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Kevin Jochems and La Costa take the top honours in the CSI4* 1.55m Dunas de Barbate Big Tour Grand Prix at the Sunshine Tour

Sunday, 19 February 2023
CSI4* Sunshine Tour 2023

Photo © MacKenzie Clark. Kevin Jochems and La Costa won Sunday’s CSI4* 1.55m Dunas de Barbate Big Tour Grand Prix at the Andalucía Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain. Photo © MacKenzie Clark.

Kevin Jochems (NED) and the 12-year-old mare La Costa (Gitano V Berkenbroeck x Calvino Z) won Sunday’s CSI4* 1.55m Dunas de Barbate Big Tour Grand Prix at the Andalucía Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain. The Grand Prix – which counted for the world ranking – concluded the second week of competition at the tour, and 50 riders had qualified during Thursday and Friday’s 1.50m competitions. 

With nine in the jump-off, course designer Gregory Bodo – who will be in charge of the tracks at the Paris Olympics alongside Santiago Varela – got a perfect number through from the first round, and against the clock it was Jochems that was the quickest when crossing the finish line in 40.91 seconds. Michael G Duffy (IRL) took the runner-up position, riding Clitschko 17 (Christian x Check In) to a time of 41.29 seconds, followed by Scott Brash (GBR) and Hello Valentino (Diamantino x Careful) in third with the last double clear of the Grand Prix and a time of 41.42 seconds. 

“I come here every year actually," Jochems said after his win. "I think it is the best place in Europe for your horses. I am very happy with the way my horse jumped today, she couldn’t do anything better. I am looking forward to the summer season with her, I will try to do some Nations Cups and from there on we will see." 

Harry Allen (IRL) and Calculatus (Cachassini x Contello) had the fastest time in the jump-off with their 38.38 seconds, but on the expense of a rail down – which put them fourth. Fifth place went to Gilles Thomas (BEL) and Elfra van Beek Z (El Salvador x Vagabond de La Pomme) – also with four faults, in 39.92 seconds. 

Earlier in the day, Seamus Hughes Kennedy (IRL) and Cuffesgrange Cavadora (Z Wellie x Luidam) won the CSI4* 1.50 Medium Tour Grand Prix, which also counted for the world ranking. Fourteen of the 78 horse-and-rider combinations in the class delivered clear rounds and moved on to the jump-off, where Hughes Kennedy was the fastest when crossing the finish line in 40.71 seconds. 

Close behind followed Paris Sellon (USA) and Attoucha (Aganix de Seigneur x Diamant de Semilly) in 40.85 seconds, while third place went to Penelope Leprevost (FRA) and Djagger Semilly (Diamant de Semilly x Apache d’Adriers) with a time of 40.90. Niamh McEvoy (IRL) and Aconzina PS (Action-Breaker x Conthargos) finished fourth, followed by Jens Baackmann (GER) and Aglaia J (Arpeggio x Lacino de L) in fifth.  

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