The two Belgian riders Jerome Guery with Grand Cru Van de Rozenberg and Fabienne Daigneux-Lange with Venue D’Fees Des Hazalles completed the podium.

Everyone involved in show jumping knows the name ‘Whitaker’ and once again here at the Sunshine Tour this family name is at the very top of the podium. Today Robert Whitaker, the son of the legendary John Whitaker, was the winner of the Invitational GP riding one of the most amazing horses in the world, Catwalk IV (Colman/Corleone) in a time of 40.29sec. This is not the first time the pair has been on the podium in the Invitational, in 2014 they were 3rd behind yet another Whitaker, that time Robert’s cousin William riding Fandango. The 1.60m course was extremely difficult and demanding today, it was built by the internationally renown designer Uliano Vezzani. In his interview Robert told us “It was a very tough and testing course. Only 7 horses went clear in the first round but for my horse the design was perfect. It was a fantastic and very emotional win for me as after all the years I have been coming to the Tour, I feel very at much at home here.”

The Belgian riders Jerome Guery with Grand Cru Van de Rozenberg (V Malito de Reves/V Heartbreaker) and Fabienne with Venue D’Fees Des Hazalles (Venue/Alcatraz) took 2nd and 3rd. Jerome Guery rode a very fast neat round in 40.91sec, he was delighted with his mount and this successful end to his Tour. Fabienne Daigneux-Lange had a time of 42.42sec and was clearly very happy with her lovely horse and her placing.

There was a brilliant atmosphere during the class but especially the jump off. Just as Robert mentioned, there were only 7 horses through and the other riders, their teams and the spectators were extremely supportive cheering on each competitor as they tried their hardest to get placed. The only Spanish rider in the jump off was Pablo Domínguez Piñon with Barola, who had a nice round with 4 faults in 45.29sec and came fifth just behind British rider Tim Wilks on Quelbora Merze who rode a lovely round and was clear in 42.97sec.

The 1.40m Classic Tour Invitational GP only had 9 competitors through to the jump off . It was won by the Brazilian rider Caio Carvalho, riding Sun Flower Du Theil (Allegreto/Quidam de Revel) in a very fast time of 36.92sec. He was more than 3sec faster than the French rider Isabelle Teisserenc with Traviata Des Hayettes (Mozart des Hayettes/Aiglon Rouge) who took 2nd place in 40.31sec in a lovely round. The Spanish rider Beatriz Llanza riding Sissie de Bacon (Toulon/Hospodar) was 3rd in 42.02sec.

Caio Carvalho was very happy with the the course designed by Uliano Vezzani saying he found it very interesting and technical to ride. “It is good that it was a testing course it really encouraged competitiveness between the riders. Without doubt this was an excellent end to an incredible Sunshine Tour!”

In the Ladies’ GP three British riders swept the board! Kayleigh Watts rode two excellent rounds and stopped the clock in the jump off at 40,13sec with Winde (Numero Uno/No Limit), her super mare. In 2nd was Morgan Kent riding Remi Delux (Lux/Quatoubet) in a fast time of 41.57sec, in 3rd was Kerry Brennan con Dynamic III (Warrant/Jokinal de Bornival) in 42.01sec.

The winners of both the Classic Tour and the Ladies’ Tour won not only prize money but also a saddle for 1st place and bicycles for those in 2nd and 3rd place.

And so this year’s Sunshine Tour ended in fine style. Once again it has been one of the most important events held in Europe’s ‘showjumping calendar’. More than 1,600 horses have attended the Tour and jumped in the wonderful arenas of the Dehesa Montenmedio over these 40 days of competition. More than 1 million euros has been paid out to the winners, there have been riders from more than 50 nationalities competing, many of whom were British and Spanish.

The organising committee has been very grateful for the good weather the Tour has had overall this year. The increase in the number of competitors and the efficient use of the arenas will encourage us to carry on improving the installations and optimising the running of this essential event in the calendar of many european show jumpers each year.

sourxe: sunshinetour press release