Newcomers in step with riders

Fresh from its summer successes, the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation kicked off its new competition season with a warm up show designed to help riders get back in the saddle and prepare for the packed events schedule to come in 2015.

As riders dug deep into their storage boxes to find all those long lost items so carefully packed away at the beginning of the summer holidays, staff at Cayman Riding School prepared the newly completed jumping arena for its debut event earlier this month.

In line with the ever increasing membership of the federation, the show had a record number of entries. Federation president Sharon Hinds said, “It’s great to see so many new horse and rider combinations making their debut here. As well as developing our existing talent pool, we are all about encouraging new riders to step out and join in the fun of participating in a show.”

Riders making their debut at this show were Grace Bostock on Lucyana, Laney Bodden on Star, Shayla Ebanks on Beanie and Skye Buckley on Max. In addition, some of the existing riders had been training with inexperienced or ‘new’ horses and introduced them to the show ring for the first time; Jenna Boucher on Sarah, Amara Thompson on Teddy, Leah Rado on Larkin and Chloe Fowler on SonRise David.

As local Fédération Équestre Internationale Level 1 Judge Michelle Boucher took her seat, the rails were set for the lowest classes first. Awards were given for those riders who could steer their horses over all the jumps without knocking down a pole in the time allowed for the course. In addition, in the spirit of encouraging future competitors, all riders who participated were given a participation ribbon.

In the 0.6 meter class, clear round ribbons went to carefully paced Lea Rado on Never Ending Story, Meegan Slattery on Max, Laney Bodden on Star, Basil Humphries on Storm and Shayla Ebanks on Beanie. Basil Humphries on Storm and Laney Bodden on Star also picked up a ribbon at the next level, the 0.7m class, along with Jenna Boucher on both Katrina and Shirley. In the 0.8m class, the ribbons went again to Jenna Boucher and Katrina and to Juliette Forrester and Apollo.

As the heights were raised, the riders were unlucky and no one managed a clear round in the 1m class or the 1.1m class. The participants in the lower of these classes, Isabelle Smith on Ed, Hannah Fowler on Seligkeit, Phoebe Serpell on Sunday’s Edition, Thea Millward on Iggy Pop and Alex Rado on Larkin each just had one knock down resulting in four faults. In the 1.1m class, Isabelle Smith finished on four faults and Hannah Fowler was eliminated.

The show finished up with a cross rails class with all three entrants executing clear rounds; Jenna Boucher on Sarah, Grace Bostock on Lucyana and Eva Muspratt on Oscar the Great and Powerful. The riders from the Equestrian Centre, who were visiting the new facility for the second time, were pleased with how their horses performed.

Jessica McTaggart-Giuzio, comanager of the Equestrian Centre, said, “It was great to start the year off with a warm up show. It gives the riders a chance to go into the arena with the sole object of riding a balanced, technically correct ride and coming out clean with no faults. Considering the horses we brought had either never been up to Savannah before or only been once or twice before, we were really pleased how they all executed their rounds.”

Tracey Surrey, owner and operator of the Cayman Riding School, said, “I am really pleased with how the show went today. The flow of the show worked really well with the newly completed arena and I think our visitors enjoyed coming up to compete. It is always great to see so many kids coming out to compete and have fun. Everyone did really well today, especially the newbies, and we’re now all really looking forward to the start of the competitive show season.”

For more information on local equestrian, contact Michelle Boucher on [email protected]

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