Sanef focuses on World Equestrian Games

2009-02-12 00:00

The South African National Equestrian Federation (Sanef) has been busy trying to provide showjumpers with the opportunity to qualify for next year’s World Equestrian Games (which are to be held in Kentucky in the United States and are the first qualifier for the 2012 Olympic Games), without having to leave South Africa.

It looks as if the following shows should obtain this upgraded status: March 25 to March 29, President’s Cup, Maple Ridge, Johannesburg; April 22 to April 25, Pietermaritzburg Royal Show, KwaZulu-Natal; May 28 to May 31, Midrand Kyalami Equestrian Park, Johannesburg; July 10 to July 12, Port Elizabeth Show, Eastern Cape; August 28 to August 30, Pretoria Show, PTA; and November 19 to November 22, Cape Town, Cape.

These shows have held Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Cup qualifier classes for several years now and the winner of this series of competitions becomes eligible to compete at the annual FEI World Cup final. There are a further three shows that may also be upgraded to become World Equestrian Games qualifiers: the SA Champs, the Grand Prix at the KEP Easter Show and a show to be held at Ascot Stables, Gauteng, towards the end of year.

Of course, this ambitious and exciting project will cost a lot of money to implement and the chairman of Sanef, Tony Lewis, together with his Sanef International Participation Committee, has been trying to secure sponsorship to put everything in place. This project is not limited to showjumping and includes the World Equestrian Games disciplines of eventing, dressage, reining, vaulting and para dressage.

The World Equestrian Games is a short-term goal and from there Sanef hopes to have riders qualified to compete in the 2012 London Olympics. The Equestrian Olympic disciplines Sanef are hoping to obtain qualifications for are eventing, showjumping, dressage and para dressage.

The eventing programme throughout 2009 is to select a national coach, and hold clinics and training camps and then select six to eight horse-and-rider combinations to be short-listed for the World Equestrian Games. Most of these combinations will then travel to Europe in 2010 for the final preparations for the games, which will be held from September 25 to October 10.

Sanef currently has 14 registered riders competing overseas. They are Oliver Lazarus (showjumping) in Germany, Johan Lotter (showjumping) in Holland, Philippa Johnson (dressage) in Belgium, Stuart Fitzgerald (eventing) in the United Kingdom, Natalie Hobday (dressage) in Germany, Kate Gillespie (eventing) in the U.S., Zilla Pierce (dressage and eventing) in Italy, Charles Luyckx (showjumping) in the UK, Johan Roodt (dressage) in Europe, Ronnie Healy (showjumping) in the UK, Ryan Harvey (showjumping) in Europe, Lexi Carter (showjumping) in Belgium, Lulu Pouroulis (driving) in Greece and Denise Hallion (dressage) in the UK. This group of riders will be included in the selection process with the South African-based riders.

This weekend, Karen Minett is holding a two-day eventing clinic at Burren Junction. Inquiries: 031 768 1117. C&S Shows is holding an outdoor show at Cambridge Fields. Inquiries: Sue Pieters at 082 898 0149. The KwaZulu-Natal Horse Society Dressage Committee is holding a show at Durban Shongweni Club. Inquiries: Sue Horne at 082 448 8257. Don’t forget to enter for the Ulwazi Farm cross-country day at Hilton in aid of Riding for the Disabled. Schedules and entry forms are available from www.eventingsa.co.za

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