Vejer de La Frontera, Spain – March 20, 2022 – Brazil continued to shine as the best on Sunday at the 2022 Sunshine Tour. The week’s most important FEI Longines Ranking class, the €95,380 Suzuki Grand Prix CSI 4* feature the top 50 riders and horses of the week, competing around a demanding track. Despite the very strong field, just five riders got through to the jump off and in the jump off itself, and only two riders went clear. Our winner today was first to go in the jump off, Bernado Cardoso de Resende Alves (BRA), and he threw down the gauntlet and going clear in 40.29s, a time no one could match in this prestigious class.
This well known Brazilian rider is a double Olympian, 2004 and 2008, having represented his country three times in the World Equestrian Games (WEG) and also at the 2021 Nations Cup Final in Barcelona. On Sunday, he was the winner of our 155 meter, Big Tour Grand Prix , sponsored by ‘Suzuki’. He rode ’Mosito van het Hellehof’, a 10-year-old, bay Belgian warmblood by ‘Elvis ter Putte’, who is himself by the legendary stallion, ‘Diamant de Semilly’, The dam sire is ‘Nabab de Reve’.
Bernado has had ‘Mosito’ since 2020, where he actually competed here at Montenmedio, in the 3*, 130 classes. Over time, he has gradually been working on the horse gaining experience and to this end they have recently only been competing at 2* level and have jumped two 2* GP classes together. Bernado told us that today was just their second, 4* Grand Prix. Here on the 13th of this month, he had one pole in the 4* 150 GP, finishing in 15th place but was second in the Ranking 150 class on the 11th and fourth on the 17th in the Big Tour 150 class. This time. this pair excelled, Bernado told us he could not be more delighted with the results and this wonderful horse. He was really happy with the course designer, Leopoldo Palacios Jugo (VEN), who is from Venezuela, and the rider praised the courses that had been built throughout this week.
His plans for this year with ‘Mosito’ are flexible but he is not planning on jumping him in the WEGs in Herning, Denmark in August as he doesn’t feel he will be quite ready and has set his sights on next year for the Pan American games that will be in Santiago, Chile. He told us,: “The competition here is impressive and I’m delighted with the installations, the organisation and the fact that you can compete in classes designed by the very best course designers in the world. We are really happy and we will be back next year without any doubt at all.” The president of ‘Suzuki Ibérica’, Juan López Frade gave out the prizes.
In second place was British top rider and another Olympian Holly Smith (GBR). She was the very last rider to go in the jump off today and was riding the lovely ‘Fruselli’, who she has also been bringing up through the classes. She rode a super first round and was absolutely delighted with him when he finished clear around this difficult track. In the jump-off she was the only other clear round and stopped the clock in just 40.81s. A well deserved second place and a very happy rider. Holly is well used to being at the top of the results tables and has been in the top five in the five classes she has jumped so far at the Andalucía Sunshine Tour!
The next three highest-placed riders all had one pole down in the tiebreaker. In third and fourth we had two Irish riders. Susan Fitzpatrick (IRL) secured bronze honors aboard ‘Verdict de Kezeg’ by stopping the final timers in 41.97 seconds.
Cameron Hanley (IRL) and ‘ESI Toulouse also had an unlucky fence, as did Sara Vingralkova (CZE) who was fifth with ‘Quisandro.
The class was kindly sponsored Suzuki, the Japanese company who were delighted to present some of their new hybrid car models to the specialist media, here at the Andalucía Sunshine Tour. The new Suzuki Vitara is one of their most popular models creating a lot of interest especially after its great off-road abilities have been demonstrated.
Final Results – €95,380 Suzuki Grand Prix He CSI 4*
1) Bernardo Alves (BRA) & Mosito vh Hellehof – 0 / 0 – 40.29
2) Holly Smith (GBR) & Fruselli – 0 / 0 – 40.81
3) Susan Fitzpatrick (IRL) & Verdict de Kezeg – 0 / 4 – 41.97
Source: Press Release (edited) from the Sunshine Tour
Photos: © Sunshine Tour / Ahmed 44 Photography