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T&T crowned Caribbean show jumping champ again

Saturday, December 21, 2013
Hadley Rahael on her mare Ali Baba.

For the second year in a row, T&T’s junior riders have placed first at the Caribbean Equestrian Association’s (CEA) Junior Jumping Championship; this time, however, they also joined the top spot with the Cayman Islands to share the Bernard Payen Memorial trophy.


T&T also won the championship in 2012, taking the last two legs of the competition as host, followed by its triumph in Jamaica.


This year, team T&T came second in Jamaica after winning at home in September, but could not quite topple the leading team, the Cayman Islands, off the pedestal, instead they joined them in first position.


The champion team amassed the most points from competitions held throughout the year starting in Barbados, then Cayman Islands, T&T, and finally, in Jamaica. Points are awarded according to the country’s placement in each competition. The final leg was held on December 7-8 at the Kingston Equestrian and Polo Club in Caymanas, Jamaica.


T&T went into the competition with nine points, trailing the leader, the Cayman Islands, by 11 points.


This country was represented in the Jamaican leg by Mariel Lanser in the 16-and-under level and Hadley Rahael in the 14-and-under level. The riders were accompanied by national coach Patrice Stollmeyer. This is the pair that had previously won the T&T leg held earlier in September.


On the first day of the competition, Lanser was the second rider to go, riding the warmblood mare Hannah. Each rider has just five minutes to get accustomed to the horses and Lanser rode an excellent clear round which proved potentially to be the team’s most important one as Hannah had 12 faults with the Jamaican rider and eliminated the Barbadian and Caymanian riders.


The two 14-and-under levels followed and the 13-year-old Rahael achieved two very impressive clear rounds on the thoroughbreds Domino and Ali Baba. Not to be outdone, Lanser’s last round for the day was on the thoroughbred Alex’s Pegasus, and she also jumped clear, so Team T&T was leading after the first day with no faults, while Barbados was running in second place with ten faults.


On day two, the 16-and-under level went first again and Lanser had the tricky pony Trelawny to ride. The pair started very well, but during the course the pony stopped unexpectedly, with two refusals, giving Lanser an unfortunate elimination which was alloted 25 faults.


The Barbadian rider was also eliminated in that round so the two leading teams were now in trouble. Rahael’s two rounds were next and she did not disappoint, turning in a clear segment on the pony Tsunami and just four faults on Jack the Prince. Lanser’s last round also ended with four faults on Stormy. The Caymanian rider was eliminated in the last round on Hannah so the home team of Jamaica were the winner of this weekend event as it was the only team without an elimination. T&T was second in the competition, while Barbados placed third and the Caymans Islands, fourth.


Team T&T received three points for its second-place finish and Cayman Islands received one point for the fourth place.


Other riders who represented T&T in this competition throughout the year and contributing to the overall win, were Amber Thompson in the 14-and-under level and Adelle Stollmeyer in the 16-and-under level


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