Cayman’s junior riders have fresh regional props.
The Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation recently won the first leg of the 2013 Caribbean Equestrian Association Junior Show Jumping competition in Barbados. The year-long competition consists of four legs hosted during the year, with events in each participating country.
The teams are selected via trial or competition in the home country and they travel to compete in each leg. All riders stay with local families so not only are the riders riding horses they have not encountered before, but they are also staying in a foreign country with families and people who they have never met.
In Barbados, the event involved four different show jumping courses that became consecutively more difficult with the riders on four different horses. The 14-Under group jumped a course with a maximum height of .80 metres, while the 16-U segment jumped a maximum height of 1 metre.
Thea Millward and Polly Serpell represented Cayman in the 14-U and 16-U categories, respectively, during the two-day event held at Big C Stables, owned by Barbados Equestrian Association President Di Clarke. Barbados initially surged into the lead on the first day with both of their riders going clear in the first two rounds.
The star of the show was Kristina Munroe of Jamaica. She had placed second in the trial to make the Jamaican team but had to step up last moment when scheduled rider Claire Shwapp became injured and unable to compete. Munroe, 10, was the youngest rider, but she displayed great courage and determination.
Cayman ended the first day with a total of eight faults and were in second place behind Trinidad. This was Serpell’s third time riding in Barbados and Millward’s second year. Both were anxious to improve upon previous results.
Jessica McTaggart travelled with the Cayman team and provided excellent coaching and encouragement. After a nail-biting second day, Cayman proved victorious. Millward proved to be another star as she was the only rider not to be eliminated.
After the four rounds of jumping, Cayman had 37 faults, Barbados 50 faults, Trinidad 59 faults and Jamaica 88 faults. The final country points after the Barbados leg of the competition was as follows: Cayman in first with five points, Barbados in second with three, Trinidad in third with two and Jamaica in fourth with one.
These points are carried over for each leg and the country with the most points at the end of the year is the winner. The next leg is to be held in Cayman on 18 and 19 May, with trials to decide this team being held on 27 April.
The local federation is planning clinics and training for the World FEI Dressage Challenge to be held in March.
The equestrian federation is looking for sponsorship for events and training for 2013. Interested parties may contact Milly Serpell at 926-1551 or [email protected]