Record number of entries for South Africa’s biggest showjumping event in KZN, the Nissan Winter Classic Shongweni showjumping action

2016-06-14 06:00
Leading SA Junior Rider Courtney Webber on V-Cachette van Dwerse Hagen. Photo: supplied

Leading SA Junior Rider Courtney Webber on V-Cachette van Dwerse Hagen. Photo: supplied

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THE biggest showjumping competition in KwaZulu-Natal will again be attracting the top riders to KwaZulu-Natal as the fifth Nissan Winter Classic kicks off at Durban Shongweni Club from 15 to 19 June.

“The Nissan Winter Classic has become a firm favourite on the South African showjumping calendar,” said event co-organiser, Jodi Wolhuter. “The high quality events and course design, impressive calibre of riders and fantastic venue work well to create the perfect conditions for an incredible showjumping performance.”

There will be 39 events taking place throughout the five-day competition including the 1.10 Constantia Uitsig KZN Pony Riders Championship and 1.5m Nissan Riders Grand Prix Tour on Thursday, 16 June; the popular Nissan 6-bar event (for juniors and adults) taking place on the evening of Friday, 17 June under floodlights. The 1.4m Liberty Championships and the main title class – the 1.5m Nissan FEI World Cup Qualifier- both scheduled for Sunday, 19 June with the qualifier around midday.

Mike Whitfield, Managing Director of Nissan SA, said that Nissan was proud to be involved in such a well-run, family-friendly event.

“The Nissan Winter Classic has grown tremendously, with more than 1 000 entries received for the festival,” said Whitfield.
“The atmosphere is always great and spectator attendance at capacity.”

He said the event truly represented the best aspects of the Nissan brand.

“As a brand we strive to sponsor and be involved with events that are fun and energetic. This annual event is extremely well organised and we always receive great feedback from customers who attend.”

He said, in addition to this, equestrian sports partners well with the Nissan range which meets the demand for towing as well as family and excursion needs.

Organisers are anticipating a field of an incredible 560 horses arriving to participate for the top spot. And, once again, the list of competing riders includes the country’s very best in the showjumping world such as Anne Marie Esslinger, Nicola Sime-Riley, Dominey Alexander, Barry Taylor and last year’s winner, Jonathan Clarke.

Renowned rider and showjumping champion, Lorette Knowles-Taylor, will also be returning this year after her impressive record-breaking 2.05m jump on Nissan Nabab Forever in the showstopping 6-bar event.
In addition to this achievement, Knowles-Taylor has won the South African Derby, Rider’s Championship, several World Cup Qualifiers and is ranked second in South Africa for showjumping.

“I started riding at the age of seven after a family holiday in the Drakensberg,” recalled the record-setting champion.
“I went for a horse ride with my father and the bug just bit!”

Having competed in every Nissan Winter Classic to date, Knowles-Taylor said she always looks forward to the prestigious event which has a unique atmosphere.

“This competition and the Durban Shongweni Club attract the best crowds which is always great as a rider,” she said.

In addition to some faulous equestrian entertainment, visitors to this year’s Nissan Winter Classic will be able to sample a delicious variety of food, browse an array of interesting stalls and even take a spin in one of Nissan’s vehicles at the Nissan Test Drive Station. There will be ongoing arena entertainment and children will be kept entertained on the final weekend in the designated Nissan children’s play area.

Another highlight at this year’s event will be the Dog Agility Display on Sunday, 19 June, where trainers will give their dogs the chance to put on an impressive demonstration of canine agility, tricks and dancing.
There will also be a number of fun dog competitions held throughout with various categories including best performer, best rescue, most unusual dog mix, happiest dog, owner/dog lookalike and best matching outfits. Spot prizes will be given for these throughout the show.

Entrance is free for all. For more information, visit and

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