Miss SA meets local showjumping greats in lead-up to Cell C SA Derby

Four-time SA Derby winners Nicole Horwood and horse Mark White Nissan's Capital Don Cumarco pose with Miss SA Demi-Leigh Nels-Peters.

Miss SA, Demi-Leigh Nels-Peters, along with some of the best female showjumpers in the country welcomed new partners Cell C as sponsors of the upcoming SA Derby in Kyalami.

The Cell C SA Derby, which will begin on 25 September, has been held for 52 years and is considered a highlight on the equestrian calendar.

In honour of Cell C’s decision to come on board as title sponsors of the event, a collection of riders, sponsors and special guest Nels-Peters gathered at the Little Farm Stables on 16 August for a photo shoot.

“I’m very excited to be here,” said Nels-Peters, who was crowned Miss SA 2017 in April. “I must say that I love horses intensely, and I actually did some horse riding in school, although I didn’t take it further than that. I also can’t wait to attend the derby in a few week’s time!”

Other attendees included Lisa Williams, who is preparing to attend the World Equestrian Games 2018; and Anne-Marie Esslinger, a Kyalami resident and multiple placer in the annual Nissan Easter Festival, who is currently preparing to compete in the Derby.

“Right now I’m just excited, but the nerves will come later,” Esslinger told Fourways Review, before mentioning that she started out in cross-country riding before moving over to showjumping.

Former Miss SA helps needy children in Diepsloot

Perhaps the most exciting attendees were Nicole Horwood and Mark White Nissan Capital Don Cumarco, the horse and rider combination that has won the Derby four times so far, including last year. Horwood hopes this year will make it number five.

“I’m definitely feeling a bit of pressure,” Horwood admitted. She added that success in the derby was in large part due to having a horse she connects with, a combination she believes helped in her successes around the 18-obstacle, 1 200m course.

“Cumarco has done the Derby a number of times, and it’s almost like he knows the Derby track,” she said.  “It also really helps to have a horse with a good work ethic.”

Details and to buy tickets: www.kyalamiparkclub.co.za

Are you attending this year’s SA Derby? Share your photos, videos and stories on the Fourways Review Facebook page.

Robyn Kirk

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