Great Britain’s Robert Whitaker won the €65.100 Grand Prix Rives CSI4* on Sunday, March 5, 2017 at the Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain. The class ran on Sunday after all classes were cancelled the day before due to rainy weather conditions.
It was a 1.50m class with jump off designed by the Spanish course designer Javier Trenor. The competition saw a field of 48 starters where seven advanced into the shortened course.
The last fence of the course, a 1.50m oxer, caused special trouble for some riders; Michael Viehweg, Manuel Fernández Saro and Millie Allen all jumped the course clear, until they came down to that fence, leaving them out of the chance to fight for the win.
Whitaker rode Round 1 clean and went on to pilot the 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding Catwalk IV (Colman X Corleone) in 45.22 seconds earning the victory.
“Catwalk is obviously my best horse. I’ve ridden him for five years and actually every year I come for the Sunshine Tour, and he has already won three or four grand prix classes here. In the first round he jumped very good, he doesn’t jump the water the best but in the jump-off he was perfect,” explained the winner after the class. “It was a four star, and the money is good, so I think the course was very good, not too many clears and it was big but it was fair and it worked good for me.”
The last double clear of the class went to Whitaker’s compatriot Tim Wilks riding the 13-year-old CH stallion Quelbora Merze (Tarzan de Beaulieu X If de Merze). Wilks settled for the runner-up position in 45.62 seconds.
Spain’s Iván Serrano Saez jumped a steady clear sacrificing getting a time fault to prevent dropping a pole, and his effort earned him 3rd place. He was aboard the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding Chaccman (Chacco Blue X Kannan), and finished in a time of 53.17 seconds.
Thursday’s Grand Prix qualifier winner, Ireland’s Richard Howley, gave his best try to repeat his winning performance, this time aboard the 10-year-old KWPN gelding Chinook (Tygo X Wellington). They completed their round in the fastest time of 44.68 seconds but picked an expensive 4 faults finishing in 4th place, while 5th place went to Italy’s Luca Moneta and the 10-year-old KWPN gelding Herold N (Heartbreaker X Haydn) with four faults in 46.18 seconds.
You can see the full results of this class following this link.