Horwood wins Avis Derby title

2012-10-11 12:08

Cape Town - Dubbed by many as the “best Derby ever”, the Avis SA Derby was a major success that further entrenched its place as the premier event on the South African show jumping calendar.

The Derby was won this year by Nicole Horwood on Capital Stud’s Don Cumarco, who produced the only clear round of the day. This was a fitting victory for Capital Stud’s owner, Henning Pretorius, who gave his time; expertise and equipment to assist the Kyalami Equestrian Park team in getting the main Bob Charter Arena into the best condition it’s been in for years.

This year the Gauteng Horse Society teamed up with events management company, G&G Productions, to produce a world-class, sold out jumping event. For the first time ever, there was a full Retail and Food Village, a packed Beer Tent, a new Champagne Village, bigger hospitality marquee and a fitting after party all showing off the “In Black and White theme”. Thanks to an extremely strong partnership between GHS (The Gauteng Horse Society) and G&G Productions and an intense focus on new PR and event improvements, a record 9 000 people attended the weekend.

The main event was tense and exciting, resulting in just one clear round. Anthea Erasmus from Western Province, competing in her second Derby on Meerenhof Properties Calypso, came into the ring after two eliminations and three ‘two figure’ penalty scores to jump into the lead with just four penalties. She kept this lead until No 21, Jodi Pieters from KwaZulu-Natal on Capital Rafika D’Or, equalled her score. Nicola Sime came close with just five penalties. Nicole Horwood was third last to ride, and jumped a spectacular clear to a hushed crowd in what was her first ever Derby.

Final results:

1st - Nicole Horwood on Capital Don Cumarco
2nd - Anthea Erasmus on Meerenhof Properties Calypso (WP), Jodi Pieters on Capital Rafika D’Or (KZN)
4th - Nicola Sime on Sunny Park Stables El Paso
5th - Paige Shiller on Midgard Glamour, Shaun Neill on Clyde Z, Rainer Korber on Leandros de Semilly

Congratulations must also go to show jumping and Derby legend, Gonda Betrix (winner of six Derby’s), who is the coach to Nicole Horwood, Anthea Erasmus and Nicola Sime. She also produced the 1st to 4th places in the FNB Mini Derby that was held on Saturday.

From left to right: Jessecca Perumal of AVIS Marketing General Manager, Nicole Horwood, Capital Don Cumarco, Miss South Africa Melinda Bam (Tamara & Blake Images)