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Michael Pender and HHS Calais to the top in the CSI4* 1.60m Andalucía Grand Prix at the Sunshine Tour

Sunday, 26 March 2023
CSI4* Sunshine Tour 2023

Photo © Equus Media Michael Pender and HHS Calais won the invitational CSI4* 1.60m Andalucía Grand Prix at the Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain. Photo © Equus Media.


Text © World of Showjumping



After winning last weekend's CSI4* 1.55m Suzuki Grand Prix, Michael Pender (IRL) and HHS Calais (Cavalier Royale x OBOS Quality) yet again went to the top at the Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain, when besting a field of fifty horse-and-rider combinations in Sunday’s invitational CSI4* 1.60m Andalucía Grand Prix.

It's been all about the luck of the Irish these past two weeks at the Andalucía Sunshine Tour and today's Grand Prix counting for the Longines Ranking (Group B), that concluded seven weeks of competition at the traditional Spanish venue, proved to be no exception. 

Fifty horse-and-rider combinations had qualified for the Grand Prix, and twelve of them cleared the thirteen-fence track set by Dutch mastermind Louis Konickx – considered one of the best course designers in the world – to move on to the jump-off. It was a tough course, built as an Olympic MER qualifier and it included a triple combination, an open water as well as a combination.

In the jump-off, it was Pender and the 12-year-old Irish bred gelding that delivered the fastest clear when clocking a time of 36.84 seconds. Not far behind, in 37.08 seconds, followed Duarte Seabra (POR) and the 10-year-old gelding Dourados (Diarado x Cornet Obolensky), securing the runner-up spot ahead of Kara Chad (CAN) and the 10-year-old gelding Igor GPH (Harley x Crawford) in third with a time of 37.67 seconds. Aurelien Leroy (FRA) and Vendome d'Ick (Arko III x Chin Chin) finished fourth in 37.71, while Niamh McEvoy (IRL) and Olivia de Muze Z (El Torreo de Muze x Lord Z) followed in fifth after delivering the last double clear and a time of 41.67 seconds in the jump-off. 

“It’s amazing to win the Grand Prix sponsored by the ‘Junta de Andalucía’ here at the Sunshine Tour. Calais jumped outstanding today, there were twelve in the jump-off so it was a bit more difficult than last week when I was lucky enough to not have to do a jump-off,” Pender said in a press release from the Sunshine Tour. “The class was quite fast, and I think it was a brilliant course. Perhaps, the jump-off didn’t really suit me perfectly, but we were lucky enough today to come out with the right result.”

“It’s absolutely incredible to win two Grand Prix classes in a row here at the Sunshine Tour. I think it builds up our season amazing and I think we are ready to go to the big shows. Thanks to the Sunshine Tour for giving us the chance to hopefully build up for another brilliant season,” Pender continued.

The CSI4* 1.50m invitational Medium Tour Grand Prix, counting for the Longines Ranking (Group D), went to Sanne Thijssen (NED) and her faithful 17-year-old stallion Con Quidam RB (Quinar Z x Cardino). Sixteen of the 57 horse-and-rider combinations in the Grand Prix moved on to the jump-off, where Thijssen delivered one of her trademark jump-offs to stop the clock at 39.54 seconds. Richard Howley (IRL), who had been on tremendous form the last three weeks, followed close behind with Mansini LTD (Caressini L x Marramas) when crossing the finish line in 39.59 to finish second. Sophie Hinners (GER) and Addressee (Messenger x Chacco-Blue) took the third place with a time of 40.39 seconds in the jump-off, followed by Duarte Seabra (POR) and HHS Washington (Tinaranas Inspector x Cavalier Royale) in fourth and Kevin Jochems (NED) in fifth aboard Christianus (Christian x El Bundy).

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