Lisa Williams shines at inaugural Shongweni Festival

Lisa Williams (Kyalami) continued her impressive showjumping form with a dominant display at the inaugural Shongweni Festival held over the weekend (8-13 August) at the Shongweni Club. Consolidating her lead atop the South African FEI Jumping standings, Williams and her horse Discovery Campbell made the most of the fantastic conditions and the acclaimed course, built to international standards by German designer Stefan Wirth.


The Dealer Principal of Land Rover Durban, Andre Shrink, was on hand to award the title of the 4th leg of the South African FEI World Cup Qualifier Competition to the on-form combination of Lisa Williams and her Hanoverian gelding Discovery Campbell. The Andreas Hollmann Memorial Trophy was presented in memory of the much loved and highly respected International Course Designer, the late Andreas Hollmann, who designed and built numerous courses for FEI World Cup Qualifier Shows in KwaZulu Natal. Martin Minett (Pietermaritzburg) and his fabulous Namibian Warmblood gelding Zonjati Bonny Clyde were worthy winners of the 1.40m FNB KwaZulu-Natal Outdoor Grand Prix Championship, and Howard Arrand (the Provincial Head of FNB Business KZN) presented them with The Tongaat Hullett – KZN Showjumping Grand Prix Floating Trophy.


The consensus amongst all who were involved with this first edition of The Shongweni Festival was that it was a resounding success. Top class course design, riders and horses of the highest standard from around the country including participants from Zimbabwe and Namibia, very good prize money and excellent crowd participation all combined to make a most memorable weekend. The Durban Shongweni Club’s top-class facilities and hard-working staff also made a telling impact on the success of the show. Jodi Wolhuter and Lorraine Peters of Highway Shows believed that “the concept of hosting the FEI World Cup Qualifier and top Championship Classes on Saturday followed by the Gala Awards on the evening was a winning formula. We most humbly and gratefully thank everyone concerned and especially the most valued sponsors for supporting our inaugural World Cup Qualifier Show and we hope to see everyone and their horses next year”.


International Course designer Stefan Wirth, from Germany, who built the courses in the main arena for the show was highly praised for his course design and thanked for sharing of his expertise and knowledge. “His friendly and welcoming face has been a pleasure to work with every day” was the comment from many at the show. He was ably assisted by Kate Launder and Holly Cairns with Ryan Sander also accredited for his course design in the B Arena.


The success and popularity of the Shongweni Festival was clear for all to see at the Gala Awards held on Saturday evening after the completion of the FEI World Cup Qualifier and the other major Championship Classes. MC Craig Peters of event organisers Highway Shows thanked all the sponsors, with special thanks to the two main sponsors FNB and Land Rover Durban, commenting that that “we are most appreciative of their major contribution to equestrian sport, as without them we would not be gathered here to celebrate and entertain equestrian sports competitors and fans”. Guest speaker, veterinarian Doctor John McVeigh, was both articulate and informative as he took the audience on a journey of the horses’ introduction from the early days to where they now compete in the show arena and on race tracks with humans. South African cricketing legend Andrew Hudson (currently the Head of Acquisitions, FNB Business) was also present, as was Springbok Showjumper and Coach Gonda Betrix, who received a spontaneous standing ovation when she was acknowledged for her contributions to the sport.


For more information about the Shongweni Festival visit ‘The Shongweni Festival’ on Facebook, the Shongweni Club website, Land Rover Durban or contact Jodi Wolhuter on 0836554465. The Shongweni Festival is sponsored by Land Rover Durban, FNB, The Mobility Group and Artav.


The Shongweni Festival is organized by Jodi Wolhuter and Lorraine Peters of Highway Shows, a local equestrian events company. Their vision is to promote equestrian sports and all that it encompasses, from the horses that delight with their strength, agility and beauty, the grooms that lovingly take care of them, and the riders and coaches who produce and ride their horses from beginner to international levels. Through events such as the Shongweni Festival, Highway Shows hopes to support the many industries that are part of this wonderful and exciting sport, bringing people together to enjoy a special family day outing with so much to see and do, ultimately making its mark as a not-to-be-missed event on the South African equestrian calendar.

Selected awards and results:




1.  The Bravest Rider Award went to a gutsy young rider who displayed great agility and is on the short-list of future stars: Cody Sander (Bridle Park, Midrand) (presented by Jodi Wolhuter)


2. Rider, instructor and breeder, Rogan Asken judged the Most Stylish Pony Rider in the Ideal Time 1.10m Competition and this was awarded to Micayla Powell (Beaulieu, Kyalami) (presented by Jodi Wolhuter)


3. Howard Arrand (the Provincial Head of FNB Business KZN) presented the winner of the 1.30m FNB Junior Championship to: Hannah Garton (Summerveld) and her lovely mare Cleopatra


4. Sonja Brown of Mobility Group presented the winner of the 1.30m Top 30 Mobility Group Championship to Amy Engelbrecht (Summerveld) and her stylish Irish Warmblood gelding Artav’s Cruise Control


5. Karl Engelbrecht of Artav presented the award to the winner of the 1.35m Artav KZN Grand Championship, Rainer Korber (Beaulieu/ Midrand) on his fantastic gelding Calloho Lansink




Class 1: 

1.50m Mobility Group A2 Competition 

1st:      Lisa Williams & Discovery Campbell


Class 2:  

1.50m Hausberger Financial Services SASJ Riders Grand Prix Tour

1st:      Nicole Horwood & Mark White Nissan’s Capital Don Cumarco

2nd:     Lisa Williams & Discovery Campbell

3rd:      Jonathan Clarke & Data Sciences Hummer Van Het Bevrijdthof


Class 3:         


1st       Lisa Williams & Discovery Campbell

2nd     Jonathan Clarke on Data Sciences Hummer Van Het Bevrijdthof

3rd      Anne-Marie Esslinger on Alzu Oregon


Class 7:

1.40m FNB KZN Outdoor Grand Prix

1st       Martin Minnet & Zonjati Bonny Clyde

2nd      Ronnie Lawrence & Gillian van Orshof        

3rd       Ian van Schalkwyk & Kudu Insurance Valanta