Armed with two qualifying times, Jessica McTaggart-Giuzio is ready for top billing at the Central American and Caribbean Games.
Cayman’s elite dressage rider is waiting to hear from CAC Games organizers as to whether she is among the top six qualifiers for the region. McTaggart-Giuzio says training will intensify with her horse Ray of Light prior to the competition in Velacruz, Mexico this November.
“I am always incredibly proud to represent the Cayman Islands in competitions overseas,” McTaggart-Giuzio said. “I recognize that this is a great responsibility and a wonderful privilege. Cayman dressage is really making a mark in the Caribbean and it is a delight to be an ambassador overseas, not only for the sport of dressage, but also for the Cayman Islands generally.
“I’ve worked really hard to achieve my two qualifying scores, but the hard work doesn’t end here. I’ll be working constantly now until the Games arrive so that I can build on what I have achieved so far and aim even higher than the results I achieved in my first CAC Games four years ago.”
At the CAC Games in Puerto Rico in 2010, McTaggart-Giuzio finished a respectable 14th out of 34. This time around, McTaggart-Giuzio’s preparation for the CAC Games has been boosted by her long time coach, Cindy Thaxton of Atlanta, visiting the Cayman Islands numerous times to assist with coaching and training. Thaxton, a United States Dressage Federation certified dressage instructor and L Graduate judge, is owner/operator at High Point Farm in Watkinsville, Georgia.
Thaxton has been coaching McTaggart-Giuzio for many years and has extended this in the past few years to coaching other members of the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation.
McTaggart-Giuzio, who has competed at the Pan Games, achieved her most recent qualifying mark at last month’s national dressage show. She posted a score of 65.987 percent in the Prix St Georges Test, well above the qualifying standard of 62 percent.