Swedish show jumper dominates final of Spanish Sunshine Tour

  • Sweden’s number one show jumping rider, Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, dominated the final show of this year’s Spanish Sunshine Tour, winning the two major grands prix on his 11-year-old mare, Pialotta.

    A 10-horse jump-off for the final big tour class, saw Rolf-Goran finish a full 3sec clear of Saudi Arabia’s Ramzy Al Duhami on his Sydney Olympic ride, Saif Al Adel, who jumped the only other double clear.

    Robert Smith, the only British rider to reach this stage, could consider himself unlucky that Senator Kalusha rolled one pole to finish fourth after setting the fastest time of the jump-off.

    In the earlier grand prix, Rolf-Goran and Pialotta triumphed by 4sec from French star Michel Hecart on the impressive young stallion, Kannan.

    Robert Smith was again the best-placed Briton, finishing 11th after Senator Hennessy was clear in the first round, but picked up two time-penalties.

    Andrew Davies (Limbo) and Veronique Whitaker (Eldorado) were also placed in this class after each lowering a fence in round one.

    The earlier small grand prix had proved a triumph for Britain – and gave Robert Smith his reward when Senator Hennessy galloped to victory to deny Mennell Watson and Hi-Society Party their third victory in this class.

    A 39-horse jump-off saw Andrew Davies sixth on Mister Woppit, with young Lee Williams also making the line-up on Granada.

    The major class of the small tour saw Belgian winners in Vincent Brichart and Krak D’Archonfosse, while a lovely double clear saw Dupe Powell in second place on Primma.

    Dupe also had to settle for the same place in the grand prix behind her team-mate Richard Robinson, who triumphed by 1.31sec on Malcolm Pyrah’s It’s Twix.

    The earlier classes saw plenty of British success. Charlotte Metcalfe (Hopes For Guy), Russell Pearson (Aylwin) and Michelle Foley (McNasty) all won small tour classes, while this show also saw the age class championships.

    A fence down apiece in the jump-off saw Rob Hoekstra (Isba D’Tourelle) and Guy Goosen (Leconte) in fifth and sixth places in the five-year-old final won by Belgian rider Francois Mathy jnr on Ivoir Du Rouet, while Veronique Whitaker and Noberlina were sixth in the six-year-old final, which went to Italy’s Antonio Vitali on Nanta.A strong field of seven-year-olds saw British-based New Zealander Grant Cashmore hit top form to win by more than 2sec on Franklins On Air.

    Veronique Whitaker was third on Tropicana, Ben Dunning fourth with Gentle Breeze II and Ben Dunning finished sixth on Alona.

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