Cayman contingent stars at dressage show

Cayman riders distinguished themselves as part of the High Point IEA team in Georgia last week.

They competed on foreign soil and returned home champions.

Five Cayman dressage riders returned home Monday with ribbons earned at the Interscholastic Equestrian Association Dressage Team show just outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

The Cayman riders were part of a team that included American riders that represented High Point Farm IEA Dressage Team.

That farm is run by Cindy Thaxton and her family, and Thaxton frequently comes to Cayman to train local riders. The IEA Dressage team is only in its second year, and four Cayman riders – Kayla Mannisto, Marley Trench, Rosana Stroh and Jenna Superfine – make up the High Point Farm Middle School team.

That team was named Champion of their division. Abbey Schwartz, the sole Caymanian on the farm’s High School Team, was part of a group that was named Reserve Champion in their bracket.

“IEA is an excellent program as it really tests the kids’ riding ability and adaptability,” said assistant trainer Claire Coman. “To do well, the riders have to be effective and clear with their aids.”

Trench won in both her future novice test and dressage seat equestrian class. Mannisto won in future intermediate dressage seat equestrian and Stroh won in a beginner class. The Cayman riders were recruited after High Point trainers observed their skills at the Combined Training Test event last spring.

“The Cayman riders all had a correct concept of dressage position and were able to sit on any horse and adjust to its needs and perform,” said Coman of their performance. “Big credit has to go to Jessica McTaggart, their coach in Cayman, for their fabulous results this weekend.”

The next IEA Dressage show for the Cayman riders on the High Point team will take place in mid-December.

For more information about the IEA programme, please visit www.rideiea.org. For more information about the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation, please visit www.ciefcay.com.