Juniors rose to the occasion

The Cayman Island’s Equestrian Team
flew to Trinidad to compete in the fourth leg of the Caribbean Equestrian
Association Junior Jumping Competition two weeks ago against Barbados, Trinidad
and Bermuda and did well.

The CEA Junior Jumping Competition
has six shows per year around the Caribbean with competing teams from Antigua,
Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago. Each
country has to visit three host countries and ride horses from that country.
The riders only have a few minutes to walk the horse around and then a timed
five minutes to get the feel of the horse in faster gaits and jumping. It’s a
great challenge and really shows the individual rider’s skill and confidence.

Riders Elsie Boone (16 and Under)
and Ashley Scaletta (14 and Under) represented the Cayman Islands. On the first
day, the Saturday, the riders jumped two separate rounds on two different
horses and Cayman was in first place at the end of the day. Scaletta had zero
faults in her first round and seven faults in her second round. Boone had four
faults in her first round and zero faults in her second round.

On the Sunday, each rider jumped
another two rounds and the day continued to be a challenge with riders trying
their best not to gain any faults. However, the courses were more challenging
and some riders had knock downs, refusals and eliminations. Cayman was the only
country with no eliminations. Scaletta had zero faults in her third round and
10 faults in her fourth round. Boone remained focused and came away with zero
faults in her third and fourth rounds.

Cayman ended strongly with a total
score of 21 faults for the two days. Trinidad placed second with a total of 42
faults. Barbados came in a close third with a total score of 45 faults and
Bermuda came in fourth with a total of 70 faults.

What could be seen clearly was the
great camaraderie amongst the riders from the different countries. Each rider
cheered on the other teams.

Scaletta said: “It was a good
experience and we were treated very nicely. We felt at home, and the horses
were all around really great. It was great to see everyone, old friends and
new, and it was a thrilling trip.”

Boone said: “It was an honour to
represent the Cayman Islands in the CEA in Trinidad. I really enjoyed the
competition and camaraderie with the riders. I hope to compete again in Jamaica
next month.”

Nancy McNary, the Cayman coach,
said: “The competition in Trinidad was an exciting event for both competitors
and spectators. It’s so rewarding to see all the riders try their best. I am
especially proud of Ashley and Elsie for riding so well and representing the
Caymans Islands successfully.”

Cayman has one other event to
compete in for 2010. They will travel to Jamaica on 13-14 November. In December
the points will be tallied from all the countries and a winning country will be
announced for the year.