Jump league closes on a new course

| 10/06/2014

(CNS): Local riders from the Equestrian Centre (EC) and Cayman Riding School (CRS) were out in force on 25 May for the fourth and final leg of the national show jumping league. The Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation (CIEF) league closer was held for the first time at the new jumping arena at the CRS and took place over four rounds. Tanya Neville-Dixon was in the judge’s seat and Juliette Forrester and Tanja Braendle kicked off the day with ponies Apollo and Harry in the 0.6m adult class. Both ladies completed solid, clear rounds, but Braendle picked up one time fault leaving Forrester to take the top spot.

In the 0.6m children’s class that followed, a few horses took time to settle in to the new arena, having never jumped in it before.

Most riders though, went clear, leaving time as the deciding factor. The top three riders were squeezed together in a time crunch. Chloe Fowler and Shirley Temple took first place, literally ‘by a nose’ as they rode home just 0.09 seconds ahead of Lea Rado and Never Ending Story who placed second. Jenna Boucher and Katrina were only 0.01 seconds behind in third place, with the rest of the pack scattered further back. Basil Humphries, making his debut at the CRS grounds, was a solid fourth on Zeus with Meegan Slattery and Max in fifth and Madeleine Aquart and Zeus in sixth.

Although Tanja Braendle was alone in the 0.7m adult class, taking first place, the 0.7m children’s class was harder to win. Like the 0.6m class, a group of junior riders fought it out for the top places.

This time, Jenna Boucher and Katrina steamed into first place ahead of Chloe Fowler and Shirley Temple in second place, both riders collecting four faults in the field. Madeleine Aquart and Zeus came in third but also clipped an unlucky rail.  Home from school for the week and making a very successful debut in the competition, NJS rider Libby Galloway took fourth on Dublin’s Bay. A couple of other riders were eliminated due to refusals or falls, but both riders were unhurt and determined to come back next time and try again.

Michelle Boucher and Alex Rado were pitted against each other in the 0.85m adult class. Boucher was first to go and took one rail down finishing in a time of 88.70 seconds. Rado followed her, also clipping a rail, but knowing she had to beat Boucher on time, took a thrilling short cut across the arena, risking the approach, but bringing it off beautifully to come home 8 seconds ahead. Rado took first place with Boucher in second.

In the 0.85m children’s class, it was faults that sorted the pack with Phoebe Serpell and Sunday’s Edition coming home first with 4 faults, Libby Galloway and Dublin’s Bay in second with 8 faults and Hannah Fowler in third place with 12 faults.

There were no faults for old hands Thea Millward and Iggy Pop as they coasted to first place in the 0.9m – 1m Open Class. Isabelle Smith and Edson Arantes MB followed in second with four faults alongside Phoebe Serpell and Sunday’s Edition in third, also with four faults. Serpell and Sunday’s Edition were jumping together at this height for the first time.

In the highest class, 1m – 1.1m, eliminations for refusals for two of the three riders left Isabelle Smith with the first place ribbon after she and Ed completed the course with just one rail down.

“It is always a challenge for riders to come to a new venue and jump their horses over a course they haven’t seen before,” said Sharon Hinds, CIEF President. Obviously some horses were more confident than others but it is all great practice for our riders to come to different venues and gain experience jumping their horses where they are not familiar. This is how it is when our more experienced riders go overseas to compete. Riding in circumstances like this at home is great training for those opportunities when they come.”

Now the final leg of the league is done, the scores will be totaled and the winners of each class for the year announced at the CIEF’s Inaugural ‘Sell-Out’ Annual Dinner on 21st June 2014 at George Town Yacht Club.

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