The Cayman Islands has had a huge surge of interest in horse riding among younger audiences and one inspired youngster is Isabelle Smith.
Smith, 14, lives in Portugal and has been riding for Pico Horses, a barn just outside the town of Cascais, ever since her move there three years ago.
Guided by the expert hand of local equestrian guru Mary McTaggart, Smith began riding seriously at age 8.
That’s when she became dedicated to achieving as much as she could in the sport and became the first Caymanian rider to compete in shows in Portugal and has gone on to ride regularly in competitions monthly.
She has competed in every part of Portugal, right down to the deep south of the Algarve and all the way up to the mountainous north of Porto. Smith and her family never shy away from a long journey, as long as she can get more experience and enhance her ability.
Smith rides under the Caymanian banner with her horse, “Ed”, and together they have racked up an impressive amount of ribbons across multiple divisions and shows. Her accomplishments include a first-place ribbon at Quinta da Marinha for jumping a height of 90 centimetres, third place at Beloura at 1 metre and third place at Quinta da Marinha at 1.2 metres.
Smith aims to be selected for the British Young Rider programme four years from now, which creates a squad that represents Great Britain at the Young Rider European Championships.
She said she feels she can do this after she moves to Millfield, a sports school in Somerset, England, to further her riding career.