1.50m Grand Prix CSI3* MET

THE second week of Spring MET I 2023 concluded on Sunday with a German victory in the CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prixm presented by Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort, as Christian Kukuk and Nice van’t Zorgvliet took the top honours after an exciting jump-off.

A total of nine horse-and-rider-combinations from the 60 pairs at start cleared the first-round track, among them some of the biggest names in the sport.

First out in the jump-off, Baryard-Johnsson and Harley Davidson jumped a smooth round, setting the standard with their time of 43.12 seconds. However, Ferrer and Arka de La Hart Z – a pair that is no stranger to winning at Oliva Nova – gave it their best shot, crossing the finish line in 40.66 and taking over the lead.

With a left-hand approach to the first fence, Guerdat and Is-Minka slotted in between Ferrer and Baryard-Johnsson when the clock stopped on 41.07 for the Swiss Olympic Champion. As the last pair out in the jump-off, Kukuk and Nice van’t Zorgvliet flew around the vast Oliva Nova arena, taking the win with the smallest of margins; 0.15 seconds ahead of Ferrer in second, pushing Guerdat to third and Baryard-Johnsson to fourth, while Charles and Balou du Reventon finished fifth.

“Luckily, I got a very good position for the jump-off as last to go, so I could follow all my colleagues before me,” Kukuk said after his victory. “I saw Alexa and she looked very fast. Then I saw Steve; I thought he was very quick as well, and his jump-off was super. After seeing Steve, I knew there was not too much we could do; we just had to give it our all. We did, and today was thankfully one of those days when it all worked out – now we are very happy.”