Vejer de La Frontera, Spain – March 06, 2022 – Once again the Ellen Whitaker (GBR) surname is right at the top of the podium here at the Andalucía Sunshine Tour. As William started off the week by winning the big class on Thursday, today it was Ellen who absolutely steamed around a very difficult jump off, beating a very strong field to win the €26,300 Ayuntamiento de Barbate Grand Prix CSI 2*.
Twenty-one riders got through to the jump off in this demanding class and the top 5 in the final results, were separated by barely a second. Second last to go, was Ellen Whitaker (GBR) with the lovely little mare ‘Fiona des Hayettes’ (Lord des Hayettes x Ryon D’Anzex). And what a round she rode! The crowd were cheering her on as she flew towards the last Suzuki upright, the clock ticked down to stop at 40.69 segundos and she went into first place, much to the delight of the audience.
Ellen Whitaker (GBR) and ‘Fiona des Hayettes’ have already won a big class here, the 4* 145 Medium Tour back on the 25th of February. Today Ellen told us she was delighted with the mare and she ‘only started to ride the her last autumn’ but they were immediately jumping clear and won three classes in a row, going from 135 to 145m. ‘The mare is small and like a pony in the stables and easy to be around ’ Ellen also told us that she doesn’t have any long term plans with her or any of her horses for the year and likes to ‘let them direct their paths as they develop’. Ellen plans to rest ‘Fiona’ next week and then do a couple of 150 classes, see how she goes’, and aims to ‘ride her in the Invitational GP at the end of the Tour’. She also enjoys competing here as ‘the facilities are excellent with a lot of different arenas and that the horses can grow in experience as time progresses’ and that ‘the new indoor arena is a great addition to the facilities, it was just what was needed here at Montenmedio’.
Mariana Frauches Chaves (BRA) was early to go in the jump off with the mare ‘Emerette’ and she rode a fast and accurate round, setting the time to beat at 40.83 seconds. Those to come were really chasing this very fast time, and some came very close.
Third place with a great round, was the German rider, who has already been so successful here Kendra Claricia Brinkop (GER) with ‘Do It Easy’ in 40.96s and in fourth was Michael Hughes from the USA with the lovely ‘George Z’ in 41.09s. Olympic rider, Holly Smith was fifth with ‘KBS Major Player’ in just 41.67s. Brilliant jumping from all involved!
Final Results – €26,300 Ayuntamiento de Barbate Grand Prix CSI 2*
1) Ellen Whitaker (GBR) & Fiona des Hayettes – 0 / 0 – 40.69
2) Mariana Frauches Chaves (BRA) & Emerette – 0 / 0 – 40.83
3) Kendra Claricia Brinkop (GER) & Do It Easy – 0 / 0 – 40.96
Source: Press Release from the Sunshine Tour
Photos: © Moises Basallote Fotografia / Ahmed44 Photography