While Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation’s advanced older riders were competing in Cayman’s first ever hosting of the FEI’s World Jumping Challenge, youngsters from across the island were in the same event competing against each other.
As equestrian sport develops in Cayman, the lower height classes are always the busiest and generate plenty of interest as riders vie for the coveted first place blue ribbon.
In the 0.5-0.6m class, Lea Rado on Never Ending Story and Meegan Slattery on Max both posted clear rounds but Rado pipped Slattery to win.
Laney Bodden on Star was third with four faults, Skye Buckley on Max in fourth place on five time faults and Shayla Ebanks on Beanie in fifth place on 16 faults.
In the 0.6-0.7m class, the competition was more intense and a clear round would not be enough to win.
In fact, all six riders who placed in the ribbons went clear, so once again, it was down to time to sort out the placings.
Rado once again took the first place on Never Ending Story, with Jenna Boucher on Katrina in second and Bodden and Star in third.
In fourth place was Basil Humphries on Storm, fifth place was Ebanks on Beanie and Slattery on Max in sixth position.
All the classes were “open,” meaning that children were allowed to compete against adults and vice versa.
In the next class, the 0.7-0.8m class, the children were delighted that two adults were in the mix for top finishes. Once again, Boucher and Rado posted clear rounds but this time, Boucher was first on Katrina, with Rado in second place on Never Ending Story.
Juliette Forrester, one of the adults, was in third place on Apollo, Humphries on Storm in fourth, Bodden on Star in fifth and Ashley van der Bol in sixth on Amarilla.
In the 0.85-1m class, Hannah Fowler was first on Seligkeit with eight faults in the field and three on the clock.
In the cross rails classes, novices Eva Muspratt on Oscar and Grace Bostock on Lucyana both jumped a clear cross rails course and a clear cross rails/uprights course, showing great promise.
Phoebe Serpell jumped the second 1m course of the World Jumping Challenge on Saturday and Sunday, the first time going clear and the second time collecting four faults in the field. She was awarded first place for both classes.
Tanya Neville-Dickson was judge for the day. She qualified as an FEI Level 1 jump judge last year when she attended a course in Jamaica and was funded in part by the CIEF. Since then she has volunteered her time judging jumping events for the CIEF.
“It was a great competition today,” said Neville-Dickson. “The kids are really gearing up for the National Jumping Series now and you can see that all their training is starting to pay off. It’s also good to see how the kids have developed over the last year and are refining their skills.
“The classes are not only great to judge but for the spectators, they are great to watch, because they are now really competitive and the riders have to perform extremely well to win.”
Round 1 of the National Jump Series is on Nov. 23 at the Equestrian Centre on Linford Pierson Highway. The event is free and open to the public.