Constant van Paesschen & Isidoor van de Helle. Photo© 1clicphoto.com/Herve Bonnaud
The €30,000 Euro Grand Prix sponsored by Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort at the Spring MET in Oliva Nova, Spain went to Belgium’s Constant Van Paesschen on the 9-year-old stallion Isidoor van de Helle (Canturo x Qredo de Paulstra).
23-year-old Van Paesschen came straight from a victory in Saturday’s 1.45m Gold Tour, to yet again claim the top honors in Oliva on Sunday, February 19, 2017. “My horse was amazing today and I am very happy with the result,” the winner said after the prize giving ceremony.
Out of the 68 riders in the 1.45m Grand Prix, 16 produced clears in the first round over the track set by course designers Peter Schumacher (GER) and Alan Wade (IRL) to join the jump-off. “I think the course today was really nice, I have to say we have to give thanks to the course builders, they have done a really good job the whole week,” said Van Paesschen.
Van Paesschen – who for big parts of the autumn and winter season has a base for his young horses at the Oliva Nova Equestrian Center – was the 15th rider to go in the jump-off, and he took over the lead with an effective clear round and a time of 45,94 seconds.
“I come to Oliva every year, I think the facilities and the show in general are fantastic. Everything is close by and it is easy to work for everyone in the team. Having the beach so near is also fantastic. I really like the Tour! I will ride one more week here, and then I do the show in Dortmund – after that we have to see what the plan looks like,” Van Paesschen said.
Following Van Paesschen as runners-up were reigning World Cup Champions Steve Guerdat (SUI) and the 11-year-old gelding Corbinian (Cornet Obolensky x Pilot), with a clear round and a time of 46,14 seconds in the jump-off. Simone Blum (GER), who took an early lead after being third to go in the jump-off on the 10-year-old mare DSP Alice (Askari x Landrebell), placed third in the end.
Daniel Neilson (GBR) on the 13-year-old gelding Newton Nickel (Wolfgang x Indoctro) rode a beautiful clear round, placing fourth with his time of 48,99 seconds. Louise Simpson (GBR) on the 11-year-old gelding Grafit (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Manhattan) took the fifth place, making it two British riders in the top five in Oliva.
The jump-off offered excitement all the way to the very end, as last-to-go Julien Epaillard (FRA) on the 11-year-old gelding Safari D’Auge (Diamant de Semilly SF x Papillon Rouge) did a great turn to the second fence with the crowds cheering him on but unfortunately the French rider had to see a pole fall on the penultimate fence leaving the victory in Belgian hands.
Full results can be found here.