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Howley's winning streak at the Sunshine Tour continues

Friday, 24 March 2023
CSI4* Sunshine Tour 2023

Photo © MacKenzie Clark On a winning streak; Richard Howley took the top honours in Friday's CSI4* Dunas de Barbate 1.50m Big Tour with Mansini LTD. Photo © MacKenzie Clark.


Text © World of Showjumping



Ireland's Richard Howley is on a winning streak at the 2023-edition of the Andalucía Sunshine Tour in Vejer de La Frontera, Spain. After taking the top honours in both Thursday and Friday's Big Tour Grand Prix qualifiers last week, Howley has yet again been unstoppable this week; after winning Thursday's CSI4* 1.50m Big Tour with Fame (Harley x investment), the Irish rider went on to take another set of back-to-back wins when being the fastest in Friday's CSI4* Dunas de Barbate 1.50m Big Tour.

The class counted for the Longines Ranking and was a qualifier for Sunday's Grand Prix, and with a time of 65.19 seconds, Howley and the 14-year-old gelding Mansini LTD (Caressini L x Marramas) bested a field of 90 horse-and-rider combinations.

"We're blessed with a bit of luck this time around, all the horses are jumping amazing," Howley told World of Showjumping. "The Sunshine Tour is always where we go to start the year, and this year I have two very talented 7-year-olds that I believe are very good Grand Prix horses and eight older horses for the weekend. There is no facility in the world that can offer this kind of schedule and we are very lucky to have the Sunshine Tour at this time of the year, to have our horses ready for the coming season. Regarding the sport side of it, the big classes are always big jumping, the courses are up to height and the technicality is as difficult as it can be. There is a high level of sport here, so I am very happy to be able to compete against some of the best riders in the world and have a good run of form and collect a few wins. I have won four of the six CSI4* 1.50m classes in the last two weeks, and last week my 9-year-old Messento was tenth in the Grand Prix. I aim him towards the invitational on Sunday now, with the plan of hopefully having a good rattle at it. He is a very good horse; I believe he has all the qualities of a top class five-star Grand Prix horse. I am looking forward to Sunday and to the season ahead."

Last Sunday's Big Tour Grand Prix winner Michael Pender made it double Irish on top when finishing second with HHS Fast Forward (Fortunus x Cavalier Royale) with a time of 65.56. France's Edward Levy and Confidence d'Ass (Diamant de Semilly x Berlin) took the third place with a time of 66.11, while Germany's David Will and Zaccorado Blue (VDL Zirocco Blue x Acorad) finished fourth in 66.44, followed by Ireland's Niamh McEvoy and Aconzina PS (Action-Breaker x Conthargos) in fifth in 66.69.

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