Robert Vos and Carat shine in the Grand Prix presented by Suzuki at Spring MET 4
The Spring MET 2017 resumed this week, with its fourth and last part of the Tour. Sunday’s CSI2* Grand Prix presented by Suzuki concluded the first week of competition at Spring MET 4, with Robert Vos (NED) and Carat (Cardento x Krevad ) stealing the show as last to go in a jump-off counting twenty horses and riders.
The 1.45m Grand Prix build by Christian Wiegand (GER) had 49 riders in it, and with a large group moving on to the jump-off it was bound to become a real race against the clock. Using the full size of the huge Oliva Nova grass ring, the course designer gave the riders only one option and that was to use their horses’ gallop to cover as much ground as possible.
As the final pair in the ring, Vos and his experienced 17-year-old partner proved to be the best as the Dutch rider urged on Carat to eat up the distances between the seven jumps. Racing around on the stretches to the three last fences, the pair kept on shaving off time to cross the finish line as winners 0.54 seconds ahead of Alberto Marquez Galobardes (ESP) that had taken the lead a few riders before aboard the 10-year-old Croupier V (Kannan x Carthago).
Aldrick Cheronnet and Tanael des Bonnes (Watch Me*Hoy x Don Pierre), the winners of Thursday’s Longines Ranking class, finished third 0.62 seconds behind Vos. Fourth place went to Clem McMahon, who took both first and second place in Saturday’s 1.45m Gold Tour, on Pacato (Pacino x Cavalier Royale). Fifth was Jaime Guerra Piedra (MEX), making it a truly international podium.
“I know I have a really fast horse, but I also wanted to use my head a little as last to go,” said Robert Vos after. “I decided to do one more stride from fence one to two, and then a really short turn to the combination and the rest was just about going fast. I did everything according to the plan I had, and it worked out perfect. I am very happy!”
Carat came to Vos five years ago, and is a winner through and through. “He has won so many classes for me,” said Vos. “And every year he gets better! This year he has done a few big Grand Prix classes, such as in Dortmund where he was sixth. Carat always fights his heart out for me, I mean what more do you want from a horse?”
Vos opted to stay in Oliva for the Spring MET 4 instead of going home for the Dutch Championships in Mierlo. “I think it was more fair to Carat that way, he is 17 now and I need to do what is right for him,” said Vos who will continue his outdoor season after the Spring MET 4 with some selected 3*, 4* and 5* shows around in Europe. “I have a nice 10-year-old coming up in Don Gretzky and also some promising young horses, so I will make a good plan for them all,” said the Dutch rider.
Robert Vos is a regular visitor at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour, and enjoys coming back to Oliva. “I really like it here, I believe I have been here every year since the Tour’s very beginning. For us it is the ideal location as a family, it is easy to keep the overview and the housing is close by – all important factors. It is also very nice facilities here, for the horses it is a good place to be. Every time I have been here, I go home with a good feeling – which is why I keep coming back,” concluded Vos.
Full results can be found here.