The 2017 Nissan Easter Festival : Equestrian Excellence

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The Kyalami Equestrian Park was the place to be for all animal lovers this Easter. The 8th edition of the Nissan Easter Festival took place from 8 – 17 April 2017, hosting hundreds of equestrian competitors and supporters from across Africa.
Equestrian athletes from countries such as Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia and Namibia competed against a strong South African contingent of riders from awide range of disciplines such as showing, equitation, dressage and showjumping. With over 12000 people attending over the 10 day festival, Show Director Kate Launder says that this certainly is an event to be proud of;
“We ran 160 competition classes over the 10 days. In addition we had entertainment galore including the Nissan fancy dress, an Easter egg hunt, the Nissan vehicle display area, jumping castles and more. One of my personal highlights was the Nissan Navara Challenge: Eventers vs Showjumpers, whereby the very best in the sport enjoyed a good laugh as they competed against each other over various obstacles. In my opinion, this show was better than previous years as we had an outstanding announcer throughout, a fantastic Easter market and enjoyable entertainment: an all-round super vibe! Special congratulations must go to the Grand Prix winners of the showjumping classes, namely: Nissan Junior 1.35m SA Outdoor Grand Prix: Thomas Triggol riding Burntwood; Nissan Pony Rider 1.20m SA Outdoor Grand Prix: Hannah Van Niekerk – riding Scooby Doo. The Adult 1.50m Victor Ludorum was awarded to Lisa Williams riding Discovery Campbell.”
The star of the show again went to Nicola Sime-Riley – this year riding her horse Fulvic Connoisseur and winning the Nissan 1.50m SA Outdoor Grand Prix on Monday late afternoon. Having won the 2016 title on Sunny Park Stables Elpaso, she wasn’t going to give up the title easily, and competed both her showjumping rounds on Connoisseur clear but for 1 time penalty in each round, ending up on 2 penalties overall.
“FEI Level 3 course designer Marco Behrens from Germany built a fantastic course with a very tight time. I couldn’t be more proud of both my horses today – we’ve been working on this goal since the beginning of the year – we were fit and confident. On championship day I felt relaxed and at one with both of my horses. It helped too that my family were all there – my husband Jason, mom Jan, Katie my sister and of course my kids – although I never got to see them as they were having too much fun in the Nissan kiddies play area! A whole host of my clients supported me too: thanks everyone!”
Constantly pushing Nicola was 2012 and 2014 champion and Capital Stud rider Nicole Horwood riding Mark White Nissan Capital Don Cumarco who placed second overall. In third place was Dominey Alexander on Armageddon.
Kate concludes that the show was a massive success;
“All the disciplines again witnessed an exceptionally high standard of riding as we see the sport continue to go from strength to strength. Competitors competed with smiles, horses thrived in our outstanding arena’s, and thousands of people enjoyed a family day out. All in all I’d say that was an exceptional equestrian experience!”

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