The first week of the 2016 Spring MET IV in Oliva Nova, Spain concluded on Sunday, with the CSI2* 1.45m C.H.G Grand Prix. Dutch rider Robert Vos followed in the foot steps of his compatriots Stefanie van den Brink and Marc Houtzager – both Grand Prix winners earlier on during the tour – to take the victory aboard the 16-year-old Swedish bred Carat, while Great Britain’s Anna Edwards and Daniel Neilson settled for second and third position.
Twelve combinations qualified for the jump-off over the Grand Prix course in the stunning grass ring in Oliva. Robert Vos was early to go in the jump-off, and finished with a great time of 37.22 seconds – which in the end turned out to be over four seconds faster than that of runner-up Anna Edwards.
“It was a nicely built Grand Prix course, not extremely big – but pleasant to ride. The horses did not jump so well in the jump-off though, many got a mistake in the combination,” Robert Vos explains. “I was early to go in the jump-off, and won with a big time difference. I think it was due to the fact that the riders who really tried got a rail in the effort.”
Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar came closest to Vos’ time aboard Fidux (Malito de Rêve x Voltaire), but with a rail down he finished fourth on four faults and 39.61 seconds. Anna Edwards took the runner-up position aboard Blazer B (Tombola x Lord Z) in 41.37 seconds, followed by her compatriot Daniel Neilson riding Newton Nickel (Wolfgang x Indoctro) to a time of 41.83 seconds.
Although Carat (Cardento x Krevad) is already 16-years-old, he is still on top of his game. “Carat is in good shape again. At the end of last year and the beginning of this year, he won a lot and now he is back in form. He jumps well and feels great,’’ Robert says about the horse who took home victories in Oliva, at CSI4* Jumping Amsterdam and CSI3* Neumünster earlier this year.
Vos will stay for another week in Oliva, so he will let the 2016 Dutch Championships pass next week. “My wife Annet Willems took over the ride on my other Grand Prix mount Interline H the last couple of weeks. We will vary a little bit with him; sometimes Annet will ride him, sometimes I will. Carat is already 16, so a championship can be a bit too much. I have some very good young horses which I have been producing here in Oliva and I want to focus on those. For instance, I have an 8-year-old called Dempseys who jumped his first ranking class this weekend.”
Robert Vos has been competing at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour from the very first year and is still excited to come back. “It is a great show! The rings are fantastic and like today, jumping on grass, it is wonderful! My horses always do well here and they always go home in a great shape,” Vos concludes.