Top jumpers will get high praise

Some of local equestrian’s best riders will be honored shortly.

The Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation will announce the winners of each class in the national show jumping league on June 21 at the George Town Yacht Club. The competition took place over four rounds with the show season running concurrently with the school year.

The final leg took place last month, featuring riders from the Equestrian Centre and Cayman Riding School, at the school’s new jumping arena – a quality facility created by Tracey Surrey and her ground staff.

With Tanya Neville-Dixon in the judge’s seat, Juliette Forrester and Tanja Braendle kicked off the day with ponies Apollo and Harry in the 0.6 meter adult class. Both ladies completed solid, clear rounds, but Braendle picked up one time fault leaving Forrester to take the top spot. In the 0.6m children’s class, Chloe Fowler and Shirley Temple took first place as they rode home just 0.09 seconds ahead of Lea Rado and Never Ending Story who placed second. Jenna Boucher and Katrina were only 0.01 seconds behind in third place.

Basil Humphries was a solid fourth on Zeus with Meegan Slattery and Max in fifth and Madeleine Aquart and Zeus in sixth.

Although Braendle was alone in the 0.7m adult class, taking first place, the 0.7m children’s class was harder to win. Ultimately, Jenna Boucher and Katrina steamed into first place ahead of Chloe Fowler and Shirley Temple though both riders collected four faults. Madeleine Aquart and Zeus came in third. Home from school and making a very successful debut, Libby Galloway took fourth on Dublin’s Bay.

Michelle Boucher and Alex Rado were pitted against each other in the 0.85m adult class. While Boucher went first in a time of 88.70 seconds, Rado would come home eight seconds faster to grab the win.

In the 0.85m children’s class, it was faults that sorted the pack with Phoebe Serpell and Sunday’s Edition coming home first with four faults. Libby Galloway and Dublin’s Bay were second with eight faults and Hannah Fowler placed third with 12 faults.

There were no faults for old hands Thea Millward and Iggy Pop as they coasted to first place in the 0.9m – 1m Open Class. Isabelle Smith and Edson Arantes MB followed in second with four faults alongside Phoebe Serpell and Sunday’s Edition in third, also with four faults. Serpell and Sunday’s Edition were jumping together at this height for the first time.

In the highest class, 1m – 1.1m, eliminations for refusals for two of the three riders left Isabelle Smith with the first place ribbon after she and Ed completed the course with just one rail down.

Federation president Sharon Hinds saw the competition as great preparation for meets overseas.

“It is always a challenge for riders to come to a new venue and jump their horses over a course they haven’t seen before,” Hinds said. “Obviously, some horses were more confident than others but it is all great practice for our riders to come to different venues and gain experience jumping their horses where they are not familiar.

“This is how it is when our more experienced riders go overseas to compete. Riding in circumstances like this at home is great training for those opportunities when they come.”

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