This past week, South Africa’s top show jumpers arrived in Durban to compete in the fourth leg of the FEI World Cup Qualifier Series at the Cyril Geoghegan Cycle Stadium.
In the photo: Jeanne Engela on Chanel van de Zeshoek
In a sport where age and gender disparities are set aside, it was 21-year-old Jeanne Engela who beat the odds by winning her first FEI World Cup Qualifier on Sunday. The World Cup Qualifying series in South Africa consists of eight events with the overall winner having the option to travel overseas to compete in the World Cup Final.
Building up to the main event, spectators had the opportunity to watch five days of high-action sport with classes ranging from 1.10m-1.50m high.
Prior to Sunday’s main competition was the third leg of the Rider’s Grand Prix Tour, which saw KZN rider Jodie Pieters jump to victory on her horse Capital Rafika D’Or – another spectacular win for the ladies!
Barry Taylor (Gauteng) on Nissan Nabab Forever came second and Jeanne Engela (Gauteng) took third place on her horse Chanel van de Zeshoek.
The Rider’s Grand Prix Tour forms part of the Nissan Riders Series competition. The rider who accumulates the most points over the series stands the chance to walk away with a Nissan Juke.
City of Durban Sunshine Tour
Despite the clouds rolling in on the previous days’ events, the City of Durban Sunshine Tour stood true to its name on Sunday as blue skies set the tone for a successful day of show jumping entertainment.
International course designer Andreas Hollmann had riders battling it out over a demanding course, which saw only four of the 16 starters making it through to the jump-off.
Lorette Knowles -Taylor (current number 1 ranked rider in South Africa), Nicole Horwood and Jeanne Engela were the three ladies up against the formidable Shaun Neill in what was to be a spectacular exhibition of show jumping skills.
Neill and Engela were the only riders to produce double clear rounds, however, it was first-timer Engela who surprised her unsuspecting opposition by finishing with the quickest time, securing her the win.
A proud winner
“I really didn’t have any expectations for my first World Cup Qualifier. I just wanted to give my horse, Chanel, a good ride because it was her first time seeing the jumps that size too. We have built a strong partnership over the past four years and she really proved her quality on Sunday. I am so privileged to own and ride her,” commented an ecstatic Engela.
The City of Durban, Gold Circle, Reonet and Capital Stud were some of the sponsors involved at the City of Durban Sunshine Tour and are among many brands trying to get their foot in the door in this thriving industry of horse sport.
With KZN well-established as one of the country’s top tourism destinations, it is no surprise to find the region hosting three of the larger events on the Equestrian Show Jumping calendar throughout the course of this year.
The Cyril Geoghegan Cycle Stadium will be hosting the Jumping Championship of South Africa on 1 to 5 August 2012, promising great entertainment for the whole family in a safe and secure environment.
City of Durban 2012 Results:
City of Durban 1.50 FEI World Cup Qualifier
1) Jeanne Engela
2) Shaun Neill
3) Lorette Knowles-Taylor
Gold Circle 1.40 Championship
1. Phillipa Baxter
2. Johan Kachelhoffer
3. Cathryn Houghton
Reonet Riders Tour Grand Prix
1. Jodi Pieters
2. Barry Taylor
3. Jeanne Engela
Capital Stud 1.35 Mini Prix
1. Kerry Muir
2. Lexi Stais
1. Jeanne Korber
2. Johan Kachelhoffer
3. Roxy Leyshon