Melissa Inglefield and Chelsea Thomas rode to victory in their respective categories at the Beacon FEI World Jumping Challenge held at the Hidden Valley Stables, Santa Cruz last weekend. The challenge is an international competition governed by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI)—the governing body for equestrian sport in the World. It is a competition for developing countries, where riders are able to compete internationally while riding in their home country. T&T forms part of zone 10, which includes Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica and Dominica Republic. The T&TEA showcased its qualifying riders over the age of 15, in two classes each consisting of two rounds: Category C (1.00m) and, for the first time in T&T, Category B (1.10m).
Category B opened the show on Saturday, with Charlotte Morrison, Sandhya Moll, Steven Degheldere and Melissa Inglefield competing against each other for the top spot. Morrison on Alfie Meh Boy had a challenging competition with three eliminations but ended the weekend on a good note with her final round being clear. Moll, riding her mount “Majestic 7”, landed herself third place with 25 faults at the end of the weekend. Degheldere was unable to retain her title as the defending champ, riding in second on Waiting at the Front with 22 faults, leaving the title to be snatched by Inglefield who rode away victoriously on her horse, Cassius CKS. Inglefield had two clear rounds and accumulated 12 faults in the remaining two rounds.
Eight riders made their bid for the winning title of the Category C but it was Chelsea Thomas and her steed Nobil LX that had the crowd on edge in her final round on Sunday, as she successfully made her bid for her fourth clear round of the competition, securing herself the first place trophy with no faults. Adelle Stollmeyer on Amigo Mio was not far behind, finishing in second place, having had two knock downs for the competition and a total of eight faults. Jade Gomez placed third with her horse Dream Weaver with a total of 12 faults and Heather Rahael rounded up the group placing fourth with her horse Zeus accumulating 16 faults. The winning scores will now be tallied and submitted to the FEI and the winning riders for zone 10 will be determined later this year once Barbados, Jamaica and Dominica Republic hold their legs of the competitions.