Vejer de La Frontera, Spain – February 28, 2021 – What an exciting €95,500 Andalucía Grand Prix CSI 4* class on Andalucia Day Sunday here at Montenmedio. This prestigious class was sponsored by the Junta de Andalucía and the very testing course in the first round, left only a handful of top riders going through to the jump-off.
With internationally renown riders such as Jérôme Guery (BEL) and the world number, one Steve Guerdat (SUI) both going through, it was clearly a jump off not to be missed. Just after our winner, Michael G Duffy, got off his horse the very talented Irish rider told us: “Today the course was very difficult, even with top level riders competing only 6 combinations got through the first round with no faults.”
Of these six riders in the jump off, the first to go was British rider Joseph Stockdale (GBR) with the lovely Equine America Cacharel and they jumped a perfect careful clear round. This set the bar, a clear was now needed in a faster time, some thought that looked easy but as it turned out it wasn’t really the case. When Michael G Duffy went in he rode a fast and accurate round, and luck was with him. He told us “I didn’t do anything stupid in there. I rode the whole course fast and in the last line I pushed that bit harder and that’s where I think I made up the time.” Michael told us he what he thought of the course: “There were faults from the horses all the way around the course, which is the mark of a good job being done by the course designer.” Our course designer today was the Spanish Elena Boix Gracia (ESP), who is from Catalonia.
Michael G Duffy’s gelding Lapuccino 2, is a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse, owned by Carl Hanley Sporthorses Gmbh. He has already started off this season with very good results and today he clearly demonstrated his scope. Lapuccino has been with me for 5 or 6 years now and each year he improves and he has taken us competing all over the world. I adore him. Today he jumped his heart out for me to win this Grand Prix and he is a very special for me.”
This meant that in the end Joe’s lovely round earned him a well deserved second place, as Steve Guerdat (SUI) with Albfuehren’s Maddox (Cohiba 1198 x Maraton) and Jérôme Guery (BEL) with his star horse, Quel Homme de Hus (Quidam de Revel x Candillo) both had four faults despite having extremely fast times, as they rode sharp neat turns and pushed on to the fences.
Jose Larocca(ARG) was fifth with Finn Lente in a more sedate time but also with 4 faults and Manuel Fernández Saro (ESP), was the only Spaniard who classified for this Andalucia Grand Prix. Today he was riding Jarlin de Torres and also rode a steady round to take sixth.
Final Results: €95,500 Junta Andalucia Grand Prix CSI 4*
1) Michael G Duffy (IRL) & Lapuccino 2 – 0 / 0 – 42.86
2) Joseph Stockdale (GBR) & Equine America Cacharel – 0 / 0 – 44.74
3) Steve Guerdat (SUI) & Albfuehren’s Maddox – 0 / 4 – 41.30
Source: Press release (edited) from the Sunshine Tour
Photos: © Sunshine Tour / Ahmed Al Maawali