Thrilling finale to Nissan Winter Classic 2017

2017-07-04 06:01
Lisa Williams (Kyalami, Gauteng) on her horse Discovery Campbell winner of the 1.5m FEI World Cup Qualifier class.Photo: Tamara & Blake Images

Lisa Williams (Kyalami, Gauteng) on her horse Discovery Campbell winner of the 1.5m FEI World Cup Qualifier class.Photo: Tamara & Blake Images

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THIS year’s Nissan Winter Classic at the Durban Shongweni Club came to a thrilling conclusion, where a bumper crowd were treated to some world-class showjumping in near-perfect conditions.
Lisa Williams (Kyalami, Gauteng) on her horse Discovery Campbell beat out some extremely stiff competition to claim the coveted 1.5m FEI World Cup Qualifier class with Ronnie Healy on Linda Ellerine's Clouny 3 taking second place and Govett Triggol on Callaho's C-Ultra taking 3rd place. The elite Nissan Six Bar 1.90m event saw an unprecedented three-way tie for first place, with Oscar Ncube (Gauteng), Barry Taylor (Gauteng) and Grant Langley (Summerveld KZN) sharing the spoils.

Up and coming development rider Musa Mulaleka (East Rand) was competing at this event for the first time, and did well to place in the 1.10m classes. Much is expected of this competitor as he looks to build on this promising result. In a fitting Father’s Day duel, Govett Triggol (Mpumalanga) came up against his daughter Cayleigh (18) in the Nissan 1.5m FEI World Cup Qualifier class. While the shared passion and showjumping skill of the Triggol family was clear to see, Govett proved that there can be no substitute for age and experience as he prevailed over his daughter to claim a well-deserved third place in the class.

Firmly entrenched as a mainstay of the South African equestrian calendar, the event offered a prize purse of R480 000 and featured a full quota of 300 local and international riders and horses, and is the second of five elite events that comprise the South African leg of the FEI World Cup Jumping qualifiers. The Nissan Winter Classic featured a world class course designed by Frenchman Michel Ismalun, a level 3* course designer, as well as top local designers Kevin Spratley (Cape Town) and Kate Launder (Gauteng).

Event organiser and competitor Grant Langley said: “The upward trend in the growth and popularity of the Nissan Winter Classic was once again plain to see, and we are overjoyed with the success of this year’s event. We managed to attract the maximum number of competitors, and the high standard of showjumping was enjoyed by some near-capacity crowds. Our international course designer, who has attended and contributed to many high profile international events, was amazed at the growth in South Africa’s equestrian sport the vastly improved abilities of both the riders and the horses.”

Commenting on the contribution of title sponsors Nissan, Langley said that “this event has enjoyed phenomenal growth since its inception in 2011, and as our biggest supporter, Nissan has truly been the catalyst for this rapid expansion. With their continued support, we hope to continue to promote the ethos that equestrian sport should be accessible to all, and we are incredibly excited and optimistic about the continued success of this event”. - Supplied.

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