Top show jumpers in 2015 classic

2015-06-02 06:00
Photo: Tamara andamp; Blake Images
Lorette Knowles Taylor on Nissan Naba Forever, the winner of the Nissan 6 Bar competition clears two metres and sets a new SA record at the 2014 Nissan Winter Classic.

Photo: Tamara andamp; Blake Images Lorette Knowles Taylor on Nissan Naba Forever, the winner of the Nissan 6 Bar competition clears two metres and sets a new SA record at the 2014 Nissan Winter Classic.

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SOUTH Africa’s top show jumpers are preparing for what is set to be a competitive Nissan Winter Classic.

The annual equestrian event will once again take place at the Durban Shongweni Club from 12 to 16 June where the biggest names in showjumping will prove why they’re so highly ranked.

Top riders Barry Taylor, Lorette Knowles-Taylor, Shaun Neil, Gareth Neil, Jonathan Clarke and Dominey Alexander will be taking on last year’s main class winner, Nicole Horwood.

Once again a top contender for the main title – the Nissan 1.5m FEI World Cup Qualifier - Horwood has an impressive list of titles to her name, including SA Derby Champion three years in a row, winner of the SA champs and last year’s winner of the SA Nissan Outdoor Grand Prix. Horwood and her horse, Mark White Nissan Capital Don Cumarco, were also awarded South Africa’s 2014 leading horse and rider combination.

Commenting on her love for the annual Nissan Winter Classic, Horwood said: “The venue is amazing and the atmosphere is great. The Shongweni Club always attracts big crowds, it’s such a social event with so much support.”

Asked which riders she was watching out for this year, Horwood said it was impossible to predict.

Organisers are anticipating a total of 450 horses at the event coming in from across the country.

Participants will be showing off their best skills during the five-day competition and those competing in the main FEI class will stand a chance of winning R60 000 in prize money.

This year’s course is another magnificent one being designed by level three FEI designer, Michel Ismalun from France, who was assisted by South African level three FEI designer, Kevin Sprately from Cape Town.

Damaris Ismalun, an international judge, will be monitoring the international standard on behalf of the FEI, as well as submitting a report on the Nissan Winter Classic, presented by Foresyte Shows.

Jodi Wolhuter, event spokesman, said this looked to be one of the biggest Nissan Winter Classic events yet.

“With the best riders and quality entertainment throughout the event, we are anticipating record crowd numbers,” said Wolhuter.

“This year we’ve brought back the thrilling Nissan 6 Bar competition which has proved to be a huge crowd pleaser in the past and in addition, we will host a Junior 6 Bar.”

The charity of choice for this year’s Nissan Winter Classic is the South African Riding for the Disabled Association (SARDA), a non-profit organisation which provides horse riding as therapy and skill for children with special needs from the greater Durban area. This family-friendly event has entertainment for the children in the form of a fun children’s play area.

- Supplied

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