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Jessica Burke and Express Trend top the CSI4* 1.55m Equine America Grand Prix at the Andalucía Sunshine Tour

Sunday, 10 March 2024
CSI4* Andalucía Sunshine Tour 2024

Photo © Mackenzie Clark Jessica Burke and Express Trend, winners of the CSI4* 1.55m Equine America Big Tour Grand Prix at the Andalucía Sunshine Tour 2024. Photo © Mackenzie Clark.


Edited press release from Andalucía Sunshine Tour



Week five of the Andalucía Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain, concluded with the CSI4* 1.55m Equine America Big Tour Grand Prix, where Ireland's Jessica Burke and the 14-year-old gelding Express Trend (Future Trend x Condios) bested a field of 47 horse-and-rider combinations. 

Only three pairs managed to clear the tricky first round-track, moving on to the jump-off in this Grand Prix counting for the Longines Ranking Group B and also a qualifier for the 2024 Olympic Games and 2025 European Championship. First to go in the jump-off was British rider Simon Crippen and Handsome (Toulon x Phin-Phin), who jumped a clear round – setting the time to beat to 45.88 seconds. Next in was Spanish rider Eduardo Álvarez Aznar and Made In’t Ruytershof (Norton D’Eole x Diamant de Semilly) who had a very fast round but took a pole off the last fence – stopping the clock at 42.79 seconds and showing Burke that Crippen’s time was beatable. As last to go, Burke crossed the finish line clear in 44.15 seconds – pushing Crippen down to second and Álvarez Aznar to third. 

“I think it was an unbelievably brave call and a correct call by the team here at the Sunshine Tour to run the Grand Prix on the grass today, the ground is unbelievable,” Burke said – referring to the heavy rain that caused several challenges for the organisers over the past three days. 

“I think it was actually a very difficult course, especially with the spin on the grass today. I thought the line to the combination was difficult, it was quite a forward seven, some people did eight; again, one to two there was a lot of different options and then the five to the last, I was very patient on the five. I thought it was quite trappy actually, the course today. “

“My horse is 14 and it’s literally only now I feel that we have the right ability and I think that helped us a lot today,” Burke concluded. 

With a time fault in the first round, Italy's Emanuele Camilli and Odense Odeveld (Diamant de Semilly x Querlybet Hero) had to settle for fourth this time around, followed by Czech rider Ales Opatrny and Kapsones W. (Cornet Obolensky x Carambole) in fifth – also they with one time fault in round one.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark Jessica Burke and Express Trend. Photo © Mackenzie Clark.

Turkey’s Derin Demirsoy was the winner of the Big Tour’s Small Grand Prix set at 1.45m, counting for the Longines Ranking Group D. With  the 15-year-old gelding Elzas (Diamant de Semilly x Cornet Obolensky), Demirsoy was the fastest in a 16-horse jump-off when stopping the clock on 33.74 seconds. Spanish rider Kevin González de Zárate and Cantuccini 17 (Kannan x Quidam's Rubin) followed in second with a time of 35.06, while Ireland’s Niamh McEvoy riding Jasmim Da Hermida (Milton du Murier FR x Papillon Rouge) placed third in 35.75 seconds.

The 1.50m Medium Tour Grand Prix ended with a home win for Ismael García Roque, riding the 9-year-old gelding Brazilia DK Z (By Ceira D Ick x Argentinus). Only eight of the 60 horse-and-rider combinations cleared the delicate first-round track, moving on to the jump-off where Ismael García Roque with his time of 39.22 had a second down to Belgium’s Yves Vanderhasselt riding Merald Van’t Zorgvliet (Emerald x Nonstop) – taking a popular home win. Jessica Burke finished third with African Affair (Billy Congo x Tom Rolfe XX) in this class counting for the Longines Ranking Group D.

Swedish rider Antonia Andersson won the La Equina Small Tour Grand Prix, set at 1.45m and counting for the Longines Ranking Group D. With Coco Van’t Verahof (Leipheimer Van’t Verahof x Norton d'Eole), Andersson was the fastest in an eight horse jump-off when crossing the finish line in 36.77 seconds. Two British riders completed the top three; William Walker with I’m Special the One AK (I'm Special de Muze x Der Kleine Lord) in second, and Fraser Reed with Westbank Rio (Riverland Roi x Douglas) in third. 


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