Photo: Lara Bechet winner 1st World Cup Qualifier, and Barry Taylor
SA’s elite equestrian sports men and women to feature at upcoming Durban Shongweni Club Winter Classic this June
The Durban Shongweni Classic, which is set to commence on 16th June at the Durban Shongweni Club, has attracted some of the country’s most successful and well-known equestrian sports men and women. The event, which is sponsored by Land Rover Durban, BoE and the City of Durban, will be offering participants in the 2011 FEI World Cup Jumping (RSA League) the chance to claim a share of the R250 000 prize money, as well as a shot at qualifying for the international FEI World Cup Final which will take place in April 2012 in Holland.
Amongst the most recognisable of the entrants for the 2011 Durban Shongweni Classic is former Miss South Africa Heather Mostert (nee Hamilton), who has been competing in equestrian events since the age of seven. Not only a former Miss South Africa, Heather is also a former South African Equitation Champion and has represented KwaZulu Natal for show jumping, dressage, equitation and showing many times during her children's, juniors and adult riding career. Along with her imported grey mares Latté and Calinka, Mostert will be competing in the 1.1m and Open classes respectively. More recently, Latté and Mostert have formed a winning combination, forming part of the victorious KZN 1.2m team at last year’s SA Interprovincial Championships. She describes Latte' as a "joy and an honour to ride, she has been resting for a month but is now back in work and in great form and should be perfect for the Durban Shongweni Classic”.
Reigning 2010 World Cup Jumping RSA League Dominey Alexandra (Kyalami, Gauteng) is arguably the favourite for honours at the upcoming Durban Shongweni Classic, as one of South Africa’s top riders who also has a wealth of experience competing internationally.
Husband and wife Barry Taylor and Lorette Knowles-Taylor (Broadacres, Gauteng) will also be competing. Lorrette, who was the top ranked female rider in South Africa in 2010, has to be one of the favourites, as does her husband Barry, who has already tasted success in 2011 in the SA Outdoor Grand Prix at the Nissan Easter Festival.
Brothers Shaun and Gareth Neil (Randvaal, Gauteng) are recognised by many as two of the most dedicated riders in the country. Between them, the pair have won almost every show jumping title in the country, which has placed them consistently at the top of the South African rankings.
Brendan McNivan (Krugersdorp, Gauteng) is another serious title contender at the Durban Shongweni Classic. Coming off a very successful 2010 season where he finished 6th in the Riders Rankings, McNivan and his horse Crystalize will be up amongst top riders when the event kicks off on 16 June.
KZN’s Grant Langley (Summerveld), owner of the Foresyte Equestrian Centre and Riding School, has been one of KZN’s top riders for the past few years, competing successfully throughout South Africa. As the event organiser of the Durban Shongweni Classic, and is hopeful of establishing this event as a feature in the South African equestrian events calendar.
Current South African Show Jumping Champion Ashlee Hausberger (Gauteng) will be looking to mix it up with some of the more seasoned campaigners, as will young Jodi Pieters (Drummond, KZN). Pieters competes regularly throughout South Africa, and is one of the contenders in the 1.5m World Cup Qualifier class.
Event organiser Grant Langley said that “show Jumping is growing as a sport very rapidly in South Africa. Our aim is to make the Durban Shongweni club one of the most popular venues in the country, and with the support of most of the country’s top riders, as well as with the amazing sponsors that have come aboard, we are sure that we have made significant progress in achieving this aim”.
For more information about the Durban Shongweni Winter Classic, visit the Kwa-Zulu Natal Horse Society website at www.kznhs.co.za, or contact Jodi Wolhuter on 0836554465. The event is sponsored by Land Rover Durban, BoE, City of Durban, Epol as well as Pharos Medical Plan, Jonsson Workwear, Cipla Vet and Bakers Biscuits.
Issued on behalf of: Forsyte Shows
Press release compiled by: Rob Evans
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