The superb combination of last year’s winners, Nicole Horwood and Capital Stud’s Don Cumarco achieved the fastest time to win the 2013 Galencia Property South African Show Jumping Derby, and retain their title for the second year in a row.
Attended by the mink and manure set making 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 from 2-6 October in Johannesburg.
Horse and rider combinations spent 3 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 1.50m to 1.60m 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, and these four riders had the crowds on the edge of their seats with a very closely contested jump off.
But it was the Horwood/Don Cumarco pair that eddged Shaun Neill and Delmon Mining & Civil’s Clyde Z finishing in second on the day, while young rider Liam Stevens – on Wanda, and Nicola Sime – on Sunnypark Stables’ El Paso, claimed 3rd and 4th spot respectively.
Sue Horne was runner-up in the SA Dressage Derby this year after Adriaan van Wyk won the 2013 title, while Victoria Conlan on Waterside Triple Crown won the Compleat Horse Derby, and also the SA Derby Working Horse Supreme Champion title on WTC, in addition to being 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.
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.
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.