One of KwaZulu Natal’s most rapidly growing and popular show jumping events, the Nissan Winter Classic, will once again be gracing the showgrounds of the magnificent Durban Shongweni Club between 14 – 18 June 2017. A mainstay of the local equestrian calendar, the event offers a prize purse of R480 000 and features 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.
Many winners from last year’s event, as well as champions from earlier editions of the Nissan Winter Classic, will be looking to make the most of 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). At the forefront will be rider Samantha McIntosh (Gauteng) and her horse ‘Lets Win’, winners of the first FEI World Cup Jumping Qualifier held in Johannesburg earlier this year.
Whilst the show jumping, competition and top-class equestrian facilities will be the main attraction at the upcoming Nissan Winter Classic, the family-oriented Durban Shongweni Club will be offering a host of additional activities during the event. Headline sponsors Nissan will be back with their perennial crowd favourite vehicle display and test drive section. Children will also be spoilt for choice, having access to a dedicated kids zone play area, as well as gymnastic and trapeze displays.
One of South Africa’s most experienced and decorated show jumpers Barry Taylor (Gauteng) will also be looking at claiming top honours in the premier categories at this year’s event. Having competed in each of the six Nissan Winter Classics held thus far, as well as internationally for the last twenty years, Taylor has seen the growth of the event first hand, commenting that “the Nissan Winter Classic competition and show standards are equal to anywhere in the world”.
Event organiser and competitor Grant Langley believes that “the growth that this event has enjoyed since its inception in 2011 has been phenomenal. It was started with the idea that equestrian sport should be accessible to all, and this ethos has enabled its rapid and deserved expansion. Our title sponsor Nissan has been our biggest backer, and thus the catalyst, in making these goals come true. Without their contribution, we would not be where we are now – attracting the absolute maximum number of competitors within three hours of opening entries”.
For more information about the Nissan Winter Classic, check Nissan Winter Classic 2017 and SA Showjumping on Facebook, visit www.foresyte.co.za, or contact Grant Langley on 082 859 2160. The Nissan Winter Classic 2017 is sponsored by Nissan, Epol, Liberty, Equipage, CWD, Western Shoppe.