Oliva Nova, Spain – February 21, 2021 – The second week of Spring MET II 2021 in Oliva Nova, Spain, concluded on Sunday with the €51,650 CHG – Construcciones Hispano Germanas S.A Grand Prix CSI 3*. Best of the 49 horse-and-rider combinations was Alberto Zorzi (ITA) and Cinsey (Contendro I x For Pleasure), with the victory tasting extra sweet for the Italian rider who has been out of action for four months due to a serious neck-injury.
The challenging course for the Grand Prix was set by the Spanish course designer Santiago Varela (ESP). A total of eleven horse-and-rider combinations cleared the first round and joined the deciding jump-off. With twists and turns as well as an optional line on offer from the first to the second fence, the jump-off track proved challenging. In the end, it was all down to the smallest of margins. As second to go in the jump-off, Nicolas Delmotte (FRA) on his championship mount Ilex VP (Diamant de Semilly x Darco) clocked a time of 42.60 seconds – setting the standard high for the ones to follow.
Returning to the show ring after a break of four months, Alberto Zorzi (ITA) set the 14-year-old bay Hanoverian stallion (Contendro I x For Pleasure) in top gear, crossing the finish line in 42.29 seconds – pushing Delmotte down to runner-up position. Even though the competition was fierce, Zorzi’s time could not be caught and the popular Italian could celebrate his comeback with a Grand Prix victory.
“The Spring MET II here in Oliva is my first show after my injury,” Zorzi commented afterwards. “I fell off in St. Tropez in October and broke my neck. I have been recovering well, but it has not been easy getting back: We have been forced to take it slow. This is my second week of showing and I feel very good now!”
With many clear rounds at the beginning of the class, Zorzi explained how he got worried about the track being too easy – which turned out to not be the case. “There were five clears early on,” he said. “I think it was a good course for a three-star 1.50m Grand Prix. For the jump-off, my plan was to first of all go clear. However, after seeing the first two riders, I wanted to try because I thought there was a good chance. And we made it!”
“Cinsey is a superstar,” Zorzi said affectionately when asked about his winning mount. “He jumped so great and felt very good today. He really tried! I have been riding him for two years; I actually did my first international start with him here in Oliva in 2019.”
Speaking of Oliva Nova, Zorzi was full of praise. “Oliva is a super show, everything is well organized,” he said. “I am happy to be here. However, because of Covid-19, we all have to be careful and follow the restrictions.”
Edwin Smits (SUI) and Farezzo (Arezzo VDL x Van Gogh) placed third with a time of 42.73 seconds, while Megane Moissonnier (FRA) on Cordial (Casall x Chicago Z) took the fourth spot with a time of 43.21 seconds. Harry Charles (GBR) on Romeo 88 (Contact van de Heffinck x Orlando) placed fifth after stopping the clocks on 43.54 seconds.
Final Results – €51,650 CHG Grand Prix CSI 3*
1) Alberto Zorzi (ITA) & Cinsey – 0 / 0 – 42.29
2) Nicolas Delmotte (FRA) & Ilex VP – 42.60
3) Edwin Smits (SUI) & Farezzo – 0 / 0 – 42.73
Text: Press release from the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour
Photos: © 1clicphoto.com / Hervé Bonnaud