Wayne Channon and Germany’s Alexandra Simons de Ridder have been battling for supremacy in the first leg of the Sunshine Tour, which took place from 1 to 6 March at the Centro Hípico Monteenmedio in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain.
Channon and Lorenzo won Saturday’s grand prix with an impressive 71.375%. Canadian rider Christilot Boylen and Lucky Lemon followed with 69.000% and Simons de Ridder was third on Wellington at 67.375%.
“I am extremely happy, especially because the judges were all of Olympic level. [Lorenzo] did a fantastic grand prix,” says Channon, who is also competing Kasjmir during the tour.
The showdown in Sunday’s grand prix special favoured Simons de Ridder, who came first with Wellington at 69.760%. A couple of mistakes left Channon and Lorenzo less than 1% adrift in second place with 69.240%. Third place went to France’s Constance Laboute and Lianca with 67.760%.
“We hadn’t done the special in quite a long time. Lorenzo had three mistakes — without that he could easily have been 72-73%,” says Channon. “It’s a question of getting used to the test. You don’t get to ride it often, but here we have three chances in three weeks.”
The Sunshine Tour continues this week with the second of the three shows, which will run to the same programme as the first. The third and final leg will include the finals for each category, plus the kür.
“This week, there is just the grand prix and the special, which we’ll do. In the third leg, which we have qualified for, I’ll be doing all three [the grand prix, the special and the kür] on Lorenzo because it’s very good experience,” says Channon. “I am using [the tour] as a way to hone my skills under championship conditions.”