Dressage competitors riding high

Three Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation riders did extremely well representing Cayman at a dressage competition in the United States last week. 

Ashley van den Bol, Jenna Boucher and Chloe Fowler competed at the Children of the Americas Dressage Invitational at Bear Spot Farm in Concorde, Massachusetts. 

They trained and competed over the course for four days, competing on borrowed horses. 

The girls rode the Children’s Fédération Equestre Internationale Preliminary Test and a self-designed Freestyle Test to music, against riders from Argentina, Honduras, Barbados and the U.S. 

The competitors were split into two divisions, those riding their own horses and those riding borrowed horses, which were allocated at random in a draw. All the Cayman riders rode borrowed horses and were each coached by top U.S. dressage trainers who donate their time to the event. 

Van den Bol took third place overall in the borrowed horse division. 

The event is a fundraiser for the Bear Spot Foundation run by Jane Karol, owner and operator of Bear Spot Farm. The Bear Spot Foundation offers equine-assisted psychotherapy for children with psychiatric needs. 

In the preliminary test on the first day of competition, van den Bol placed fourth, Fowler fifth and Boucher sixth, with riders from Argentina taking the top two spots and Bree Anne Hurdle of Barbados taking third place. 

On the second day of competition, van den Bol finished in third place, with Boucher in fourth and Fowler in sixth. 

The scores from the two competitions were averaged and awards given for overall placings. In the final tally, the Agentinians took first and second place again, with van den Bol third. Fowler finished in fifth place and Boucher close behind in sixth. 

The riders were also grouped into mixed country teams for a team competition. Scores of all team members were averaged and rosettes given for the highest team scores. The Purple Team, of which Fowler was a member, was placed first, with van den Bol’s Pink Team in third and Boucher’s Orange Team in fourth. 

All riders had a fantastic time and made new friends and some great memories, Pamela Fowler, CIEF’s secretary-general, said. 

“It was great to see Cayman so well represented at this annual dressage invitational again this year, as equestrian sport in Cayman continues to grow,” she said. 

“This event is a wonderful opportunity for our riders to step out onto the international stage and meet and compete with riders from other countries, whilst [raising] funds for the equine assisted therapy program run by Jane Karol.” 

Fowler added that all three riders learned a lot from the coaches and from the horses they rode. 

“We look forward to CADI 2016 and the new opportunities it will afford for upcoming dressage riders in Cayman,” she said. 

Jenna Boucher on Jurist.

Jenna Boucher on Jurist.

Ashley van den Bol on Tome.

Ashley van den Bol on Tome.

Ashley van den Bol, Chloe Fowler and Jenna Boucher.

Ashley van den Bol, Chloe Fowler and Jenna Boucher.