All eyes are on the riders competing in this year’s Galencia Property South African Derby, the 50th anniversary of this spectacular show jumping competition. We caught up with one of this year’s contestants, Anne-Marie Esslinger, and asked her a few Derby-related questions.
Q: What horse(s) will you be riding in the Derby this year?
AM: I hope to be riding 2 of my top horses, Alessio and Alzu Oregon in the 2015 Derby.
Q: What are your strengths/weaknesses in terms of the course?
AM: I’m scared of heights, so I would need some help with training the Bank, but haven’t had a problem with it yet during the competition. I have good focus and am able to hold concentration for the long, tiring round. My two superb horses have had a great year so far.
Q: How are you preparing for the event?
AM: My horses start an additional fast work fitness programme and Derby-type fence exposure during September.
Q: Which obstacles concern you most and how will you handle them?
AM: None of the fences pose an individual problem…it’s keeping the whole act together for over a kilometre and 23 jumping efforts of skill, power and accuracy.
Q: What is your personal health plan leading up to the event?
AM: I try to eat healthy most of the time, and will increase my fitness work, especially focusing on the aerobic work, before the show.
Q: If you win this year, how do you plan to celebrate?
AM: A glass of good French Champagne will definitely be in order! The rest I will plan later.
Celebrating 50 years
As we come together to celebrate 50 years of history, this year’s theme for Derby is The Midas Touch. Half a century since its inception, the 2015 celebration of this distinguished event is set to be a weekend of entertainment, fashion, food and wine, all in gold.
Date: Sunday 4th October, 2015
Venue: Kyalami Park Club, 1 Dahlia Road, Kyalami
General access tickets via Computicket
VIP access via the Derby website
Simone on 071 488 9078 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets are on sale from Computicket.