Team Cayman poised to win gold

| 19/03/2014

(CIEF): On Saturday 8 March, riders from the Equestrian Centre and Cayman Riding School converged on the Equestrian Centre for the 2014 FEI World Dressage Challenge (“WDC”). This international competition is designed to promote the art of dressage in countries where equestriansport is still at a developmental stage. Two FEI judges flew into Cayman on Friday in preparation to judge the competition on Saturday. The same judges had already visited Barbados, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago and Bermuda to judge equivalent competitions in those countries, before coming to Cayman.

Elke Ebert of Germany and Anders Sucksdorff of Finland were impressed by the quality of dressage talent in Cayman. “Cayman has really improved in the past year with its dressage riders,” commented Ebert, who visited the island 12 months ago to judge the same competition. The improvements were self evident in the results. At the time of going to press, Team Cayman was sitting in first place in the Caribbean overall with only Jamaica left to ride later this week.

“This year, Team Cayman consisted of Tracey Surrey from Cayman Riding School, Jessica McTaggart-Giuzio and Phoebe and Polly Serpell from the Equestrian Centre,” said acting President, Sharon Hinds. “Our riders have all been training extremely hard for this regional competition,” she continued, “and we are really pleased with the improvement in the skill level of dressage riding in the Cayman Islands generally. We have a real pocket of talent here and it is one that we are committed to supporting and encouraging in every way we can. All riders in this competition have invested hundreds of hours of training in order to put Cayman quite clearly on the international dressage map!”

Riders had to qualify to enter the WDC in one of Cayman’s National Dressage Competitions held during  the past year. Twelve riders presented themselves at the Vet Jog the day before the main competition to have their horses inspected. Every horse presented has to pass the Vet Jog in order to be allowed into the competition. As well as checking that every horse is sound, the Vet Jog is also an opportunity for riders to compete for the coveted ‘Best Presented Horse’ Award.

This year the Best Presented Horse – Child’s Award went to Hannah Fowler and her dappled grey warmblood, Seligkeit, and the Adult’s Award went to Jessica McTaggart-Giuzio and her horse, Loris 7.

In the WDC competition, the skill level of the riders increased with each class and the first to go were the children riding the Preliminary Test. Phoebe Serpell coasted to first place on Sunday’s Edition with an impressive 70.86%. Second was Thea Millward on Iggy Pop, third Anya van Genderen on Kartouche, fourth Hannah Fowler on Seligkeit, fifth Isabelle Smith on  Edson Arantes MB and sixth Ashley van den Bol on EWSZ Carmella.

In the adults’ Preliminary Test, Tracey Surrey took first place on SonRise David with 69.66%. Jessica McTaggart-Giuzio was a close second on Loris 7, with Polly Serpell on Calidad in third and Regina Nowak in fourth on Leonora.

The Elementary Test is also divided into separate children’s and adults’ tests and in the child class, Phoebe Serpell took first place on Sunday’s Edition with Lexi Bodden winning the adult class on Relation. Second was Jessica McTaggart-giuzio on Loris 7 and third was Polly Serpell on Partenon.

Lexi Bodden and Relation also took first place in the Medium Test with Charlotte Hinds on Monroe Carr in second place.

High Point Awards in the WDC were awarded to Tracey Surrey, as the highest scoring adult, and Phoebe Serpell, as the highest scoring child.

The CIEF is extremely grateful to Sunshine Suites for its generous and continued support and sponsorship of the CIEF through assistance with the provision of accommodation for visiting judges.

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