Back in 1994, Antonio Blázquez and his team decided to put Vejer de la Frontera (Cádiz, in southern Spain, very close to Portugal) on the international equestrian map.
To go into a detailed account of their beginnings would lead us through a thousand vicissitudes that Blázquez had to endure in order to create what is now a reality for all horse lovers, especially show jumping enthusiasts. The event initially passed through different guises, until finally settling for what is today not only the Sunshine Tour, but the Andalucía Sunshine Tour starting this 2022, due to the value and quality seal that the tour brings to the whole region.
This Sunshine Tour has showcased important Dressage and Eventing contests (in which the impressive cross country where the horses usually walk is still preserved), but in recent years they were encouraged and therefore decided to continue only with the show jumping competition.
The Andalucía Sunshine Tour is undoubtedly a paradise for horses and a show jumping dream. The event gets better every year, with a first-class course featuring both sand and grass (which are a rarity outside Vejer). With carefully selected personnel, every year the world’s leading course designers come with their assistants to lay out original courses with the stunning material that the tour boasts.
The route’s superb quality might lead people to think that it is reserved only for professionals, but this is far from the truth. There is room for any show jumping jockey to take their place on the Andalucía Sunshine Tour. Well, for those who do register early, as the lists fill up quickly until covering the 2,000-plus boxes each week. There are pony contests in which children from all over the world show off their skills to becoming the prodigious talents of the future, with 1.10 m tests for amateurs and even CSI 4* Grand Prix tests, such as the well-known Invitational, which takes place on the final weekend. These tests are held from Thursday to Sunday. During the week there are tests for young horses, of between five, six and seven years of age. The busiest week is always for the six-year-old event (the five-year-olds are not ready so sometimes they don’t bring them, while the seven-year-olds are very serious and do not all reach the required standard). This year, the nearly 300 horses that registered in this category had to be divided into two sections for them all to be able to participate in a single day.
The tour is expensive, very expensive in fact. Yet why doesn’t anyone want to miss it? Because it pays off. This cost is reflected in the high quality of the facilities, in the first-class material, in the qualified personnel and in every detail from the moment participants set foot in Dehesa Montenmedio. Besides, it is the best showcase event for trading horses, where everyone wants to buy and sell. Even Neco Pessoa comes along every year to watch the final foal tests!
As for Excel, it fills us with pride to see our supplements on the doors of many boxes, confirming that jockeys who want the best competition for their horses are also aware that they can rely on us to give them the very best chance.