It was a high stakes contest with some of the country’s best riding talent competing over an international-level course at Shongweni Club from 12 to 17 June. Anne-Marie Esslinger put on a spectacular show in the main title class riding Alzu Oregon to win the 1.5m Nissan FEI World Cup Qualifier – her third victory in a World Cup Qualifier.

“It was such a stunning event and it’s always that much better when you win!” said an elated Esslinger, two-time winner of the SA Showjumping Derby and co-owner of Burlington Stables in Gauteng. “The show was very well attended and the 6-bar event was as popular as ever. There was a really just a high standard of riding across the event.”

She and Alzu Oregon placed third in the same event last year and took the 2016 World Cup Qualifier at Kyalami Park. Riding Alessio, Esslinger won her first World Cup Qualifier at Kyalami Park the previous year.

Esslinger has extensive experience across the equestrian field – she’s an EQASA (Equestrian Qualification Authority of South Africa) Level 3 Coach and an International Coach belonging to IGEQ (International Group of Equestrian Qualification). She is also an F.E.I Level 3 Course Designer and a National Panel Equitation Judge.

“This was an incredible six days of quality showjumping and family fun,” said Mike Whitfield, Managing Director of Nissan SA. “We’d like to extend our congratulations to all the winners and competitors who displayed such talent, as well as to the organisers for putting on another successful festival. Nissan is proud to be associated with this high-level event that represents our commitment to community initiatives and sporting activities.”

There were a number of competitive events across the six-day competition which forms the third of five elite events that make up the South African leg of the World Cup Jumping qualifiers. These included the 1.15 Filtec Pony Riders Championship and 1.50m Nissan Riders Grand Prix Tour and; the popular Nissan 6-bar event (for juniors and adults).

The incredible Zecks and Viceroy, performing alongside the Ingobamakhosi Zulu Dance Group, got the audience ready for the highly-anticipated 6-bar class event, this year won by Grant Langley on Berlioz.

The chosen charity for this year’s Nissan Winter Classic is Umthombomuhle School in the Hammarsdale area. Last year, funds raised by Foresyte Shows & Langley Equestrian Centre contributed to the establishment of an interactive play area on site and funds raised in 2018 will go towards the upgrading of various facilities at the local school. The 112 schoolchildren were also be treated to a day at the Nissan Winter Classic with lunches sponsored by Illovo.

In addition to the quality showjumping action that had spectators spellbound, visitors got to enjoy the ever-popular Nissan vehicle display and test drive; a dedicated kids’ zone play area; and a variety of market stalls.

For more information about the Nissan Winter Classic, check Nissan Winter Classic 2018 and SA Showjumping on Facebook, visit, or contact Grant Langley on 082 859 2160. The Nissan Winter Classic 2018 is sponsored by Nissan, Epol, Avalon Aviation, Equipage, CWD, Western Shoppe, Equestrian House, Natal Saddlery, Horze, Stubben, Equifeeds, Sir Fruit, L’Ormarins, Equipe, Adawnment, Filtec, Topbet and Jeep Outdoor Apparel.


Nissan Winter Classic 2018 FEI 1.50m World Cup Qualifier Results

1st Anne-Marie Esslinger and Alzu Oregon

2nd Lorette Knowles-Taylor and Caspar

3rd Jonathon Clarke and Data Sciences Hummer Van Het Bevrijdthof

4th Nicole Horwood and Mark White Nissans Capital Don Cumarco

5th Marlene Sinclaire and Camaro

6th Barry Taylor and Counter Attack

7th Nicola Sime-Riley and Fulvic Connoisseur

8th Ronnie Lawrence and Gillian Van Orshof

9th Gareth Neill and Dartoli

10th Bronwyn Meredith Dos Santos and QuichdinBellignies Z

11th Nicola Sime-Riley and Sunny Park Stables Elpaso

12th Cayleigh Triggol and Callaho’s Louisa

1.10m Junior Nissan Championship

1st Janine Van Sommeren and Royal Union

2nd Katherine Stainton & Callaho Latina

3rd Victoria Frost & Storm Count

1.10m Adult Nissan Championship

1st Ashley Fox and Caldhames Eragon

2nd Lauren Cutting and Tommy Davies

3rd Bruce Dewar and Alabaster Glory



Anne-Marie Esslinger on Alzu Oregon winner of the 1.5m Nissan FEI World Cup Qualifier. Photo credit: Denford Studios


Lorette Knowles-Taylor (2nd), Anne-Marie Esslinger (1st – winner of the 1.5m Nissan FEI World Cup Qualifier) and Jonathon Clarke (3rd). Photo credit: Denford Studios


Grant Langley on Berlioz winner of the Nissan 6-bar class event. Photo credit: Denford Studios


1st Ashley Fox and Caldhames Eragon winner of the 1.10m Adult Nissan Championship. Photo credit: Denford Studios


Janine Van Sommeren and Royal Union winner of the 1.10m Junior Nissan Championship. Photo credit: Denford Studios


Lorette Knowles-Taylor and Caspar placed 2nd in the 1.5m Nissan FEI World Cup Qualifier. Photo credit: Denford Studios


Jonathon Clarke and Data Sciences Hummer Van Het Bevrijdthofplaced 3rd in the 1.5m Nissan FEI World Cup Qualifier. Photo credit: Denford Studios