Port Elizabeth played host to the Nissan World Cup Qualifier 2013 with some of the country’s top equestrian athletes participating on a magnificent course designed by the world renowned Frederic Cottier from France. This event was one of six qualifiers held in South Africa this year and the winner of the South African series will receive an invitation to participate in the final, which takes place in a different country each year.
Lorette Knowles Taylor took top honours, followed by Bronwyn Short, while Jeanne Engela took the third place in the main event, the Nissan World Cup Qualifier held on Sunday 17 November 2013.
The new and exciting addition to this year’s event, the Nissan 6 Bar competition, sported a very interesting result with Jayde Mangold, a local lass, tying with Emma Garson and Robyn Gerber for the title. They managed to clear the highest jump on 1.80m. This was a charity event and the funds raised were donated to East Cape Horse Care Unit in Port Elizabeth.
“It was a challenging course and Mr Cottier definitely lived up to his reputation for setting the bar very high,” said Knowles Taylor “My horse Nisan Watch Me P was amazing though and never let me down despite the wet and very slippery field.”
Managing director Nissan SA Mike Whitfield said the equestrian event has gained in popularity since Nissan partnered with the Port Elizabeth Riding Club in sponsoring the event and it was evident in the increased number of entries received for this year.
“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.”
“It’s been a fabulous ride in terms of the hosting of this event and the focus has not only been on the fantastic horses and riders but also on Nelson Mandela Bay as a destination able to host very successful events of an international standard.” says Tanja Radke the organizer of the event.
“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 to Port Elizabeth – with more than 170 horses participating in various events over the four days – it 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.
Radke explained: “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.”
As sponsors of the festival, Nissan took the opportunity to display a selection of its range of SUV, crossover, commercial and passenger vehicles.
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