While horses used to be part of everyday life in every region of every continent, recreational riding in the sport horse disciplines has been limited to the developed nations with strong middle and upper classes. Candidly, it was — and in many ways still is — a luxury sport of the elite.
But more and more we’re seeing all the equestrian sports flourish in new communities, and this diversity is not only critical to the sport’s survival, but to our sport’s humanity. Let’s face it: there is always a big price tag with caring and showing horses. But when the money that floats through this multi-billion dollar industry is put to use opening doors, everyone wins.
Such is the case in southern Africa, where they are developing entire programs to bring up new talent, or established schools are taking on talented riders and grooming them for the larger levels as apprentices. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and other nearby nations are all exploring how to improve the accessibility of show jumping.
We’re going to showcase more of the developing nation rider programs in the coming months, but in the meantime, get your feet wet here with a highlight reel from the South African Derby held last weekend at Kyalami Park.
In the 1.50 m Grand Prix Derby, the top three spots came down to a thrilling jump-off, and Nicole Horwood aboard Mark White Nissan’s Capital Done Cumarco claimed the top spot with two clear rounds and a jump-off time of 41.8 seconds. Second was Lisa Williams and Discovery Campbell were second, and Graham Winn took third aboard Maxstar Obi Wan Kinobi.