Showjumpers aim high at the 2018 Nissan Winter Classic

The Nissan Winter Classic, which forms the third of five elite events that make up the South African leg of the World Cup Jumping qualifiers, annually attracts international-level showjumping champions. At the 2018 edition, taking place at Shongweni Club from 12 to 17 June, spectators will get to watch incredible skills performed by a number of top riders from across the country.

“We are very excited to be involved in this really fantastic festival which provides both the equestrian community and visitors with a chance to witness an elevated level of showjumping performance in a remarkable part of the country,” said Mike Whitfield, Managing Director of Nissan SA. “The Nissan Winter Classic continues to attract the best in the showjumping arena which has seen it grow into a really dominant equestrian event. This energy, enthusiasm and camaraderie fits perfectly with the Nissan brand and we are proud to be involved with such a well-organised show.”

There will be 39 events taking place throughout the six-day competition including the 1.15 Filtec Pony Riders Championship and 1.50m Nissan Riders Grand Prix Tour; the popular Nissan 6-bar event (for juniors and adults); the 1.40m Nissan Championships and the main title class – the 1.5m Nissan FEI World Cup Qualifier. The incredible Zecks and Viceroy will perform alongside the Ingobamakhosi Zulu Dance Group in a high-energy show before the start of the 6-bar class.

The renowned showjumping duo, Barry and Lorette Knowles-Taylor of Farnham Stables, Gauteng have been participating in the Nissan Winter Classic since its inception and will be returning for another shot at the big win. Barry will be riding Counter Attack, owned by Quinten and Liesl Jansen, while Lorette will be riding Bryan Meyer’s Caspar – a new combination for this contest.

Lorette has often found success at the Nissan Winter Classic. She and her now-retired horse, Nissan Nabab Forever, broke the South African 6-bar record in 2014 with a height of 2m. The pair went on to break their own record the following year with a height of 2.05m.

“The Nissan Winter Classic has such a great organising committee behind the event and Grant Langley, a great competitor himself, knows exactly what it takes to put on a great show,” said Lorette, fresh from her win at the Stokkiesdraai 1.50m Grand Prix. “The festival has such great sponsorship and the involvement ensures it is a success. Barry and I are really excited to be competing in all the open classes again this year, and happy to compete in a milder climate!”

Shelly Moore, vice chairman of Shongweni Club, also thanked the sponsors for their continued involvement: “The Shongweni Club is so proud of our association with Foresyte Shows and Nissan South Africa and are super excited about hosting this prestigious event again this year, the seventh year running. The festival has grown in stature over the years and is now the number one event on our calendar! “

“This is a worthy credit to the superb organisation of the Langley Equestrian Team and the fabulous support they receive from Nissan South Africa. Nissan SA have also supported the club’s development through their investment in our main arena lighting, enabling us to run some exciting night time competitions under lights”.

“The programme this year is jam-packed with superb competition and great entertainment for the whole family. The Shongweni Club is a family-friendly venue and we look forward to welcoming all of the competitors, visitors and spectators this year for another spectacular Nissan Winter Classic.”

The chosen charity for this year’s Nissan Winter Classic is Umthombomuhle School in the Hammarsdale area. Last year, funds raised by Foresyte Shows & Langley Equestrian Centre contributed to the establishment of an interactive play area on site and funds raised in 2018 will go towards the upgrading of various facilities at the local school. The 112 schoolchildren will also be treated to a day at the Nissan Winter Classic with lunches sponsored by Illovo.

Visitors attending this family-friendly event will be able to take advantage of a number of additional activities, including the ever-popular Nissan vehicle display and test drive; a dedicated kids’ zone play area; and a variety of market stalls.

For more information about the Nissan Winter Classic, check Nissan Winter Classic 2018 and SA Showjumping on Facebook, visit

The Nissan Winter Classic 2018 is sponsored by Nissan, Epol, Avalon Aviation, Equipage, CWD, Western Shoppe, Equestrian House, Natal Saddlery, Horze, Stubben, Equifeeds, Sir Fruit, L’Ormarins, Equipe, Adawnment, Filtec, Topbet and Jeep Outdoor Apparel.

Photo Credit : TB Images & Denford Studios

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