ALEXANDER Butler concluded a very successful week at the Spring Mediterranean Equestrian Tour at Oliva in Spain by taking the top spot in the three-star 1.50m Grand Prix on Sunday. The Meath rider steered 10-year-old stallion Jurry Bleu K (VDL Zirocco Blue x Couleur Rubin) to win the class from a starting field of 59, from which 12 combinations jumped clear first rounds to get through to the jump-off. Only five were clear again second time round.

Butler’s time of 41.23 seconds was almost a second faster than Australian runner-up Gabrielle Chugg on PSS Levilensky (42.13), while British rider Adrian Whiteway was third with Chacco Volo (42.43).

Clem McMahon also made it into the jump-off with the eight-year-old gelding Clonterm Obolensky (ISH), bred by Brian Duff in Meath, and finished in ninth place overall.

The Irish had already been on the Oliva podium last week, when Trevor Breen came out on top of Saturday’s Final Gold 3 three-star 1.45m Jump-off class with Luidam’s Warrior. Breen and the chesnut mare, owned by Heather and Ian Black, were among 18 combinations to jump clear out of 60 starters.

It was a close and competitive jump-off, with Breen managing to beat the time set by British rider Joseph Stockdale on board Equine Rescue Services Kandleford (34.24) by just 0.2 seconds, to finish in 34.04 seconds and push Stockdale into second place. They were followed by Butler on Espoir de la Loisne in third.

Meanwhile, Richard Howley continued his incredible run of form from last week, winning Thursday’s 1.45m Grand Prix qualifier on Pandito Van’T Merelsnest Z, where they were followed by Butler on Espoir de la Loisne in third.

Friday saw another 1.45m Grand Prix qualifier win for Howley, this time with Mansini Ltd, where the pair were the best of 74 starters and finished over a second faster than the next best.

Alexander Butler and Jurry Bleu K won the three-star 1.50m Grand Prix at Oliva in Spain \ Morella Media


Week two of the Spring Mediterranean Equestrian Tour had commenced on Tuesday, April 9th, and saw Nicholas Connors a joint winner in the Six-year-old 1.25m class on both Chelone Z and Jump The Gun. Connors was also a joint winner in the day’s Seven-year-old 1.35m class on Mister-GO.

In Wednesday’s Six-year-old 1.25m Jump-off class, Connors was runner-up with Jump The Gun; the pair followed this up with a third place in Thursday’s Six-year-old 1.25m Two-phase class.

The Silver 2 1.35m class saw Butler in second riding Peanuts Horta and Anna Carway in third on Ajaccio, while Niall Talbot rode Doris de l’Oiseliere into eighth place in the Gold 3 1.40m class. The Seven-year-old 1.35m Two-phase class saw Clem McMahon place fifth with Berlin Lad.

Butler took eighth place in Friday’s Silver 2 1.40m Two-phase class riding Chianti’s Casall.

Saturday saw an eighth place going to Carway on Baskin Sunny Diamond in the Bronze 4 1.40m Two-phase class. Aisling Byrne on Bronson de Reve were runners-up in the Bronze 1 1.10m class, while Talbot on Deep Sea Semilly won the Gold 1 1.30m class. Lisa Doogan rode Cove Park into third place in the Bronze 3 1.30m class.

Doogan and Cove Park were third in Sunday’s Bronze 3 1.30m Two-phase class, while Talbot and Deep Sea Semilly won the Gold 1 1.30m Jump-off class, when best of the 24 starters.