CO Down Dermott Lennon and MJM Pursuit won the Small Grand Prix at the Sunshine Tour CSI3* on Saturday, sponsored by John Deere.
The 10-year-old mare MJM Pursuit won the feature class with just under a second in hand. Sixteen riders went through to the jump-off, of which just half had a second clear. Lennon, who won both the European Championships in 2002 and also the World Equestrian Games, held in Jerez de la Frontera that same year, beat Czech rider Emma Augier de Moussac and Rubio Monocoat Electric, a mare that she classified with for the World Cup, into second place. In third was the very consistent Lisa Cubitt (NZL). The highest placed Spanish rider was José Diaz Vecino, who has just arrived at the Tour.
In the 1.40m class, Lennon was also on the podium with Vivalgot, but had to settle for third place. The British rider Matthew Sampson rode an incredibly fast round on Geneve R and was over two seconds faster than Jessica Dimmock on Billy in Fashion who was second. Matthew was a previous winner of the Invitational GP at the Sunshine Tour in 2013. He also won the 1.35m with Firefly W.
Álvaro González de Zárate for Spain, also had a great day taking second behind Matthew, with Elion V but he bettered this placing in the Big Tour 1.30m class by winning with Monboulette who has enjoyed great success on the Tour.
There were 137 horses in the Medium Tour classes. The 1.35m accumulator class was won by the British rider Charlie Jones with a cleverly ridden round in 61.04s, almost two seconds faster than the Lithuanian rider Juan Pablo Garriz in second. Ismael Garcia Roque, was the highest placed Spanish rider in this class taking third place with Grey Man.