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The XXIV edition of the Sunshine Tour kicks off with a record number of entries

Wednesday, 14 February 2018
Sunshine Tour 2018

Photo (c) Moisés Basallote. Photo (c) Moisés Basallote.

Competition returns to Dehesa Montenmedio this week with a 2* event and 350 participants competing for prize money totalling 70.000 euros. This year there are more classes, ranging from 1.20 to 1.45m with two classes carrying Longines Ranking Points. There are also unofficial classes  of 1.05 to 1.10m.

The new installations at the Sunshine Tour this year mean 450 riders from 50 nations will start their season here at the biggest outdoor winter competition in Europe. The Organising Committee’s aims are as follows; ‘We are working and investing to improve and expand the installations with the objective to satisfy the needs of the competitors and reduce the waiting lists, hence allowing more people to attend the Tour. This means this year we can allow a total of 2000 horses to compete over the 6 weeks of the Tour. We want to remain a reference point for other winter tours, offering maximum space for training and competition areas of a guaranteed quality’.

The main competition at the Sunshine Tour, begins next Tuesday 20th Feb and continues until the 25th of March when the Invitational GP, the highlight of the Tour, takes place. There will be three 4* CSIs and two 3* CSIs in total. From Tuesdays to Thursdays are the Young Horse Classes (5, 6 and 7 yr olds). On each Thursday there is also the qualifier for the GP on the following Sunday. From Friday to Sunday the Small Medium and Big Tour classes are held with a dozen classes each day. In total over the first five weeks there are 175 classes with 26 carrying Longines Ranking Points. Over the Tour the prize money totals 1.200.000 euros.

This year amongst the record number of participants are many of the top riders in the world. Bertram Allen (IRL), Penélope Leprevost (FRA), Laura Kraut (USA), Jerome Guery and Gregory Wathelet (BEL) and living legend John Whitaker (GBR). 

Noted Spanish riders attending include Sergio Álvarez Moya and Paola Amilibia. The national team coach Henk Nooren, has chosen Montenmedio to start off his training this year with the team members and regulars at the Tour, Eduardo Álvarez Aznar and Manuel Fernández Saro.

The Tour also brings in considerable work for local residents in Andalucia, with the creation of over 200 direct jobs (event organisers, grounds staff and complementary services) and hundreds of indirect jobs in the local restaurants and hotels who open up their seasons to provide local fare and services for the competitors and their families in the surrounding area of Vejer, Barbate and Conil and even further afield.


Source: Press release from Sunshine Tour // Picture © Moisés Basallote

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