Two young riders will be representing the Cayman Islands at the Children of the Americas Dressage Invitational in Concord, Massachusetts next month.
Polly Serpell, 13, and Charlotte Hinds, 14, will participate in the week long competition which starts on 2 August. The pair will be joining other children, aged 12-14, from around the Americas and the Caribbean.
As the two youngsters are from overseas and they will not be bringing their own horses, they will get a horse at the draw – essentially a time when each horse-less rider picks a horse’s name out of a hat. Then they will then have two days training on that horse with a trainer and will then complete the dressage test that has been set. They will also do a dressage test to music.
Cayman has sent a rider to CADI in the past, Ashley Scaletta. She attended in 2008 and 2009 and found it an invaluable experience that aided her development as a rider.
“My past experience at CADI was really delightful, fun, hard work and very influential in me becoming a better dressage rider,” said Scaletta. “I gained a lot of experience from it and I would gladly participate again. All the trainers and staff were the most wonderful people in the world and I loved working with them and I am glad I got to share this experience with all the friends I made from the other countries.”
“CADI is a wonderful opportunity for a small country like Cayman to compete with similar aged children from other countries in the Americas,” said Jane van der Bol, vice president of the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation. “Each child is given the chance to have one-on-one training with professional dressage instructors on highly trained horses.
“The full week experience really brings the riders together and most of them seem to have formed a long lasting relationship through dressage and the CADI experience. Attending CADI not only gives our riders the chance to compete internationally, but also the chance to grow in courage, strength and commitment to dressage and riding.”
Both Polly and Charlotte have been in training for the invitational and are both really looking forward to the competition. “I am really excited to be doing CADI and we have been doing a lot of training so I hope we do well,” said Hinds. “It should be a really good experience, there will be a lot of people there so we can meet a lot of new people who are interested in dressage and who do what Polly and I do. There will be a lot of good riders there also so it will be a tough competition.”
“Having Charlotte Hinds and Polly Serpell attend this year is again a milestone in Cayman’s riding history,” added van der Bol. “This will be the first year we have two riders qualified for CADI which means they had to have qualifying scores from earlier events. The CADI experience for Charlotte and Polly should be just as rewarding and exciting for them as it was for Ashley Scaletta, our first rider to attend CADI.”