Fowlers leap over the competition

The Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation kicked off 2014 with the second leg of its National Jump Series.

Horse/rider combinations making their series debuts last month were Isabelle Smith and Phoebe Serpell on their newly arrived horses, Edson Arantes MB and Sunday’s Edition.

The event was held at the Equestrian Centre, and with plenty of young talent coming through the ranks, the lower height classes were the most hotly contested. In the 0.6 meter Junior class, visiting riders from Cayman Riding School swept the ribbons in the first five spots.

Chloe Fowler on Shirley Temple pipped current leader Jenna Boucher to first place and Boucher was a close second, giving them equal leaders’ points in the league totals so far. Third was Chloe Fowler again – this time on Honeycomb – fourth was Eva Muspratt on Max, fifth Meegan Slattery on Max and sixth place went to Ashley van den Bol of the Equestrian Centre, on her horse Amarilla.

In the 0.6m Adults class Regina Nowak took Leonora through a steady clear round to take first place.

Tracey Surrey of the riding school said, “It’s great to see the kids from the school and the Equestrian Centre competing together. Competition encourages better performance across the board and gives kids the invaluable experience of learning how to win, as well as learning how to lose. The series is a great tool for kids to compete against their peers on a regular basis and gives them something to train for and work towards. I am really proud of how the kids are rising to the challenge and look forward to even more kids taking part as the sport continues to grow in Cayman.”

As the heights moved up to 0.7m, there were still plenty of entries. Hannah Fowler, current leader of the 0.7m league, took first and second place on Honeycomb and Seligkeit, respectively, each time with a clear round. At 46.44 seconds, Fowler’s round on Honeycomb was the fastest time of the day for the shorter course.

Ashley van den Bol also completed a well-executed clear round to take third place on Amarilla. Basil Humphries, a relative newcomer to the series, showed promise going clear to take fourth place on Storm, with Chloe Fowler on Shirley in fifth and Phoebe Serpell in sixth, each snagging an unlucky rail on the way round, giving them four faults each.

In the 0.7m Adult class, the current leaders – Michelle Boucher and Katrina – went clear to take first place, with Nowak and Leonora picking up two time faults from an otherwise clear round to take second.

The 0.85m class had a few absentees due to injury, leaving Hannah Fowler and Phoebe Serpell to compete for the placings. Fowler and Honeycomb took first place with a clear round and a time of 62.32 seconds. This gave Fowler and Honeycomb the fastest time of the day for the longer course as well. Serpell and Sunday’s Edition also went clear but picked up one time fault, placing them second. This left Fowler on Seligkeit in third after they collected four faults in the field and two on the clock. Fowler continues to lead the 0.85m league for the year so far.

In the adult 0.85m class, Michelle Boucher and Katrina were joined by Thea Millward on Durango, who chose to enter the adult class. Both ladies went clear but Millward beat Boucher on time, taking first place with Boucher in second.

The higher heights were open classes, meaning adults and children could compete together. Isabelle Smith and newly arrived Ed made their debut in both higher classes, in each case competing against the experienced pair, Polly Serpell and Calidad. In the 0.9m – 1m class, Serpell and Calidad were first after a clear round, with Smith and Ed taking second after pulling a rail. The tables were turned in the 1m – 1.10m class, with Smith and Ed beating Serpell and Calidad to first place and Serpell taking second. Nevertheless, Serpell maintains her league lead in both classes for 2014.

Riders have time to practice their skills before the third leg of the series, which will take place March 23. As seasoned pairings continue to hone their skills and all the new horses settle in with their riders getting time in the saddle, the remaining two series competitions for the year promise plenty of excitement. Participants are invited to join the federation for the next leg. Entry is free and all are welcome.