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Riders shine at Nissan Easter Festival

2013-04-03 14:29
Nicole Horwood and Capital Don Cumarco (Nissan SA)
Johannesburg - Nissan South Africa rounded off its fourth 10-day annual Nissan Easter Festival on Monday with a sparkling performance by riders in the prestigious Nissan SA Adult Outdoor Grand Prix.

GALLERY: Nissan Easter Festival 2013
Nicole Horwood on Capital  Don Cumarco took top honours, followed by Jodi Peters on Capital Rafika D’Or, while Grant Langley (Sissi van de Helle), Paige Shiller (Midgard Glamour) and Jade Hooke (A New Era) all tied in third place.
It was veteran horse rider Horwood’s second recent victory, having won the SA Derby in October 2012. Course designer and accomplished show jumper Kevin Spratley put the riders to the test.
“It was a tough course and quite challenging but my horse was amazing on the day,” said Horwood. “He was quick and careful and I feel truly blessed to ride such a great horse.”
Managing director Nissan SA Mike Whitfield said the equestrian event has gained in popularity since Nissan partnered with the Gauteng Horse Society in sponsoring the event.
“It’s become one of the major highlights on the equestrian calendar, reconfirming that this type of sponsorship needs a long-term commitment, which is our intention.”
Gauteng Horse Society general manager Nora-Jean Freeman echoed this sentiment: “It’s been a knockout event for us with more spectators than we’ve had for a long time. Nissan’s sponsorship is important for the sport and we hope to maintain a long and fruitful relationship.”
Whitfield said that while the festival attracted predominantly the equestrian fraternity, the Nissan Easter Festival – with more than 100 stalls and a variety of fun activities - is essentially a family affair. Included in this year’s equestrian programme was the nail-biting Nissan Six Bar event - familiar in international competitions - which had the crowds on tenterhooks as riders battled it out for the highest jump.
Explained Freeman: “Top riders compete in six jumps in a row with each jump being raised. If the rider knocks the bar or the horse refuses to jump, they are out of the competition. So by a process of elimination we ended up with two riders reaching the highest jump of 1.85 metres.”
Emma Garson on Nissan Nabab Forever tied with Johan Kachelhoffer on Capital Castigo to share first prize.
Riders will now start preparing for the Nissan Winter Classic - incorporating the World Cup Qualifier - to be held at Durban Shongweni Club, KwaZulu-Natal, in June 2013.
As sponsors of the festival, Nissan took the opportunity to display its full range of SUV, crossover, commercial and passenger vehicles, as well as its luxury Infiniti range which is slowly taking hold following its introduction to South Africa in 2012.


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