will compete during the two last weeks of the Autumn MET. “It’s great to have the possibility to show here in Oliva, there is very little going on at home at the moment. Here we can stay outside to do our sport, the facilities are great and we can go to the sea in between – it’s perfect!”
Operating under strict Covid-19 guidelines and protocols, the Autumn MET is scheduled to return with a third part running over two more weeks – from November 24th to December 6th.
For full results, please click here.
Source: Press release from the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour
Photos: © Hervé Bonnaud / www.1clicphoto.com