Shongweni Classic attracts top riders

2011-06-18 00:00

THE Durban Shongweni Classic has attracted the country’s most successful and well-known equestrian sportsmen and -women.

The event is offering participants in the 2011 FEI World Cup Jumping (RSA League) the chance to claim a share of the R250 000 prize money, as well as a shot at qualifying for the international FEI World Cup Final, which will take place in April 2012 in Holland.

Among the most recognisable of the entrants for the 2011 event is former Miss South Africa, Heather Mostert, who has been competing in equestrian events since the age of seven. Mostert is also a former South African equitation champion and has represented KwaZulu-Natal in show jumping, dressage, and equitation.

The reigning 2010 World Cup Jumping RSA League champion, Dominey Alexander of Kyalami, Gauteng, is arguably the favourite for honours at the Classic, as one of South Africa’s top riders who also has a wealth of experience in international competition.

Husband and wife Barry Taylor and Lorette Knowles-Taylor (Broadacres, Gauteng) will also be competing. Lorrette, who was the top-ranked woman rider in South Africa in 2010, has to be one of the favourites.

Husband Barry has already tasted success in 2011, in the SA Outdoor Grand Prix at the Nissan Easter Festival.

KZN’s Grant Langley (Summerveld), owner of the Foresyte Equestrian Centre and Riding School, has been one of KZN’s top riders for the past few years, competing successfully throughout South Africa.

As the event organiser of the Durban Shongweni Classic, he is hopeful of establishing the event as a feature in the South African equestrian calendar.

Current South African show jumping champion Ashlee Hausberger (Gauteng) will be looking to mix it up with some of the more seasoned campaigners, as will young Jodi Pieters (Drummond, KZN). The event began on Thursday and will end tomorrow.

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