Cayman’s equestrians excel

The Equestrian Centre played host
to the Cayman Islands round of the FEI World Dressage Challenge on Saturday 13
February.

Cayman is in zone 10, along with
Barbados, Bermuda, Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad.

The competition was the fourth stop
for the zone 10 World Dressage Challenge, with FEI judges Ricardo Rojas Cruz
from Costa Rica and Rosa Cristina Franco from Columbia representing the FEI.
The next stop of the competition was originally scheduled to take place in Haiti,
however, the country withdrew from the competition in the wake of the
devastating earthquake there.

All participants across the
participating regions complete the same test.

Jessica McTaggart was Cayman’s sole
representative in the advanced adult class, where she scored 59.32 per cent on
Lucas Kartouche.

In the elementary adult class,
Nancy McNary scored 64.59 per cent on Monroe-Carr, with Mary McTaggart scoring
63.65 per cent on Partenon.

In the preliminary adult class, Joe
Jackson scored 67.76 per cent on Wild Apache, followed by Elsie Boone with
64.83 per cent also on Wild Apache, Jamie-Lauren McTaggart with 64.66 per cent
on Iggy Pop, Alexandra Kennett with 63.62 per cent on Odin and Regina Nowak
with 58.10 per cent on Leonora.

In the preliminary class for
juniors, Ashley Scaletta attained the highest score on Rambo, scoring 67.07 per
cent. She was followed by Charlotte Hinds on Posh with 65.34 per cent, Polly
Serpell on Storm with 63.62 per cent and Kelsey Bodden on Storm with 62.93 and
on Karma with 62.24 per cent.

Joe Jackson claimed the FEI World
Dressage Challenge adult trophy, while the FEI World Dressage Challenge junior
trophy went to Ashley Scaletta.

The best presentation award for the
best turned out horse during the horse inspection went to Mary McTaggart with
Partenon.

The event was also an excellent
opportunity for Cayman’s younger equestrians to gain competition experience.

Although individual performances
are rewarded, the most important element is the team competition, with the top
three scores counting toward the regional competition.

Cayman’s declared team for the
event consisted of Joe Jackson, Nancy McNary, Jamie-Lauren McTaggart and
Jessica McTaggart.

At the conclusion of the
competition, Cayman had managed to take the lead in zone 10 with only Bermuda
left to compete. However, Bermuda managed to edge out Cayman, pushing the local
team down to second place in the region.

According to Jane Van Der Bol, show
steward, the event was a very important opportunity for Cayman’s equestrians.

“The dressage trainers and riders
of the Cayman Islands have risen to the highest standards in our zone. We are
improving each year and with this being only the second year that Cayman has
participated in the FEI World Dressage Challenge, we are extremely proud of our
riders and quality of presentation put forth for this event. I can only imagine
how excellent we will be in 2011!”

Mary McTaggart, president of the
Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation, lauded the participants for the level of
competition.

“We succeeded in hosting a very
good show and have been complimented by the judges on the horses and the
enthusiasm of the riders and participants. Cayman has done extremely well. I
feel very proud of our achievement and the progress that each one has made over
the last year.”

At the conclusion of the event,
before the prize giving, both judges provided pointers to the local riders on
what judges look for in dressage competitions. This formed part of the drive to
improve the quality of competition throughout the region and topics ranged from
choosing the right horse to training and technique.

The sponsors for the event were the
Equestrian Centre, Bodden and Bodden Attorneys at Law, the Cayman Islands
Olympic Committee and Cayman Distributors.

For more information on the event, visit ciefcay.com.

Sports Story

Nancy McNary claimed the best score in the elementary adult division.
PHOTO: EUGENE BONTHUYS

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