Nicole Horwood Crowned 2020 South African Showjumping Champion

The 2020 South African Showjumping Championships have delivered on all the excitement and action expected of what is arguably one of South Africa’s most prestigious title events. Despite team events being cancelled for 2020, and despite the rain threatening to ruin play during the course of the week at the Shongweni Club, the final day was filled with great weather, emotional goodbyes to Capital Don Cumarco and the fantastic Clyde Z, and the top 30 riders showcasing the best showjumping talent in the country. At the end of it all, though, Nicole Horwood riding Mark White Nissan’s Capital Chantilly came out on top to be crowned the 2020 South African Showjumping Champion.

Nicole Horwood, Shaun Neill, The JumpOff
Shaun Neill and Companeiro’s Son | Photo credit: CanterPix

Qualifying Competitions

With only the top 30 combinations eligible to compete in the final 1.50m Grand Prix, two qualifiers were held to separate the good from the great. Both 1.50m qualifying events were threatened by inclement weather. However, the facilities at the Shongweni Club held up superbly, and Kevin Spratley, FEI 3* course designer for the show, put the riders through their paces.


The first qualifier was converted to an A2-style event due to the weather – one round on speed. The event successfully saw five new combinations enter the 1.50m grades, including the indomitable Charley-Ann Crockart who managed to claim second place in her first 1.50m event in 9 years on The Burgh’s Epomein. Charley finished in a cracking time of 66.93 seconds, beaten only by Lisa Williams and Campbell, whose experience at the World Equestrian Games and World Cup Finals in Gothenberg allowed them to jump clear in 65.89 seconds to claim victory. Third place went to the in-form Carl Boonzaaier and Callaho Casparon, clear in 67.81 seconds, just three-tenths ahead of Govett Triggol and Callaho’s Wolke 334 who narrowly missed out on a podium spot.

1.50m First Qualifier results
1stLisa Williams and Campbell65.89 seconds
2ndCharley-Ann Crockart and The Burgh’s Epomein66.93 seconds
3rdCarl Boonzaaier and Callaho Casparon67.81 seconds
Nicole Horwood, Lisa Williams, The JumpOff
Lisa Williams and Campbell | Photo credit: Denford Studios

Qualifier 2 was an even trickier affair for the riders, as the one round competition with a jump-off was a rainsoaked affair in the Jane Latimer arena at Shongweni. However, with this being the last opportunity for a number of riders to qualify, 35 starters donned their rainjackets and took to the competition arena. 14 of those went clear to qualify for the jump-off, but a number of riders elected to withdraw from the jump-off in increasingly wetter conditions, leaving just two riders in the jump-off round. Ronnie Lawrence and Avis Gillian van Orshof tied with Hayley Preen and Voigtskirch Dunmore for victory, with 12 riders tying for third.

1.50m Second Qualifier results
Tie 1stRonnie Lawrence on Avis Gillian van Orshof
37.76 seconds
Hayley Preen on Voigtskirch Dunmore37.76 seconds
Tie 3rdLara Neill and Ultimo WCWithdrawn from jump-off
Nicola Sime-Riley and Sunny Park Stables Insaghi DBWithdrawn from jump-off
Nicole Horwood and Mark White Nissan’s Capital ChantillyWithdrawn from jump-off
Nicola Sime-Riley and Fulvic ConnoisseurWithdrawn from jump-off
Jonathan Clarke and Data Sciences Enouche RKWithdrawn from jump-off
Michelle Fleming and Plasticolors Masterbatch ChogoriWithdrawn from jump-off
Lisa Williams and CampbellWithdrawn from jump-off
Jeanne Korber and Style Fragrances Callaho LexingtonWithdrawn from jump-off
Rainer Korber and Back On Track Clouny 3Withdrawn from jump-off
Ronnie Healy and Hausberger’s EldoWithdrawn from jump-off
Gareth Neill and DartoliWithdrawn from jump-off
Simon Hendry and Erreplus CasperWithdrawn from jump-off
Nicole Horwood, Hayley Preen and Ronnie Lawrence, The JumpOff
Hayley Preen on Voigtskirch Dunmore and Ronnie Lawrence on Gillian van Orshof | Photo credit: Denford Studios

Reonet 1.50 South African Championship

30 horse and rider combinations qualified for the final event at the 2020 Reonet South African Championships, but as Oliver Bishop and RNR Gaucho D’Emma withdrew to rather compete in the 1.40m championship, Chris van der Merwe and Domino van der Boswinning were included in the final event at the 31st-ranked rider/horse combination.

