Julien Epaillard & Toupie de La Roque. ph: 1Clicphoto
The second week of the Autumn Mediterranean Equestrian Tour concluded on Sunday, October 15, 2017 with a win for France’s Julien Epaillard in the CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix, presented by Construcciones Hispano Germanas S.A.
Taking place in Olivia Nova, Spain, the class saw 53 horse and rider combinations, with the prize being the lump sum of the €30,000 purse and points towards the Longines FEI Rankings.
The 1.45m, 13-obstacle-track set by Germany’s Christian Wiegand saw 11 pairs return to the shortened course. First to go in the jump-off, Epaillard and the 10-year-old Selle Francais mare Toupie de La Roque (Kannan x Nabab de Reve) started off in full speed, setting the standard for the rest to follow with a leading time of 39.53s.
“It was a nice course today, with only one triple combination and no double combination” said Epillard. “With the open water, it was all difficult enough today. I was first to go in the jump-off and I tried to do my best. I am very happy that it was enough! My horse had a break for three months, and I came here to build her up again. I think this was a nice way to finish the two weeks here.”
None of the remaining pairs could beat the French rider. Constant van Paesschen (BEL) and the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding Compadre van de Helle (Casall x Concerto II) secured the second fastest time of 40.26s, taking home the runner-up position.
“I think the course today was very nicely built,” said Paesschen. “My horse is just amazing. I could not have asked more from him here – he has jumped great during the whole Tour. This is the place to be, I think – to end the outdoor season with facilities like this and in such great weather, you don’t get this anywhere else. The stables are great, the footing is good and the beach – that is just the little bonus on top. I am very happy to end my outdoor season here.”
In 3rd place, Niall Talbott (IRL) crossed the timers aboard the 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding Caracter (Carano x Liatos) in 41.26s.
Fourth place went to Govett Triggol (RSA) and the 11-year-old mare Wolke 334 (Quinar x Acord II), who finished in a time of 41.66s. USA’s Emily Short and the 11-year-old gelding Beaumont W/V (Ukato x Corland) clocked a time of 43.26s in the jump-off, taking home the 5th place spot.
Over the past two weeks at the MET, Epillard secured multiple 1st place victories.
“I really like the place here in Oliva – it is not too far from where I live, the facilities are great to work in, and the weather is always beautiful. Whenever I have horses that need to do some CSI2* shows, I come here. It is the perfect place to get horses ready for the CSI5* circuit.”
The Autumn MET 2017 now takes a week break, and resumes on Tuesday 24th of October for the second part of the Tour with three weeks of competition.
The full results can be viewed here.