Record entries as South African showjumping championships returns to city of Durban

2010-07-29 00:00

RECORD entries have been received for the Showjumping Championships of South Africa, which return to the heart of Durban from Thursday August 5 to Monday August 9.

The event, known as “The City of Durban Sunshine Tour”, will take place at the Cyril Geoghan Stadium adjoining the Absa Stadium and will be followed by the 2010 World Cup Qualifier, from Thursday August 12 to Sunday August 15, at the same venue.

The first show, which includes the Showjumping Championships of South Africa, has 365 horses entered, with over 280 of these coming from other provinces. The country’s top riders, including Ronnie Lawrence for the first time, are entered.

Winner of last year’s SA Showjumping Championships Gareth Neil will be defending his title as will his brother Shaun, who won the 2009 World Cup Qualifier.

Other top entries from Gauteng include 2008 champion Sean Henderson, Dominey Alexander, Lisa Wiliams, Barry and Lorette Taylor, Tossy Raynor, Oscar Ncube and Jonathan Clark.

KwaZulu-Natal has a record entry of over 20 horses entered in the premier open category. Local favourite Jodi Pieters will not be entering due to injury, but the likes of Phillipa Baxter, Katelyn Lepart, Carol Nurden, Michelle Green, Ann Oliff, Heather Mostert, Kim Isaacs, Lauriann Minnet, Grant Langley, Colin Ferreira and Alwin van Breda will be among the line-up.

An exciting new addition to this year’s programme are the Night Classes, which should appeal to the public.

There will be a six-bar event at the first show on August 6 and 7 starting at 6.30 pm. A six-bar is six vertical jumps in a straight line, two strides apart. It is run over a maximum of five rounds with the jumps being raised every round.

Another highlight of the first show will be displays from The Soweto Vaulting Team. The displays will take place before the South African Young Riders Grand Prix on Saturday, August 7 at midday and before the main class of the Showjumping Championship of SA at midday on Monday August 9.

The second show, featuring the third leg of the World Cup Qualifier series, also has big entries.

The majority are from other provinces and all the top riders are staying for both shows. Andreas Hollmann of Germany is the course designer once again. The riders love his tracks, which are very challenging but fair.

The August 13 night class at the World Cup Qualifier sees a knock out pairs competition which is also great fun for the spectators.

Both shows carry CSN status, which means that points gained by riders in the international class count towards the international world rankings. (The World Cup Qualifier show is CSI status).

The event is being hosted by C&S Shows. Show director Sue Pieters hosted last year’s event which attracted a record number of spectators. The riders were also delighted with the venue and the event, which has resulted in the massive entry field this year.

Head of eThekwini Strategic Projects Unit and 2010 Programme Julie-May Ellingson said: “The city of Durban is looking forward to welcoming this premier event back to Durban. It is quite unique to have an equestrian arena in the heart of the city, close to beachfront, hotel and entertainment attractions.

“This fact, coupled with our warm August weather, has resul­ted in the event being known as ‘the holiday show’. This event provides the ideal opportunity to strengthen Durban’s reputation as Africa’s sporting capital.”

There is no entry fee for development riders and sponsorship has been provided for them wherever possible. Public entry to all shows is free and refreshments will be available. — Own Correspondent.

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