Lorette Knowles-Taylor and Nissan Nabab Forever claimed top honours in the tightly-contested final leg of the 2014 Nissan World Cup Qualifier in Port Elizabeth yesterday.
Knowles-Taylor said she was “ecstatic” with her victory especially as her “legend horse” Nissan Nabab Forever, a 19-year-old who was retired two years ago had topped a stunning comeback this year with Sunday’s win.
They were followed by Dominey Alexander on Discovery Enjoy 68 and Nicola Sime-Riley riding Sunny Park Stables El Paso.
More than 180 horses and riders made up a capacity field to deliver four days of show-jumping thrills with very few spills, show director and organizer Tanja Radke said.
Show-jumping veteran Nicole Horwood, riding Mark White Nissan Capital Don Cumarco, was crowned the overall winner of the 2014 FEI World Cup Qualifier series, jumping her way into the FEI World Cup final to be held in Las Vegas, USA, during 2015.
“I am absolutely thrilled,” said Horwood of her win. “We were set a testing course today consistent with the standard we expect in this series. Mark White Nissan Capital Don Cumarco is so consistent, always gives me 100 per cent, and we’ve had a really successful year as a result. The PE Riding Club ground is absolutely super, they’ve done a fantastic job,” she said.
The Eastern Cape had its share of winners, with Grahamstown rider Carey Pohl placing fourth in the Nissan World Cup Qualifier, and Robyn Gerber, also of Grahamstown, clearing 1.75m to win the Nissan 6 Bar Challenge and R15 000 in prize money.
The Nissan 6 Bar Challenge had spectators on the edge of their seats as riders battled it out to clear the highest jump over five rounds in which the jumps are raised after each round. The current record is a 2.0m jump, set by Knowles-Taylor and Nissan Nabab Forever in June 2014.
Proceeds from the event were donated by Nissan to the East Cape Horse Care Unit, which looks out for the welfare of working horses.
Radke said the international-standard course by leading South African course designer Kevin Spratley had challenged the capacity field of top competitors over the four days of competition in adverse weather conditions.
“This is a premier international event on the local equestrian calendar, and we are proud that Nelson Mandela Bay and our team of volunteers from the PE Riding Club hosted a seamless event enjoyed by the competitors and thousands of spectators over the past four days. The commitment of Nissan as our partner made it possible for us to bring world-class riding to the Bay,” Radke said.
Nissan SA Managing Director Mike Whitfield said the event proved yet again Nelson Mandela Bay’s capacity to host international sporting events.
“We’re proud to associate Nissan with this event as horse-riding is a sport that reflects our brand ethos of excitement, innovation and excellence,” Whitfield said.
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