In a very close and exciting competition, the home team of Cayman Islands just managed to slip into first place ahead of the Trinidad and Tobago equestrian team in the Cayman Islands leg of the Caribbean Equestrian Competition’s Junior Show Jumping Challenge. The competition was held on May 12 and 13 at the Equestrian Centre in Grand Cayman. T&T, represented by Mariel Lanser (16 years & under) and Amber Thompson (14 years & under), came second to the more experienced Cayman team by just two faults. In 2011, Cayman Islands had placed first in the Trinidad leg of this competition. The riders were escorted by National Coach, Patrice Stollmeyer, who received many compliments on the level of riding exhibited by the young team. Stollmeyer commented, “Our team rode very well, and I am extremely pleased and proud of them. I’m very happy with their second place.”
The CEA Junior Jumping competitions are borrowed horse competitions, whereby each rider has to ride four horses in each category. The winning team is the team with the least faults, after all the eight horses are ridden. For each country, the riders’ faults are added for the total score. It is a challenging competition as the riders only have five minutes to try out their mounts before attempting the course of show jumps. At the end of each year, the team scores are added together and the team with the least faults over the period is declared the CEA Junior Jumping Champions. The horses ridden by Lanser in the 16 & under category were varied and ranged from a nice enough island mare, an old pony, a sensitive, zippy chestnut and a lovely Selle Francais. On these mounts over the four rounds, Lanser posted two impressive clear rounds and two with faults totaling 14 points.
Thompson’s mounts in the 14 & under category consisted of a Lusitano dressage stallion, a lovely black Welsh pony, an island mare with a rough canter, and a small and difficult island pony. She offered up one clear round and three rounds with minimal faults for a total of seven points. The Cayman Islands team just managed to hold their two-point lead from the first day, over to the second day, ending the competition with a score of 19 faults, just ahead of T&T with 21 faults. The Jamaican and Barbados teams unfortunately suffered multiple eliminations, and brought up the rear with 47 and 93 points, respectively. The T&T Equestrian Association will hold the local Trinidad leg of the CEA’s Junior Jumping Competition later this year in September.