Cayman riders first in show jumping competition

| 03/06/2014

(CIEF): Once a year the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation plays host to the best youth show jumpers in the Caribbean for the second round of the Caribbean Equestrian Federation’s Junior Show Jumping Competition. In the first round of the competition hosted by Barbados in January 2014, the Cayman Team were represented by Isabelle Smith and Madeleine Aquart, both new starters in the team. They performed well and finished third. The team for the Cayman competition was picked by trial earlier in the season and the riders winning the right to represent Cayman were Isabelle Smith in the under 16 category and Hannah Fowler in the under 14 category. For Fowler it would be the first time riding for the team.

With the competition set for 10 and 11 May, the Cayman Team welcomed competitors from Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

The first day of competition saw all riders in the under 16 category go clear with Cayman’s Smith posting the fastest time of the four. Fowler got off to a shaky start posting 8 faults leaving Hannah Deleon of Jamaica out front, the only rider to go clear in the first round. However in round 2, Deleon was the only under 14 rider to post faults, collecting 8 in the field, with her competitors all posting clear rounds. The under 16s remained pretty tight with only Amber Thompson of Jamaica collecting four faults in her round.

At the end of the first day, the teams were pretty well bunched together with Barbados out front with four faults and Jamaica and Cayman in jointsecond on eight faults with Trinidad bringing up the rear on 13 faults. However, as all show jumpers are fond of saying, ‘anything can happen’ and the third round on Sunday morning was to  prove this true by shaking up the pack and turning things upside down.

It was the turn of the under 14s to go first on Sunday morning and only Fowler, now settled in her stride, would go clear.  The rest of the teams collected a host of field and time faults. Jamaica picked up 11, Trinidad 15 and Barbados a costly 17. This thrust Cayman into the lead going into the final round.

All four riders in the under 16 category posted clear rounds putting the pressure on their teammates in the under 14s to follow their lead.

All four went clear with Barbados and Cayman collecting time faults but Cayman’s lead by this time was so well established that they clinched the title nevertheless. A delighted Fowler and Smith took the First Place Award for the Cayman Team with a total of 13 faults, with Jamaica in second place on 19 faults, Barbados in third on 23 faults and Trinidad and Tobago in fourth on 28 faults.

In the individual competitions, Fowler placed first in the under 14s and Smith placed second in the under 16s, which was a tough category with 3 of the 4 riders finishing on 4 faults and Smith missing out on the top spot by less than 3 seconds. Cayman’s success bodes well for the rest of the competition.

Jenna Boucher, who had kindly loaned her horse, Katrina, to the competition, was awarded a ‘Clear Round Horse’ Award as Katrina was only the only horse in the competition to go clear all four rounds.

Overall, these result put Cayman in joint first place with Barbados so far for the year. The next round of the competition is in September in Trinidad, with the fourth leg in Jamaica in November rounding out the series.

The CIEF was delighted to partner with a number of sponsors for 2014, both new and old: Gold Sponsors, Maples and Calder and Deutsche Bank were joined by Silver Sponsors Butterfield Bank, Cayman National Bank, Genesis Trust and Corporate Services Ltd.,  Stepping Stones and a host of Bronze Sponsors.

“We were so pleased that so many corporate sponsors came on board this year to sponsor this event. We were not only able to fund the costs of the competition with their donations but we were also able to build a fabulous jump course with nearly every jump sponsored by a company and sporting their company logo,” said Sharon Hinds, President of CIEF. “We are also very grateful for the support of the CI Olympic Committee this season and wanted to honour that support with an ‘Olympic’ jump built for them. These events are products of so many people and parts and we are grateful to all our sponsors, parents, volunteers, host families and coaches who made this event such a successful one.”

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