The Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation sent two riders to Barbados for the Caribbean Equestrian Association Junior Jumping Competition.
It was held at Big C Stables in Frere Pilgrim three weeks ago. Ashley Scaletta as the 16 & Under rider and Polly Serpell as the 14 & Under rider are trained by Mary McTaggart who attended this competition as the coach. Barbados offered two courses each day.
The Caribbean Equestrian Association has been offering a junior jumping competition between Caribbean countries since 1998. Each country hosts three other countries for the competition which consists of two riders and two height levels.
The host country can choose which two height levels they want but there must be one rider per height level from each country. The countries participating in 2011 besides Cayman Islands are Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica.
Cayman started the year with Scaletta, who has been competing in the CEA Junior Jumping Competition for the past two years. She moved up to the 16 & under category with bigger horses and higher jumps. Polly Serpell is new to this competition and has never travelled to abroad to compete.
Serpell said: “It was a wonderful experience and I made lots of new friends. I was proud to represent my country and wear the Cayman flag. I hope I have the opportunity to do it again soon.”
Scaletta said: “The horses and people were very welcoming. At first I was quite nervous, but once I was on the horse I was confidant and pleased with my results. I’m excited to compete as a 16 & Under this year.”
The visitors ride on borrowed ponies and horses they have never ridden before and have a short period of time to become familiar with the horse before jumping the course. This demands not only skill from the riders, but also courage and determination of a confident rider.
The Cayman team did considerably well as their flights into Barbados were delayed until 2am on the day of show. On Saturday, Scaletta got two clear rounds and Serpell got one clear round and one elimination due to a challenging horse. On Sunday, Scaletta accomplished another two clear rounds and Serpell ended with one clear round.
Barbados captured won, followed by Jamaica in second place, then Trinidad & Tobago third and Cayman fourth. Cayman hosts the next CEA Junior Jumping competition on 14 and 15 May.