1ST LEG OF THE WORLD CUP QUALIFIER SERIES HELD AT KYALAMI EQUESTRIAN PARK By Anne- Marie Esslinger
Beautiful autumn weather heralded the first leg of the World Cup Qualifier (WCQ) series for Southern Africa. This show, hosted by the Kyalami Equestrian Park, was sponsored by attorneys Knowles, Hussein & Taylor, whose generosity has been much appreciated by riders at this venue over several glamorous equestrian events.
ll the show jumping and major dressage competitions were held in the refurbished Pieter Minne arena.The surface is a sand and Clopf fibre mixture supplied by Martin Collins South Africa, which provides consistent jumping conditions for the enormous classes that participated.This surface is capable of being prepared in different ways – more loosely packed it accommodates every day usage. When wet more and flattened it can stand up to over 100 horses competing on it before it requires more raking and watering…a real bonus for today’s busy events! Riders were privileged to have their courses designed by Rob Jansen, from the Netherlands. Rob was committed to giving a FEI Level 2 course designers’ seminar for 6 days before the show, and stayed on to give our riders the benefit of his expertise. Rob is a Level 4 course designer, who has himself competed at the highest level, and runs his own “footing” company from the Netherlands. His fibre and sand surface can be seen in Johan Roodt’s beautiful indoor arena near Kyalami Park. 72
SPORTING HORSE Issue 19
On the course designing seminar Rob told candidates that he liked to get horses moving forward, preferring them to incur a knock by riding a forward distance than potentially landing on back rails by having too many short distances.That’s exactly what he delivered! Riders on the first day found the times allowed quite challenging, but soon upped their game. Courses were classical and built right up to standard with square and wide oxers and often not too much room on the approach or the landing phases. Riders had to keep the horses well between the hand and leg, and balanced throughout the tracks, maintaining an energetic balanced canter in order to secure a clear round. The Open category was divided into 4 different height divisions. In order to accommodate the 1,30m horses into this arena, the timetable of the show was changed at the last minute, starting 1 day earlier. This meant that some of the out of province riders were not able to come to the show. In addition the schedule forced all horses that intended jumping any 1,50m classes to be in the secure stabling area, which added to high entry fees