British riders rule young horse competitions during 2016 Spring MET IV Week 1
The 2016 Spring MET has entered its final stage, as the fourth and last tour kicked off this week. The 2016 Spring MET IV will run through this week and the next, before it is a wrap for this year’s edition.
As usual, the young horses were the ones leading the way with competitions for 5-, 6- and 7-year-old horses running from Tuesday to Thursday. The British riders turned out to be a dominating force all the way as four out of six competitions against the clock were won by British riders – courtesy of Alice Watson, Emma Stoker and Carmen Edwards.
Thursday’s 7-year-old class was won by 28-year-old Alice Watson aboard the Dutch bred E Pilotta (Baloubet du Rouet x Pilot) with a time of 33.10 seconds in the jump-off. Watson’s compatriot Daniel Neilson finished as runner-up aboard Cirrus (Casall x Quinar), with a difference of 0.79 seconds between the two. USA’s Bliss Heers made it a close call to finish on 34.04 seconds with PMH Pollyanna (Marius Claudius x Royal Bravour), ending up third.
Alice Watson did not only win the 7-year-old class, but also took the victory in the CSI2* 1.35m and 1.40m classes aboard her horses Billy Lemon and Cudansa M respectively. “My horses felt really good today in Oliva! During the previous tour, my older horses didn’t feel so well. They were a bit tired as they had embryo flushes back in January. I gave them a rest and took them to the beach a lot. Today, I jumped them for the first time in competition again, and won both the 1.35m and the 1.40m,” Alice explained about her strong comeback.
Aboard E Pilotta, the British rider already took a victory in a young horse class during the third tour of 2016 Spring MET. “E Pilotta is by Baloubet du Rouet, and he is quite like him. He is sharp and a bit nervous, but he has got loads of jump in him and is very careful. If he is not upset, he is always clear – but with him it is either really good or really bad,” Alice laughed.
Last year, Watson also took E Pilotta to Oliva. “Last year he was not competitive at all; I could not go fast against the clock with him. But this year, he suddenly learned how to go quick!”
This is the third year in a row that Watson competes at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour and she will certainly try to make it back for the Autumn Tour, as well as for the Spring Tour next year. “I like it a lot here. The grass is great; it is something different for the horses. The sand rings are very nice with really good grounds. It is a wonderful experience to be here for my horses and for me!”
Although the British ruled in Oliva this week, Thursday’s concluding 6-year-old class ended with a German victory. Michael Wittschier and his Westphalian bred Candy Day, sired by Marcus Ehning’s great Comme Il Faut, jumped to a victory in 37.19 seconds. Slovakia’s Bronislav Chudyba and Tina Pol’s Frederiks (Carambole x Up To Date) finished as runners-up, followed by Carmen Edwards and SHW Candies B (Chacco Blue x Heartbreaker).
Emma Stoker took the win in Thursday's 5-year-old class aboard the Hanoverian bred Vienna, sired by Valentino. Aboard her horses Cool Cash (Cadensky) and Shariva (Stolzenberg), Stoker also finished third and fourth. Ukraine’s Oleg Krasyuk took the runner-up position with Appolon (Pan Am VDL). On Wednesday, Stoker won the 7-year-old class aboard Shelby – also sired by Stolzenberg.