Whereas T&T regularly comes into the glare of the international spotlight for violent crimes, murders, guns and drugs, it has recently made news for a positive “feel good” story of a Trinidadia
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Equestrian’s Thompson shines in Canada
At the tender age of just 15, Amber Thompson enjoyed the equestrian opportunity of a lifetime when she spent one month in training and competition in Canada at the Millar Brooke Farm, home to Canada’s most accomplished family in the sport—Amy, Ian and Jonathan Millar.
Under the guidance of Amy, Thompson spent two weeks competing at the Caledon Equestrian Park, where the Pan American Games are scheduled to be held next year.
In April, while in Wellington, Florida, for the Group IV Show Jumping Challenge, Thompson was introduced to Amy by Emily Kinch, Barbados’ latest equestrian to qualify for the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games. Impressed with Thompson’s potential, she was then invited to train at Millar Brooke Farm, which presented an exciting opportunity for the young rider. She hopes to continue training at Millar Brooke Farm as her medium term goal is to qualify for the CAC Games and represent T&T in 2018.
Thompson’s first two weeks were spent in Perth, Ontario, training with Millar and getting used to her leased horse, a thoroughbred named Vertigo. During this time, she also rode many other horses every day under Millar’s watchful eye. Then for the following two weeks, Thompson moved four hours west to the Caledon Equestrian Park to compete in classes that had no less than 30 competitors in each class, with a mixture of both junior and adult riders. In the first show, she rode in a junior/adult class with heights up to one metre. In this competition, the junior and adult prizes were divided and here she earned two first place positions, a second and a fifth finish and emerged as the second placed Reserve Junior Champion in the first show.
In the second show, the heights of the jumps were raised to 1.10m also with a mix of both junior but mainly adult riders.
She earned a second place and two third places, but for this show, the prizes were not divided and she proudly emerged as the overall champion in first place for this competition.
Coach Millar was suitably impressed with her standard of riding and reminded her at the end of the two weeks of competition that every round she rode was clear, meaning she never knocked down any of her jumps and was edged out only by time.
Quite an accomplishment for one so young, over two weeks of steady and heavy competition. Back at home now, Thompson is working toward her next local competition, training hard at the Saddle Valley Stables, in Santa Cruz for the FEI Show Jumping Challenge, under the wing of her T&T coach, Patrice Stollmeyer.