Horwood defends SA Derby title

Cape Town - The 2013 Galencia Property South African Derby took place from October 2-6 and it was a glitzy affair. It was attended by the mink and manure set which makes up the South African equestrian elite. The capacity crowd donned their Gatsby Glitz finest to watch the biggest event on the show jumping calendar held at the Kyalami Equestrian Park in Johannesburg.
 
Celebs joined in on the action as well, spotted at the show over the course of the week included socialite Edith Venter, 5fm’s Jen Su and Thomas Msengana, singer Tobi Jooste, Leanne Manas and Idols judge Unathi Msengana.
 
Horse and rider combinations spent three grueling days in an attempt to qualify for the main event. The derby itself is run over 18 obstacles (some consisting of 2 to 3 elements), most obstacles range in height from 1.5m to 1.6m and the track includes elements such as the Derby bank, the St. Andrew’s Cross and the Devil’s Dyke. It is a true test of fitness and scope. Almost all South African show jumpers believe completing the track is an achievement in itself and for many years only one clear round (and sometimes none) was accomplished on the day.
 
With the quality of entries received this year, it promised to be another nail biting affair for the ultimate title in South African Showjumping.

Only four riders managed to obtain clear rounds in the first round of the event, resulting in an exciting jump off. The four riders had the crowds on the edge of their seats with a very closely contested jump off. But, it was the superb combination of last year’s winners, Nicole Horwood and Capital Stud’s Don Cumarco who had the fastest time and retained their title for the second year in a row. Shaun Neill & Delmon Mining & Civil’s Clyde Z finished in second while young rider Liam Stevens on Wanda and Nicola Sime on Sunnypark Stables’ El Paso claimed third and fourth spot respectively.
 
Adriaan van Wyk won the SA Dressage Derby and runner-up this year was Sue Horne. Rodney Forster and Gina's Harley took top honours in the Driving Derby with a fantastic performance. Victoria Conlan on Waterside Triple Crown won the Compleat Horse Derby. She also won the SA Derby Working Horse Supreme Champion title on WTC and was Reserve Supreme Champion on her other horse, Touchdown Final Touch. Alexandra Lynch was the SA Showing Derby Champion on Sir Kennedy.
 
Galencia Properties awarded the winner R100 000 in cash as well as a trip to China on their renowned Panda Tour. The company has committed to sponsor the South African Derby for another two years and clearly see the potential in backing the growing equestrian community.
 
The showjumping wasn’t the only draw card though; the shopping village bragged designer gear from the likes of Polo and a host of European equestrian & lifestyle ranges.
 
To celebrate the end of this incredible week Pascal & Pearce along with DJ Fresh took to the decks to allow revelers to celebrate well into the night. Cocktails and champagne a plenty, the SA Derby party rivaled any other, ending a fantastic week at midnight on Sunday.


Nicole Horwood riding Capital Stud’s Don Cumarco (Tamara & Blake Images)


Winning rider and horse (Tamara & Blake Images)
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