Starting this Thursday, February 15th, 2018, the CSI2* Sunshine Tour at Dehesa Montenmedio will host up to 2,000 horses and 350 participants competing for prize money totaling €70,000.
The new installations at the Sunshine Tour in 2018 means 450 riders from over 50 nations will start their season at the biggest outdoor winter competition in Europe. This year there are more classes, ranging from 1.20 to 1.45m with two classes carrying FEI Longines, Ranking Points.
The Organizing 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 2,000 horses to compete over the six 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, February 20th and continues until March 25th when the Invitational GP, the highlight of the Tour, takes place.
There will be three CSI4* and two CSI3*’s in total. From Tuesdays to Thursdays are the Young Horse Classes (5, 6 and 7-year-olds). On each Thursday there is also the qualifier for the grand prix 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 FEI Longines Ranking Points. There are four qualifiers for the Europeans later this year and also five qualifiers for the Junior Europeans. Over the Tour, the prize money totals €1,200,000.
This year amongst the record number of participants are many of the top riders in the world. Ireland’s Bertram Allen, France’s Penélope Leprevost, The USA’s Laura Kraut, Belgium’s Jerome Guery and Gregory Wathelet, and the living legend John Whitaker of the UK.
Notable Spanish riders attending include Sergio Álvarez Moya (15th in the FEI World Rankings) and Paola Amilibia the 2017 Spanish Champion. 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.
Source: Sunshine Tour