Young Cayman dressage riders compete in US

Caymanian equestrians Kayla Mannisto and Megan Swartz attended the Children of the Americas Dressage Invitational (CADI), held 5-9 July near Providence, Rhode Island. CADI is an annual dressage event for youth aged 12 to 14 from the Americas.

In addition to the two Cayman riders, the other 14 participants at CADI this year hailed from Bermuda, Barbados, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti and the United States.

The four-day event consists of training exercises, lectures and demonstrations, as well as a competition on loaner horses.

The riders had two practice days to get familiar with the horses they were assigned. The remaining two days were spent competing in two phases: First was the FEI Children’s Preliminary Test A, and the second was a freestyle test designed by the rider and set to music of their choosing. Mannisto and Swartz placed 6th and 8th respectively.

According to Mannisto, creating her own freestyle test then putting it to music was one of the most fun, yet challenging, parts of the event. Swartz said the highlight for her was making new friends from the US, Central America and the Caribbean.

Many of the CADI participants went on to compete at the 2019 Youth Dressage Festival, a competition open to equestrians up to the age of 21, held in Saugerties, NY.

Given the enthusiasm generated locally by this year’s CADI experience, the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation is committed to sending a full squad of young Caymanian equestrians to both CADI and the Youth Dressage Festival in 2020.

The first CIEF horse show of the 2019‑20 season is the National Jumping Series #1, which will take place 13 Oct. at 8am at the Equestrian Centre located on the Linford Pierson Highway.

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