Jessica trots best on Monroe Carr

A number of local riders did well in a recent international equestrian event. 

Some 10 ladies mounted their horses and competed in the Fédération Equestre Internationale World Dressage Challenge last Saturday. The event took place at the Cayman Islands Equestrian Centre under the direction of the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation. 

Jessica McTaggart, 26, won the adult preliminary class on her horse Monroe Carr. The dark bay mare posted a score of 65.17 per cent. McTaggart, who resides in George Town, states she was satisfied with her performance. 

“I am very pleased with overall how smoothly the competition went and how well everyone scored,” McTaggart said. “All our scores have gotten better and better every year and as a rider and trainer, that is all I can ask for. What is especially exciting is the small group of very serious and talented youngsters you saw who are achieving great success at a young age and I can’t wait to watch them continue to progress. 

“I am very very pleased with my ride. The mare, Monroe, has always been a very difficult and opinionated horse to ride and I am finding more and more success with her every time we go out to show. I really feel that whatever baggage she was dealing with in the past has gone away as she is trying so hard to please and to listen to me. She was the most relaxed she has ever been in a test/show environment and that makes me thrilled.” 

A 10-year veteran of the sport, McTaggart finished ahead of her mum Mary McTaggart, who had a score of 64.83 per cent on her grey stallion Partenon. In third was Charlotte Hinds on a dark bay mare called Kartouche with a score of 60.86 per cent. 

The older group would feature a mother-daughter affair as Mary McTaggart won the adult elementary class. She had a score of 65.81 per cent on Partenon. Mary’s other daughter Jodie McTaggart was second at 63.85 per cent on Kartouche. Chloe Dudding was third at 59.53 per cent on a chestnut gelding called Odin. Sarah Baker placed fourth on Odin at 58.65 per cent. 

Over in the junior ranks, Thea Millward was all the rage. On her bay mare Storm, she won the elementary juniors class (57.77 per cent) and the preliminary juniors class (66.90 per cent). Placing second in the preliminary category was Polly Serpell on her dark bay gelding My Shadow at 66.90 per cent. Phoebe Serpell was third at 63.88 per cent on My Shadow and fourth was Anja Van Genderen at 60.69 per cent on a bay mare Karma. 

All of the youngsters were graded by visiting judges Ricardo Rojas of Costa Rica (who was here in 2011) and Mariano Santos of Spain. Cayman was the second stop on the Caribbean section of the challenge. Judges were in Kingston, Jamaica last week and head to St. Andrew, Barbados this week. The last two stops in March are Santa Cruz, Trinidad and Devonshire, Bermuda. 

Jessica McTaggart

Jessica McTaggart was an adult class winner on Monroe Carr. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES