arold Boisset and Quolita Z on their way to victory at the Autumn MET, in the CSI2* Grand Prix presented by Grupo CHG. Ph. © Hervé Bonnaud
France’s Harold Boisset kicked off the first week of the 2016 Autumn MET continuing where he left off at the Spring Tour earlier this year: On a winning streak. The 28-year-old who won sixteen competitions during the Spring Tour-edition of the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour is already well underway to achieve the same results at the Autumn MET as he has opened week one of the Tour with no less than six victories. Only adding to the record was steering Quolita Z to the grand prix win in Oliva, Valenciana, Spain on Sunday, October 23rd.
The 1.45m CSI2* Grand Prix presented by Grupo CHG had several world-class riders lined up to test their skills over Alan Wade’s thirteen fence track. Not a cloud could be seen on the blue sky, and with warm and sunny Spanish weather the conditions for horses and riders were perfect as the competition got underway.
In the end, thirteen of the 62 riders in the class produced clear rounds, and moved on to the jump-off.
“There are many good riders and horses here, so I thought that we would have around 15-17 in the jump-off,” Boisset said afterwards. “It was a well built course though; technical but fair to the horses.”
It was not until the ninth rider arrived in the ring for the jump-off that the crowds would witness a clear round. It came from Israel’s Danielle Goldstein who rode a beautiful and fast round on her new mount Lizziemary (Cabri D’Elle x Acord II). Despite their relatively short partnership, the two already have one CSI2* grand prix win under their belt winning the Grand Prix of Vilamoura on October 9th. The pair were close to recording one more – if it had not been for Boisset beating them by the tiniest of margins as next to go in the ring in the first round.
“Before I went in, it was just one double clear – posted by Danielle. However, I did not see her round. When I went into the ring I decided that I would ride to be clear, I did not want to go really fast but I was determined to tighten my turns to save some time. Actually, I thought I was a bit quicker then I really was – when I crossed the finish line it was only 0.09 seconds in between us so I was also a bit lucky to be in front today,” said a happy Boisset following his lap of honor.
A smaller horse, Boisset’s mount, the 10-year-old Zangrsheide mare Quolita Z (Quasimodo Z x Ramiro) is often times smaller than the fences she is jumping.
“She is naturally fast and very willing, so she would always give me a good time,” said Boisset. “Quolita is super careful, and made for jumping – but sometimes she wants to do a bit too much so she can end up rushing. Then she can make a mistake, which was the case in Friday’s ranking class.”
“Today she was really in top shape and easy to ride, so I am very happy with her,” Boisset continued about the horse that has provided him with some big wins this season.
Harold Boisset is a regular visitor at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour, and revealed that there are several factors that keep bringing him back – not only the fact that he wins a lot while in Oliva.
“The infrastructure here is much better than the shows I have access to where I live.”
“First of all the climate is very nice, although not so different from the south of France where I am based. However, the infrastructure here is much better than the shows I have access to where I live. Also, I always have a big amount of young horses and the Tour here enables me to bring them on – for the Autumn MET I have brought 14 horses,” Boisset detailed. “I hardly do any indoor shows, I start up outdoors at the Spring MET at the beginning of the year and finish off here as well stretching the season outside. The quality of the footing and the rings here are second to none, and I always have a good show here so why stop to come?”
Completing the top five in today’s Grand Prix was home rider Antonio Mariñas Soto in 3rd place, while Great Britain’s Jessica Dimmock produced the last double clear of the day aboard Cybel II (Varo x Lancer) to end 4th .
Full results of Sunday’s 1.45m CSI2* Grupo CHG Grand Prix here.