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Louise and Cindy R take the 3* Grand Prix in Spain
Louise and Cindy R take the 3* Grand Prix in Spain

Photo Credit: MET Oliva/1clicphoto

Full Report Credit: British Showjumping:

Louise Simpson landed the feature 3* Grand Prix to finish the Autumn MET II tour in Oliva Nova, Spain, on a high with Cindy R.

“Cindy isn’t the fastest horse and I’ve only been riding her for a few months, so I don’t know her inside out, but she does have a very big stride,” said Louise.

Fifty riders came forward over the world ranking 13-fence 1.50m track designed by Switzerland’s Gerard Lachat with 10 providing initial clears to return for the jump-off.

“When there first were quite a few clears, I thought ‘Oh, I didn’t think it was that easy’, but as it turned out, ten clears equalled the perfect number,” said Louise about the course set by Gerard Lachat. “I think the course was built brilliantly, I thought the wall quite tight out of the corner would cause more trouble than it did, but actually, it jumped really well. It was into a short four stride distance, but most of them jumped the wall a bit steady so it worked perfectly.”

Louise has never been a slouch against the clock and has proved a formidable opponent since her pony days. Today was no exception, and she guided the Clarimo x Quidam De Revel 11-year-old mare with equal shots of skill and daring to edge ahead and win by 0.30 seconds.

“The only way I was going to be quicker than anyone else was to make use of her huge stride and I planned to do seven strides from one to two, where I think most did eight,” explained Louise. “I stuck with that, and then again, her stride came into place to the last, where I could just keep going – she eats up the ground. However, I didn’t think I would be anywhere near fast enough to win!”

Louise, who lives in West Sussex with husband David and their four boys, first competed this big mare at the beginning of September.

“We’ve had her for about a year now,” she said. “She’s huge and on paper, you would definitely say she’s a guy’s horse. David has been riding her for most of the year, but actually, ignoring her size, she is so sweet and easy that I kind of stole her three, four months ago and she’s been a hero. The plan was to put me on her to speed her up, so I feel like I’ve done that a bit now. She was just breeding until she was 8 or 9-years-old, so she is not super experienced and she has kind of had a tough year to catch up, but she’s definitely done so and come on really quickly.

“The horses have improved from being here; you can break it up with jumping in different rings and going to the beach, and there is plenty for the kids to do as well. We’ve had a great time and we are definitely coming back,” added Louise, about the venue at Centro Ecuestre, Oliva Nova.

Louise also picked up third in the 73-entry world ranking gold 1.45m two-phase on Dallco Chance, the Casallco x Landfriese 2 8-year-old finishing 1.29 sec behind the winner, Switzerland’s Martina Meroni on Fidelgo Du Houssoit.