Christian Kukuk and Nice Van’T Zorgvliet conclude Spring MET IV 2024 with a win in the Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort Grand Prix 

Christian Kukuk and Nice Van’T Zorgvliet

Photo credit © Hervé Bonnaud/

Germany’s Christian Kukuk and Nice Van’T Zorgvliet (Emerald x Heartbreaker) won Sunday’s CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prix presented by Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort at Centro Ecuestre Oliva Nova, Spain, as the third and final week of Spring MET IV 2024 came to an end. 
Stopping the clock on 36.57 seconds, Kukuk topped a field of 51 horse-and-rider-combinations – taking the win ahead of Ireland’s Trevor Breen and Highland President (Clinton x Kannan) in second in 39.04. 
Only seven pairs cleared their way into the deciding jump-off, with Spain’s Julio Arias Cueva and Peanuts Van Baublo (Corydon Van T&L x President) completing the podium in third with a time of 39.94. Sweden’s Hannah Åkerblom and Chodec (Guidam Sohn x Centgraf) finished fourth in 40.93 and Ireland’s Deirdre Reilly aboard Derryglen Othello (Kafka vd Heffinck x Bisquet Balou Vd Mispelaere) fifth in 45.11. 
“When I walked the course, I had a feeling we would not have too many clears today,” Kukuk commented afterwards. “I would say it was a tough enough course for a three-star Grand Prix. In the end we had seven clears, which actually is a nice number for a jump-off. I was not so lucky with the draw as I was second to go in the jump-off, but I knew I have a fast horse. I won a Grand Prix with her here two years ago and I knew that if everything went well, she is difficult to beat. I wanted to have a good start, which actually worked out very well: I had a really good shot from one to two and then I just kept going and everything came up exactly how I wanted. The turns were tight, the speed was good – in the end I’m the happy winner.” 

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Photo credit © Hervé Bonnaud/

“I have had her for a while,” Kukuk said about the 11-year-old Nice Van’T Zorgvliet who is owned by Finland’s Noora Pentti. “She is a lion in the ring, and she always tries her heart out – last year she was second in the LGCT Grand Prix of Doha. However, she has been off for a while and she’s just coming back now. Last week, we jumped our first Grand Prix after her break and I had a good feeling already then. She is a very smart and clever mare, she knows her job and she knows what to do. Her head and her brain are just so good that it doesn’t really matter that she maybe is a little bit behind the rest physically, because she makes up for it with her mind. I am thankful to her owner Noora that I can have the ride on her. I feel proud and happy that she supports me with this horse.” 
“Oliva feels like my second home,” Kukuk said about the venue at Centro Ecuestre Oliva Nova. “I’m a big fan of the place, and I really enjoy being here. The weather has been outstanding for the last two weeks. Every single day, you wake up with a smile and you go to bed with a smile – and it seems to be the same feeling for my horses. Every horse just seems happy to work here, they all give me a very good feeling. They are enjoying their job here and it’s the same for me. I have had seven horses with me so it’s actually a lot to do; I’m riding from the morning to the evening but always with a smile on my face. I’m always happy to come back to Oliva.” 
The action at Centro Ecuestre Oliva Nova resumes in October when the Autumn MET 2024 kicks off in 162 days. 

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Press release MET Oliva

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