The South African Derby is the premier event on the show jumping calendar having celebrated horses, challenged riders and held the public in its thrall since 1965. This year the event will run from 30 September to the 3rd of October 2021 at the fabulous Kyalami Equestrian Park and will for the first time be sponsored by South Africa’s darling of the aviation industry, United Aviation Group. 



With a course that hasn’t changed since the event was moved to Kyalami Equestrian Park from Inanda in 2000, the 1 000m, 23 obstacle course promises to delight spectators and bring with it a few surprises even for those who have faced the mighty Derby a few times. With the addition of new jumps from this year’s sponsor the glint of gold and navy will dominate the Bob Charter ensuring a memorable and exciting few days of show jumping culminating in the big event on Sunday the 3rd of October.


With various events happening throughout the week including dressage, Working Hunter and Working Rider classes as well as the Micro Derby being held on the Saturday and the Mini Derby (1.40m) on the Sunday morning there is something for everyone at this year’s event.


Public gathering restrictions allowing there will also be a kids area, market areas, VIP marquees, and all the entertainment that one has come to expect from this magnificent event. Certain events will be live streamed from the Saturday morning, and we can’t wait to have you there.

Jonathan Wolpe, CEO United Aviation Group

“We hope to be able to have a large crowd who will enjoy the week-long event at Derby, with some exciting riding and of course a memorable and exciting final event on the Sunday with the big show jumping class. We also have an exciting surprise planned for before and after the main show jumping class!”



For over twenty years United Aviation Group has invested in, and grown specialist companies which provide bespoke services to the aviation industry.
It was more than 20 years ago when Jonathan Wolpe, United Aviation Group CEO and owner, approached established South African charter operators to discuss brokering flights as United Charter Services. At the time this type of service was only a fledgling business globally, and was almost unheard of in Africa.
Connect To United


“The current track was devised to be similar to the original one designed for Inanda Club some 55 years ago, so as to keep the flavour and tone of the event the same. The oldest Derby in the world stems from the 1920s in Hamburg – there the track remains identical every year in all respects and attracts over 40 000 spectators who come to watch the thrills and spills.”


Gonda Betrix holds the record for the most Derby wins having won 6 times

(1991 AAA Watchfire Gonda Betrix)
1985 Sagorin’s Isis Bridge Gonda Betrix
1979 Elizabeth Anne’s Honey Girl Gonda Betrix
1980 Elizabeth Anne’s Honey Girl Gonda Betrix
1976 Prima’s Format Gonda Betrix
1967 Eldorado Gonda Butters


Jonathan Wolpe, CEO of United Aviation Group, himself an avid horseman had this to say “We are excited to be a part of this event. Like private flying, which is the most exclusive part of aviation, Derby is one of the most prestigious and exclusive events in the equestrian calendar, and it is something people look forward to every year. On this basis alone, I believed this was a perfect fit for United and we are delighted to be taking part.”