Easter is family time. Time spent doing the things you love with those you cherish, packed with laughter and memories. This year Kyalami Equestrian Park hosts the Nissan Easter Festival – a horse show incorporating various disciplines and catering for the whole family through a wide range of entertainment. It’s where you want to be with those you love – and you wouldn’t want to miss out.
Event of the year
Several decades ago, the Rand Show, held at NASREC, was the event of the year. Families would travel from across the country to partake in arguably the biggest show of the year. With the removal of the Rand Easter Show from the showjumping calendar came the birth of the Easter Festival where new memories were to be made.
Leading car manufacturer Nissan have been involved with the show since 2010. “Losing the Witwatersrand Agricultural Show many years ago left a huge gap in the showjumping calendar. The then Transvaal Horse Society brought the show to Kyalami Equestrian Park in 2001, resulting in this being our 15th year of hosting this 10-day Easter extravaganza. There’s no doubt that having Nissan on board has allowed us to offer more to both the serious competitor as well as the supportive family members, or even just the average man in the street who would like to join us for a day out.”
Over the years the show has incorporated a host of other activities such as Lipizzaner displays at the gala evenings, dog shows, vaulting and Western riding. Such non-stop action went a long way in attracting greater crowds, resulting in the show today seeing close to 10,000 people through the gates over the 10-day period. When asking the top competitors what makes this show special they collectively repeat that it’s all about family, so says reigning champion Nicole Horwood.
“It’s the family vibe that makes this show different. People travel from near and far with their whole families in tow. The entries are huge and it is a multi-discipline show so the show grounds are always busy, making for a great atmosphere. My whole family attends the show – my kids love the Easter Hunt as well as the dog shows. My extended family travel up from Durban to support me, so it’s a great family weekend all round! The Nissan six-bar event is also a real crowd pleaser.”
Perhaps the pinnacle and highlight of this show is the Nissan Outdoor Grand Prix, hosted this year on Monday 6 April in the Bob Charter arena. The two-round competition sees the first round being set over 12 or 13 fences, including a water jump, a double and a treble combination.
For those youngsters wanting to one day be crowned Nissan Outdoor Grand Prix champion, 2013 and 2014 champion Nicole Horwood has this advice to offer: “Hard work and determination is the key to success – through perseverance and commitment you will eventually succeed. It was a long, tough journey for me but I never gave up! I made mistakes on my journey as will you, however try to see these mistakes not as failure but rather as stepping stones for growth, an inevitable part of the process of getting to the top.”
The full article appears in the April issue of HQ.