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Jesús Garmendía and ‘Callias’, have a scorching win in the Invitational Grand Prix

The Spanish rider and this lovely grey, by ‘Companiero’ x ‘Casco’ were untouchable in the 1.60, 2024 Paris Olympic qualifier

The winner of the Invitational GP class today was the very popular Spanish rider, Jesus Echevarria Garmendia. who set a such a fast time in the jump off that it was really impossible to beat. This was a stunning win in the highlight class of the XXX Andalucía Sunshine Tour. Jesus and ‘Callias’ stopped the clock in 41.16 seconds with even a late challenge from top British rider, Ellen Whitaker and ‘Korlensky’ unable catch them, as she finished in 43.47s.  Callias is a 13yr old grey gelding by ‘Companiero’ from a ‘Casco’ mare and is owned by Alejandro Entrecanales and this pair really were outstanding in todays 1.60 GP, designed by French, Gregory Bodó and a Longines qualifier, for both the Paris Olympics and the 2025 Europeans.


Jesus told us after the class:  “The horse was incredible.  In the first round he jumped very well, right from the warm up arena he was giving me a really good ‘feeling’.  Obviously in the jump off, well anything can happen, but he is a really fast horse and I knew we had options open to us  For so many years this win has eluded me!  Finally winning, has been very special and even more so on a day like today.”  Jesus wanted to dedicate his win to  Fernández Martínez de Albornoz, who was a great friend and who we lost just a year ago.  “He was like a father to me in the horse world and today he helped me to win.”


Just behind Ellen Whitaker and ‘Korlensky’, a 9yr old ‘Cornet Obolensky’ mare;  was Irish rider, Billy Twomey with the stallion, ’Diego del Caribe’ (‘Kannan’ x ‘Quidam de Revel’).  In fourth was British,  Joe Fernyhough with ‘Calcourt Particle’ (‘Spartacus TN’ x ‘Lasino’), and in fifth was German rider, Leonie Böckmann with ‘Carter 10’.


As well as a brilliant second place in the Big Tour Invitational,  Ellen Whitaker was the winner of the Invitational Medium Tour with ‘Demi Louvo’, an elegant mare by ‘Vigo Cece’ from a ‘Starsky de Brix’ mare.  This pair have also had good results throughout the Tour and already clocked up two good wins.  Today they stopped the clock in 40.06s,  0.60 seconds ahead of Irish, Michael Pender who took second place with ‘HHS Los Angeles’ (‘Le Roi 10’ x ‘Cavalier Royale’).


Behind Michael, in third, was Belgian rider, Olivier Philppaerts with ‘Precious Dwerse Hagen’ (‘Cornet Obolensky’ x ‘Casall’) in 42.87s;  fourth was British, Max Routledge with ‘Crystal King’ ‘Cornet Obolensky’ x ‘Cassini I’) and in fifth, was Irish, Jonathan Smyth with  ‘Crystal Graf’ (‘Lux Z’ x ‘Graf Magna’).


The Invitational Small Tour winner was Jude Burgess, on the top of a podium dominated by British riders.  He won the class with ‘Oilina’, a lovely, 10 year old  mare owned by Rebecca Burgess, by ‘Emerald’ from a ‘Orame’ mare.


Jude told us after the Tour that he was;  “super happy, because the horse jumped two fantastic rounds, she really loves this big grass ring here (The Hickstead arena) and in the jump off, everything went to plan.  So it’s a great way to finish the Tour. I’ve had a really nice time here and it’s a great way to finish, super happy. “


Jude was nearly a second faster than Jake Myers who took second place with ‘J Superstar’, and close behind Jake, was Red Morgan with ‘Golia’ taking third place.  In fourth was Fraser Reed, with ‘Westbank Rio’ and they finished off the run of British winners.  Columbian, Marco Antonio Peixoto Ferreira Filho was fifth with ‘Collette’.


British rider, Nicole Lockhead Anderson won the Sergio Grasso, Ladies Invitational, for the second year in a row!  This year she was riding the eight year old , ‘Mecoblue PS’ who has been so successful throughout the Tour.  This super stallion is by ‘Messenger’ from a ‘Chacco Blue’ mare and is owned by Thomas Williams.  He has had two other wins here this season and was rarely out of the rosettes, starting up in the eight year old classes and moving up through the levels as the Tour progressed.


Nicole told us:  “I’m really pleased with my horse he jumped super today, he’s only eight year old and, its a really good class, I didn’t really go too fast, the fences wanted jumping and luckily he was fast enough.  Its a great class I won it on an eight year old as well, last year which is nice (that was Emerald Irish Cruise).  I think its a really nice class, its not to big, it’s not too technical but it still wants jumping and its at the end of the tour, you know it’s a class that we kind of aim for, no it’s really good.”

In second place was another top British rider, Joanne Whitaker with ‘London Eye’,  third was German rider, Anna Maria Kuhlmann with ‘I-Mark W’,  fourth was Finnish rider, Nina Fagerstrom with ‘Jappeloup’ and in fifth was Spanish, Olivia Alvarez Garcia with ‘Gazquine Tag’.


The Winner of the CSI1* Invitational was Spanish, Fernando de los Santo with the mare, ’Isba Caps’ (Action Breaker) in a stunningly fast time of 31.20s.  In second place was British, Ellie Thomas with ‘One To Go’;  third was Irish, Thomas Doyle with ‘Monbeg Sunny Spells’;  fourth was British, James Pinkney with ‘Call Me What You Want’ and in fifth was Brazilian Felipe Guinato with ‘Love It’.


And that brings us to the end of the nine weeks of top competition here at the XXX Andalucía Sunshine Tour, sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports of the Government of Andalucía, through Tourism and Sports of Andalucía. Thank you all for being part of the event and we hope to see you next year

24/03/2024   by Sunshinetour News , Press releases

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