Scaletta rides to higher level

One of Cayman’s best young riders has just returned from competing in Massachusetts where she got a commendable ninth against tough international opposition.

The Cayman Island’s Equestrian Federation sent Ashley Scaletta – who is only 12 – to the second Annual Children of Americas Dressage Invitational in Concord. It was held at Bear Spot Farm.

CADI sees their event as the future of dressage. Part of their mission is not only to bring together young riders who have a passion for what they do, but also to introduce the discipline and beauty of dressage to a new generation of riders from North and South America.

Maggie Batievsky of the Peruvian Equestrian Federation approached The Bear Spot Foundation for Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy in hopes to coordinate and host a dressage event for 12 to 14-year-old children from Latin America, the United States and Canada.

Their objective was to create a cultural exchange among the children and their families using their love of horses as a common bond.

Because the Bear Spot Foundation is devoted to helping children fulfill their dreams using horses as a catalyst, they felt that this type of event would fit well within the scope of the foundation’s mission.

They agreed to organize the event, and the Children of the Americas Dressage Invitational was born.

The excitement surrounding CADI 2007 was contagious. They were extremely fortunate to have trainers and judges volunteer their time and donate their fees in order to make CADI a reality.

In addition, the USEF and USDF as well as the New England Dressage Association were very helpful in accommodating the schedule. That first event was a huge success.

This one turned out to be even more successful. Eleven countries participated of which five were from the Caribbean; Antigua, Argentina, Canada, US, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Trinidad, Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica and Ecuador.

All young riders performed the FEI Preliminary Competition Test on Friday and Freestyle (Kur – dressage with music) the next day.

Jessica McTaggart of the Cayman Islands Equestrian Centre and Boarding Stables was the dressage trainer for Scaletta and she hoped for the youngster’s first round to get a score of at least 60 per cent.

On the Preliminary Test Scaletta did well with an average score of 61.46 per cent from two judges.

In her freestyle she got an average score of 68.45 per cent from two judges.

Coming ninth overall in the CADI competition was an excellent job as she had to ride a large quarter horse named Jake.

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