A testing track was built in fine weather conditions, but Kevin Spratley gave the riders a generous time allowed of 78 seconds at a speed of 375 m/min. Riding in reverse order of merit, Nicole Horwood and Mark White Nissan’s Capital Hitoshi gave the crowds the first clear round as the 3rd combination in. This was followed by Nicola Sime-Riley and Insaghi DB – fresh off their President’s Cup victory last month – in at number 7, and from there on out, Samantha McIntosh, Leona van der Merwe, Jonathan Clarke on Enouche, and Hayley Preen also went clear. Nicola doubled up with a clear on Fulvic Connoisseur, but Carl Boonzaaier was unable to go clear on Casparon, finishing with a single fence down. Nicole Horwood doubled up as well with Capital Chantilly, while both elements of the final combination fell for Rainer Korber as he finished on 8. Lara Neill and the home-bred Ultimo WC joined the clears, too, as did Simon Hendry, Ronnie Healy on Hausberger’s Eldo. The highest qualifiers coming into the Grand Prix, Lisa Williams and Campbell, delivered the goods to give us 12 clears from the first round.

Nicole Horwood, Charley-Ann Crockart, The JumpOff
Charley-Ann Crockart and The Burgh’s Epomein | Photo credit: Denford Studios

The second round was ridden in reverse order of penalties, with a handful of riders scratching from the second. Charley-Ann Crockart, in her first-ever 1.50m Grand Prix, came home on 12 penalties across both rounds but picked up valuable experience in the process. Jonathan Clarke, meanwhile, finished on just 4 faults across both rounds on Hummer to put the pressure on the remaining riders, as did Chatan Hendriks and Biogen’s Greta G, Tara Louw and Kuda Insurance Foreigner, and Ronnie Healy on Catweazle.

Then came the 12 clear-round riders, Nicole Horwood the first of them on Hitoshi as the first of her two rides. A single fence down saw Nicole finish on 4 penalties overall. Nicola Sime-Riley and Insaghi DB looked good until the final combination, where a clip of the B element saw her finish on 4. Samantha McIntosh gave the viewers the first double clear – a superb ride on Let’s Win in a time of 74.78 seconds to place pressure on all the other first-time clears. The pressure was no match for Leona van der Merwe, who duly obliged with her own clear mere moments later on Capital Homerus to force the jump-off. 6 more joined them, as Jonathan Clarke and Enouche, Nicole Horwood and Chantilly, Lara Neill and Ultimo, Simon Hendry and Casper, Ronnie Healy and Eldo, and Lisa Williams on Campbell all went double clear to make it 8 in the jump-off.


With the threat of rain overhead, Samantha and Let’s Win rode first in the jump-off, finishing up with a single rail down in 46.02. Leona van der Merwe was next; having travelled all the way from Limpopo, she put in a fine effort to come home clear in 46.26 seconds. The Magician himself, Jonathan Clarke followed on Data Sciences Enouche RK, blazing around the twisty track in 44.82 with a clear round. A speed-demon in her own right, Nicole Horwood mastered the tight turns on Chantilly, dropping strides on the final two related lines to move into the lead in 42.71 seconds. With a seemingly impossible target set, Lara Neill and Ultimo were unable to topple Nicole, finishing on 4 penalties in 47.94 and racking up valuable experience.

Simon Hendry rode a smooth, quick round on Erreplus Casper, but 43.03 seconds moved him only into preliminary 2nd place. Ronnie Healy on Ashley’s Eldo put in a valiant effort and, with a little luck to leave the penultimate rail on the edge of its cup, finished clear in 44.13. Lisa Williams rode last, a former South African Champion and international campaigner. Campbell was quick, dropping strides and jumping big at every opportunity, but couldn’t beat Nicole and Chantilly, finishing in 42.84 seconds to finish in second. Nicole Horwood, on the afternoon she retired Don Cumarco, claimed her second SA Champs victory ahead of Lisa Williams in 2nd, while Simon Hendry once again picked up 3rd place.

Courtesy of the Reonet sponsorship, Nicole claimed R52,500 in prize money, with Lisa picking up R33,000 and Simon taking home R24,000.

Lisa Williams and Campbell, however, picked up an undisputed Victrix Ludorum prize after placing 1st, 3rd, and 2nd in the three 1.50m classes, respectively.

1.50m Reonet South African Championships final result
1stNicole Horwood and Mark White Nissan’s Capital Chantilly42.71 seconds
2ndLisa Williams and Campbell42.84 seconds
3rdSimon Hendry and Erreplus Casper43.03 seconds
4thRonnie Healy and Hausberger’s Eldo44.13 seconds
5thJonathan Clarke and Data Sciences Enouche RK44.82 seconds
6thLeona van der Merwe and Capital Homerus46.26 seconds

-The JumpOff-


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