Ladies ride high in Barbados

Cayman held its own in an equestrian event in Barbados.

Earlier this month, the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation sent two of its top junior riders to Barbados to compete in the first leg of the 2012 Caribbean Equestrian Associations Junior Show Jumping Competition.

The event took place over two days and the other participating countries were Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Jamaica. Cayman’s two riders were Thea Millward, who rode in the 14 and under category and Polly Serpell, who is still only 14, who rode in the 16 and under category.

Each day the riders had to ride two different horses, neither of which they have rode on before. The riders take the horses over two entirely different show jumping courses, only being given a maximum allowance of five minutes to warm up before each course. Both Polly and Thea entered the arena ready and eager to compete.

On the first day, due to heavy rain, the competition was postponed until 3pm. The horses proved to be challenging and energetic mounts. Thea Millward had a wonderful clear first round but her second ride saw her fall. Unfortunately, Thea broke her arm, leaving her unable to compete on day two of the competition, which was a great disappointment. As the competition rules allow the host country to provide a substitute rider, Erin Stephany of Barbados stepped in to ride for Cayman. After a magnificent ride by Erin, with two clear rounds, Cayman took second place in the competition.

On the same day, Polly Serpell had a total of eight faults on with one fast and brave clear round. Day two saw another clear round for Polly but, due to her mount getting the stride wrong, Polly fell on her final ride. Luckily she was not badly hurt.

Many of the riders had difficult rides but even with the eventful rides, Cayman was placed second with 58 faults. The final results saw Barbados in first place with nine faults, Trinidad in third with 62 faults and Jamaica fourth with 63 faults.

The second leg of the competition will be held here in Cayman on 12-13 May. The riders who will represent Cayman in this event will be selected at a trial that is scheduled to take place at the Cayman Islands Equestrian Centre in George Town on 21-22 April.

For more information, contact Milly Serpell at [email protected] or call 926-1551

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