Top riders saddle up for this year’s Nissan Winter Classic
Photos: TB Images
One of the year’s most anticipated showjumping contests – and a FEI World Cup Qualifier event – the Nissan Winter Classic will be returning to the stunning Shongweni Club from 13 to 17 June, bringing with it unrivalled equestrian showmanship and unmissable family fun.
“We are thrilled to announce an incredibly high level of competition at this year’s Nissan Winter Classic as a number of the country’s most revered riders have confirmed their participation in 2019,” said Mike Whitfield, Managing Director of Nissan SA. “Riders are always excited to compete at these idyllic showgrounds which promise an internationally-designed course as well as fantastic support from an enthusiastic audience. This event encourages outdoor family fun and the appreciation of the tenacity and spirit showed by the riders – the perfect reflection of the Nissan brand.”
The Nissan Winter Classic forms the third of five elite events that make up the South African leg of the World Cup jumping qualifiers. This annual event is renowned for attracting the country’s best riders and this year is no different. From Team Nissan, audiences can expect to watch skilled displays by husband-and-wife team and South African riders, Barry Taylor and Lorette Knowles-Taylor.
The 2019 Nissan Winter Classic will also welcome back Chris van der Merwe – winner of a World Cup Qualifier, Grand Prix, Burlington Cup and Presidents Cup – after having missed out on the 2018 edition. Fresh from his double win at the Nissan Easter Festival and Reonet World Cup, Chris will be looking to take the win on Rene Fourie’s mare, Chantilly.
Renowned international showjumper, dressage rider and instructor, Dominey Alexander, will also feature at the Nissan Winter Classic, this year competing on Lisa Williams’ horse, Pilgrim, and RnR Gulliver, owned by Natalie Robertson, in the main title class. Other big-name riders include Musa Maluleke – riding Sunny Park Ultimo and Jethro in his first 1.20m classes this year – as well as the highly-respected Team Nissan rider and trainer, Oscar Ncube.
The 2019 event will also see the return of the Triggol family – dad, Govett, alongside daughter, Cayleigh and son, Thomas. Thomas – who competed in the Junior classes last year – has climbed the ranks and will be competing in the World Cup classes this year. He will have some tough competition from his dad who has just won the second leg World Cup Qualifier at Stokkiesdraai.
There will be 39 events taking place throughout the five-day competition including the 1.15 Filtec Pony Riders Championship and 1.50m Nissan Riders Grand Prix Tour; the popular Nissan 6-bar event (for juniors and adults); the 1.40m Nissan Championships and the main title class – the 1.5m Nissan FEI World Cup Qualifier.
In addition to the quality showjumping entertainment, visitors to the Nissan Winter Classic are also treated to a host of family fun in the form of a dedicated Nissan children’s zone, the popular Nissan vehicle display and test drive, and a range of quality market stalls which will include food and beverage options.
The annual Nissan Winter Classic also gives back to the local community in the form of charitable donations aimed at improving the local educational facilities. Previously, funds raised by Foresyte Shows & Langley Equestrian Centre contributed towards the establishment of a play area and upgrading the facilities at Umthombomuhle School in the Hammarsdale area. Funds raised in 2019 will continue to contribute to enhancing the school’s facilities, benefitting more than 100 schoolchildren.
For more information about the Nissan Winter Classic, check Nissan Winter Classic 2019 and SA Showjumping on Facebook, visit www.foresyte.co.za, or contact Grant Langley on 082 859 2160.