“Unfortunately my preparations for the 2017 Cell C Derby haven’t really gone according to plan with my top horse Armageddon having injured himself at the last World Cup. After some serious TLC and treatments, we are now hopefully ready to get going again. The fitness is more important for the derby than normal showjumping, as the courses are much longer. It’s so funny to see all the riders starting to go for road runs as the derby approaches as just like the horses, we too have to be super fit. I do watch my diet, try to lose a few fat rolls, and up my cardio beforehand.
We also need to prepare the horses by training the derby jumps and we’re lucky because we know what we have to jump each year come derby time. I have three horses at the show this year – luckily for me I have a horse in each grade. It’s the most wonderful thing to have a good derby horse as not all horses like the ups and downs of a derby track, but thankfully Armageddon loves it!”
“The derby jump that I find the most scary is the star: you jump off the table top just beforehand, so the horses tend to land unbalanced, then on 7 strides you have to get straight and very balanced and jump the star. The horses jump very big over it which is a fantastic feeling! In terms of my nerves on the day, I think that when you get to the top level in any sport we’ve learnt to love the atmosphere – to thrive on it. But we do need to remain calm and focused and I personally spend time alone going over the course in my head. The derby is the biggest crowd we get to ride in front of: the atmosphere is electric and it’s a once a year class.”
When asked who he thinks might take the win, the ever popular co-owner of Cellehof Stud smiles;
“I would love to say ME: I am in the mood to win the 2017 Derby! But seriously, the standard of riding is SA has improved so much that on the day anyone could win. If it isn’t me then one of my many clients, but mostly I hope that everyone has a safe trip around the course.”
Text: Caroline Malan of The PR Machine
Saturday 30 September: R50 – R100 (depending on seats)
Sunday 1 October (the main day): R100 – R600 (five price ranges available: R100, R150, R200, R250 and R600).
Tickets will be available on Ticketpro from Thursday 24 August.
Discounted weekend packages available
Highlights Schedule (please see attachment for further details):
Saturday 30 September:
08:30 – Cell C 1.35m Derby Classic (Show Jumping)
11:00 – Cell C 2017 1.40m Mini Derby
Sunday 1 October:
9:00 – Showing and Dressage classes
10:00 – Cell C 2017 1.35m Micro Derby (Show Jumping)
14:00 – The Cell C 2017 South African Derby