Father and daughter go head-to-head in Nissan Winter Classic’s World Cup Qualifier

A shared passion for showjumping will see three members of the Triggol family taking to the Durban Shongweni Club showgrounds from 14 to 18 June for the illustrious Nissan Winter Classic, culminating with father and daughter competing for the top position this Father’s Day in the Nissan 1.5m FEI World Cup Qualifier class.

Dad, Govett, will be joined by daughter, Cayleigh (18), and son, Thomas (16), to demonstrate their familial horse riding talent at one of the most notable events on the equestrian calendar. This passion for horses, which has filtered through the Triggol lineage, started on a farm in Wonderfontein, 50 kilometres east of Mpumalanga’s Middelberg.

“I had the good fortune that my parents both loved horses, so there was always a good supply of farm ponies to ride,” recalled Govett. “I started competing when I was eight years old.”

Following in their father’s footsteps, Cayleigh and Thomas began riding with Tamar Glicksman of Farnam, getting into competitive riding at the ages of seven and eight respectively.

All three have displayed exceptional talent with an impressive list of awards and trophies to their names. Among Govett’s accolades are the SA President’s Cup 2014, the World Cup Qualifier, Midrand in 2016 as well as Germany’s Grand Prix Wildeshausen earlier this year.

Last year, at the age of only 17, Cayleigh – a BComm Management student at the University of Pretoria – was named the South African Young Rider of the Year and placed eighth in the Nissan Winter Classic World Cup Qualifier.

This year alone, Thomas has been named the Junior President’s Cup Champion as well as the winner of the SA Junior Outdoor Grand Prix. This bodes well for the young rider, currently studying his O Levels at the British International School, as he hopes to study and ride in the United Kingdom in 2019.

Looking towards the upcoming contest, Govett said the three of them compete in the show annually, describing it as a ‘highlight on our showjumping calendar’.

“We are all three coached by Barry Taylor of Farnham Stables and are part of Team Nissan,” he explained. “Barry is brilliant at studying the patterns of each course designer and trains us accordingly.

“In no other sport do people of both genders and all ages compete on a par. This makes showjumping very unique. The nature of the sport and the family-orientated Durban Shongweni Club make it a special event for showjumping families.”

This isn’t the first time Govett and Cayleigh have gone head-to-head and he said it doesn’t get any easier.

“I have ridden against Cayleigh in four World Cup Qualifiers and I have yet to have a better result than her, so I definitely go into Sunday’s qualifier as the underdog!

“It is absolutely nerve-wracking watching my Cayleigh jump the big classes and I hope I get to go before her on Sunday because it makes it a little easier. I am so proud of Cayleigh in every respect and she is the only competitor I don’t mind losing to.”

Cayleigh said the respect was mutual, stating: “I love riding with my dad and I don’t really see it as a rivalry but rather as a team effort to try to win.”

This Kyalami family will have support from mom, Colleen, who will be shouting for all three from the sidelines throughout the four-day show.

Despite the nerves, Govett said he wouldn’t want to celebrate Father’s Day any other way. “Spending Father’s Day with my two very special children, doing something we love together, makes me the most blessed dad in the world on Sunday!”

In addition to the thrilling showjumping action, visitors can take advantage of a number of outside activities, including the ever-popular Nissan vehicle display and test drive; a dedicated kids’ zone play area; Prussian army display; dog agility show; a variety of market stalls as well as gymnastic and trapeze displays.

For more information about the Nissan Winter Classic, check Nissan Winter Classic 2017 and SA Showjumping on Facebook, visit www.foresyte.co.za, or contact Grant Langley on 082 859 2160. The Nissan Winter Classic 2017 is sponsored by Nissan, Epol, Liberty, Equipage, CWD, Western Shoppe.

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