The Autumn MET 2017 concluded on Sunday with the 30,000 Euro Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach and Golf Resort with another British win – this time for Daniel Neilson on Major Delacour (Ksar-Sitte x Leopard).
The 1.45m course set by Franz Madl (AUT) counted 13 jumps, that spread out around the big Oliva Nova grass ring. The sun was again shining on the last day of the Autumn MET 2017, and crowds met up to watch some of the best riders in the world compete. In the end a total of 14 horse-and-rider combinations out of the 56 in this competition counting for the Longines Ranking cleared their way to the jump-off.
Once again the British riders were on fire in Oliva, filling up not only the podium but the top five spots. Fastest of them was Neilson and his 9-year-old chestnut gelding, that produced the quickest yet the smoothest round of the Grand Prix to stop the clock on 47.03 seconds.
“He’s got a really big stride, and it was a lot of long runs in the course which suited him,” Neilson explained after his win. “He was very good to me to the double of verticals, I turned really short there and he tried really, really hard.”
“Major Delacour is 9-year-old, but still really green and he is just getting better and better all the time. I have had him for about 18 months, and we started really small when he was an 8-year-old with the 1.30m classes. We actually came here for the Spring MET this year with him – then only jumping the 1.35m and the 1.40m classes. He has a lot of quality, and has improved all the time since then – I think he is one for the five-star level,” Neilson said.
As during the whole Autumn MET 2017, the British were on top form. Lance Whitehouse ended second on Vik II (Cantos x Unknown) with a time of 47.31 seconds, keeping it close. Then followed Amy Inglis on Wishes (Guidam x Wellington) stopping the clock at 47.38 seconds. Richard Barton and Jessica Dimmock rounded off the top five.
“It’s a fantastic show, a beautiful venue – it is such a nice place to be,” concluded the happy winner Neilson about the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour. “One of my favourite tours to come to!”
The Mediterranean Equestrian Tour now takes a break, and returns in January next year for the Spring-edition.
Photo credit: Photo © Hervé Bonnaud / www.1clicphoto.com.