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Brash best as Spring MET 2018 kicks off with €30,000 Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach and Golf Resort

Sunday, 21 January 2018
CSI2* Spring MET I 2018

Photo © Hervé Bonnaud / Scott Brash and Hello Mr. President won the first CSI2* Grand Prix of Spring MET 2018. Photo © Hervé Bonnaud /

The Spring MET 2018 kicked off this week at Oliva Nova Equestrian Centre, and concluded with Sunday’s 30,000 Euro Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach and Golf Resort. Just like in Thursday’s Gold Tour it was one of the world’s very best that went off with the top honours: Scott Brash (GBR) on the 9-year-old Hello Mr. President (Comme d’Api VD Hacienda x breeding unknown).

“I have always known that he is a very good horse, and now he is improving all the time. It is nice to have him down here in Oliva, and to be more competitive with him. I have really high hopes for the future!” a happy Brash said after winning the first Grand Prix of the Spring MET 2018.

The 1.45m course, set by Elio Travagliati (ITA), counted 13 obstacles and 16 efforts and the class took place in the beautiful Valencia ring under the January sun. With names like Nicola Philippaerts, Conor Swail, Scott Brash, Pedro Veniss, Pilar Lucrecia Cordon, Olivier Robert, Lorenzo De Luca, Constant Van Paesschen, Julien Epaillard and Laura Renwick on the start list the Grand Prix offered top sport with the world’s very best riders in action.

“I think it was a well build course. Seven clears out of 39 competitors is a good number and the course was fair and nice to ride,” Brash detailed about the CSI2* Grand Prix.

The jump-off gave the riders several possibilities to stretch out, and use their horses’ gallop and first out was home favourite Laura Roquet Puignero (ESP) with Sandi Puigroq (Diamant de Semilly x breeding unknown) and they set the standard with a safe clear in 43,66 seconds. 

Caio Carvalho Filho (BRA) shaved 2,5 seconds off Roquet Puignero’s time, but with one down it was not to be. Conor Swail (IRL), well known for being fast, didn’t disappoint as next to go. Together with Domino van de Valhoeve (Lord Z x Concorde) he set off in full speed from the beginning and took over the lead in 39,40 seconds. 

French rider Valentine Belooussoff squeezed into runner-up position as next to go, with his 42,69 seconds, riding Calou (Roven x Lauriston). Marc Bettinger (GER) – another fast rider – and Incroyable de Muze (Nabab de Reve x For Pleasure) gave it a good go, but after a fault in the combination the two of them slowed down eventually finishing 6th. Maria Bibikova went for safety, but still had to see a fence fall for her and Quasimodo (Quidam’s Rubin x Corofino I), leaving them in 7th place.

Last to go was Scott Brash with Hello Mr President, and the jump-off course seemed to suit them perfectly. After speeding through the finish line in 38,75 seconds, the pair ended as winners of the Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort Grand Prix leaving Swail to second and Belooussoff to third.

“I will be here in Oliva for another week, and then I go to Bordeaux before I come back here for MET II. I really like being here, it is super facilities and every year you come back there is always improvement. Everything is close and the beach is so nice for the horses,” Brash said about his stay at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour.


Source: Press release from Mediterranean Equestrian Tour // Picture © Hervé Bonnaud /

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