Top equestrian event for Shongweni

THE cream of South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe’s show-jumping talent can be seen in action at the Shongweni Festival, which is taking place at the Shongweni Club showgrounds from August 8 to August 12.

Top South African riders such as Jonathan Clarke, Mandy Johnstone, Barry Taylor and Ronnie Lawrence, to name just a few, will be competing for honours in this year’s World Cup qualifier, taking place on August 12.

The 2017 World Cup winners, Lisa Williams and her horse Vitality Campbell, are in Europe competing on the international circuit.

St Mary’s Grade 11 pupil Hannah Garton of Hillcrest, who recently qualified to compete in the Youth Olympics taking place in Buenos Aires in October, will also be competing in the Shongweni Festival. The event, which runs over Women’s Day on August 9, offers great outdoor entertainment with plenty of thrills and spills. Family activities include clothing, food and beverage stalls, a licensed restaurant, a kiddies play area and the opportunity to test drive several Land Rover and Jaguar models, including the all-new Discovery.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FESTIVAL

· The 1,50 m Land Rover Durban FEI World Cup qualifier on August 12.

· The Hausberger Financial Services 1,50 m Cup on August 9.

· The 1,40 m FNB KZN Outdoor Grand Prix on August 11.

· The Ride, Kick and Drive competition on August 9.

· Unity South Africa Dance entertainment, featuring Jemma van Breda, on August 10 at 5.30 pm.

The crowd-pleasing Ride, Kick and Drive competition will take place after all the main classes on Women’s Day. Here, 10 invitational teams consisting of a driver, rider and groom will compete for R10 000 00 prize money.

Teams will be driving the all-new Land Rover Discovery, jumping a course of eight 1,0 m jumps, and the grooms testing their kicking accuracy with a soccer ball, all of which will take place under floodlights at about 6 pm.

With a strong focus on providing opportunities to deserving development riders, as well as making telling contributions to local charities, the inaugural Shongweni Festival is sure to make a lasting impact on the show-jumping community. Leading the charge for the development riders will be Eric Gaza (Mooi River).

The charities that are set to benefit from the event include Sarda and Mthatha Horse Rescue. Event organiser Jodi Wolhuter said: “Show jumping has traditionally been seen as an elitist sport, and we aim to change this with our support of local charities and development riders. We are hoping to raise a large sum of money in this regard, and this is made possible thanks to the overwhelming support of our riders and our sponsors Land Rover Durban and FNB.”

With the caliber of competitors, some of whom compete regularly in international competitions overseas, the show-jumping at the Shongweni Festival is sure to be of the highest standard. Entries to the event were sold out within hours of opening, with 300 riders and over 500 horses eager to make their mark at the event.

For more information about the Shongweni Festival, visit The Shongweni Festival on Facebook, the Shongweni Club website www.shong
weniclub.co.za or Land Rover Durban at www.durban.landrover.co.za or contact Jodi Wolhuter at 083 655 4465. — Supplied.