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The Andalucía Sunshine Tour kicks off with more than 625 young horses taking to the arenas

Kevin González de Zárate and ‘Corinna’; Samuel Martinez Oliva with ‘Kiana de la Chapelle’ and Norbert Ell with ‘Cuz I Can-S’ were top of the leaderboard in the seven year old sections

Ignace Philips de Vuyst with ‘Orlando’; and Gyula Szuhai Jr with ‘Cornet’s Blue SZ’ and Rodrigo Szuhai with ‘Carta Blue SZ’ were the winners in the six year old sections


The twenty ninth edition of the Andalucía Sunshine Tour, started up in great style today with 625 young horses taking to the arenas and two classes in each of the sections, the five, six and seven year olds. This number of participants confirms that the Tour is the busiest and most important European winter equestrian tour.  The event here at Montenmedio, is sponsored by the ‘Consejería de Turismo, Cultura y Deporte’ and co-financed by the European Union and it is an essential part of the calendar for top riders. The opportunity to start jumping outside, when the rest of Europe is in the grips of winter, is extremely important to the showjumping season. And so, with more than 3,500 horses and 1,000 riders, originating from 60 countries, we are ready and keen to see the jumping progress across the seven weeks of the tour, right up until the 26th of March.


Indeed, this is a record number of participants here at Montenmedio, and the sheer fact that the installations comfortably accommodate such numbers, with ample room for competing, warming up, lunging and exercising, is due to the continuos improvements and planning that goes on here. Amongst the improvements this year is the conversion of arena 12 into a geotextile warm up arena and a grass competition ring. This is paralleled by the addition of a grass exercising arena that the riders say, almost appears ‘infinite’ as it covers 3.5 hectares.


Starting off this first day of competition here with a great performance in the first section of the seven year olds was a regular Spanish rider here, Kevin González de Zárate who won the class with a second phase time, of 26.60 seconds with the agile ‘Corinna’. Dutch riders took second and third places, Sanne Thijssen with ‘La Pleasure’ and Aniek Diks with ‘Qointreau Van’t Hoogeinde’ respectively. A great start to their week here.


In the second section there were two sets of placings due to large entry numbers This gave us another Spanish winner, Samuel Oliva Martinez with ‘Kiana de la Chapelle’ and a Portuguese winner, rider Norbert Ell riding ‘Cuz I Can-S’. Second places were taken by two German riders, Kendra Brink with ‘Quaresma van’t Paradijs’ and Guido Klatte with ‘Venga Boy 4’. In third were Danish rider, Jennifer Pedersen with ‘Down VD Vosberg Z’ and Canadian rider, Kara Chad with ‘Gability van de Eijkhof Z’.


In all, 220, 7yr olds took to the Milton arena with 55 clear in the first section and 58 in the second.


Belgian rider Ignace Philips de Vuyst with ‘Orlando’ was the winner of the first 6yr old section, with Hungarian rider Gyula Szuhai jr, winning with ‘Cornet’s Blue SZ’ and Rodrigo Szuhai with ‘Carta Blue SZ’. In the first section the German rider Guido Klatte came in second with ‘Kolumbus 16’ and in the other sections, another German rider,  Helmut Schönstetter with ‘Gwendolyn’ and  Italian rider, Andrea Messersi with ‘Roubia van de Fruitkorf’.  Third were Danish rider, Rikke Haastrup with ‘Cassoulet PHM’, Spanish rider Julio Arias Cuerva and ‘Levia Z’ and Andrea also took a third with ‘Ciana Blue PS’.  There are the top results in this class with more than 250 entries.


In the five year old classes, 157 caballos jumped in arena 18 in a faults no time class.


So these are the top results today, the first day of the Andalucía Sunshine Tour 2023, Many top ranked riders such as world number 2, Martin Fuchs, are already up and running here as they attended the Pre Sunshine Tour and many new arrivals are already taking the top of the Podium. Top riders attending will include the Belgian rider, Gilles Thomas; Laura Kraut and Paris Sellon from the USA; triple Olympian, French rider, Penélope Leprevost; Brazilian, Yuri Mansur and the Spanish rider Sergio Álvarez Moya. The top two ranked event riders in the world, from New Zealand, are also here as always, to start off their seasons, Tim and Jonelle Price, as is Australian eventer, Christopher Burton.


Tomorrow we continue with the young horse classes and on Thursday, we also start up the International 4*. The 4* will have its highlight on Sunday with the Horseware Grand Prix class, which is a FEI Longines Ranking class and a qualifier for both the 2023 Europeans and the 2024 Olympics.


Access to the showground is free including parking in designated areas. As well as being able to watch live international showjumping at its best; there are various restaurants to try and a shopping area to complete the experience and make a fabulous day out for the family. For those of you unable to attend you can follow on our App and on our web page at, www.sunshinetour.net  and also ClipMyHorse.

07/02/2023   by Sunshinetour News , Press releases

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