March 22, 2023

Christmas Fun Show 2013

Image 13The jingle of Santa’s sleigh bells and the promise of a snowy white Christmas seems a long time ago now, but the horse world is still buzzing after the success of their Christmas Show fundraiser.

In the first of its kind in quite some time, all three teaching stables on the island came together to raise funds for their sport. Horsey moms with the organizational skills to rival Churchill’s generals planned a host of tantalizing carnival-style events to set the dollars flying out of eager palms and into the fundraising pot. The Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation, the governing body of all things equine in Cayman, promised that twenty-five per cent of the funds raised would provide scholarship funding for therapeutic horsemanship lessons at Cowboy Town Stables for a child with special needs who might not otherwise be able to participate. The balance would be spent on the further development of equestrianism in Cayman.

IMG_0682IMG_0734Sharon Hinds, acting President of the CIEF said, “Equestrianism in Cayman, particularly the disciplines of dressage and show jumping, have seen enormous development of talent in the last few years, with Cayman teams winning three of the four international competitions they entered in 2013. It is shows like this Christmas event that encourage the grass roots development of the fun aspects of riding in younger kids which we hope will develop later on into a passion for the more formal disciplines of the sport, and in addition, teach kids to have fun with their sport and enjoy the recreational and lighter side of riding.

We were delighted to welcome Cowboy Town Stables to the show this year.

Calum O’Brien, Carter Coen, Matthew Ciavier, Warren Hanson, Alyk Smith, Jade Smith, Alyssa Hislop, Sophia Gustafsson, Megan Duval and Jhalil Hernandez, all came out to take part in a Trail Pattern competition. The Trail Pattern involved maneuvering a horse through an obstacle course designed to resemble situations a horse and rider might actually encounter when on a trail or doing ranch work such as moving around, over, or backing through obstacles and opening and closing gates without letting the cows out. Some of the kids also took part in the gymkhana games with riders from the Equestrian Centre and Cayman Riding School. It is great to see all the kids riding together and enjoying their sport.”

Image 12Image 11The word ‘gymkhana’ is an Anglo-Indian expression, coined during the British Raj. Its meaning later altered from ‘gentleman’s club’ to denote a place where skill-based contests were held. The name has stuck and today, the gymkhana games challenge the horses’ and riders’ ability to work together, and demonstrate many skills such as speed, flying lead changes, sliding stops and more.

While the western riders completed their trail patterns, and the gymkhana kids battled it out over the bending of poles and bobbing for apples, the show jumpers fought it out in another arena. Libby Galloway and Jacob won the 0.7m class and in second place was Ashley van den Bol on Amarilla. Polly Serpell and Calidad won the 0.85m class with Thea Millward and Iggy Pop in second and Isabelle Smith and Durango in third.

By far the most interest (and the fiercest competition) was created by the fancy dress class where competitors dressed themselves and their horses in fancy dress. The competition was judged by local celebrity DJ, Katie Slagel, from Z99 who volunteered her time to help at the event. She chose Saskia Drake and her pony ‘Me and My Shadow’ as the winners in their elf costume. The other placings were Ashley van den Bol and Amarilla, as bumble bees, in second, Isabelle Smith, Abbey Swarz and Basil Humphries with Lulu the donkey as Winnie the pooh and friends in third, Hannah Fowler and Honeycomb as ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas’ in fourth, Thea Millward and Iggy Pop as the Snowman and Rudolf in fifth and Libby Galloway and Jacob as ‘The Night before Christmas’ in sixth.

Those not riding were kept busy by the ‘Games Grotto’ where Nancy Barnard had created intricate Christmas crafts for kids of all ages , Sharon Galloway had invented a number of Christmas games for kids to try their hand at and Emma Drake and Marcia Milgate offered up a mince pie and coffee refueling station for those flagging from the rigours of the excitement and/or the early morning start…

The ponies in the pony park gave tiny tots a chance to experience their first ride, which those of you who did a similar thing at that age will remember, is something you never forget!

Before the day ended the man in the red suit and black boots made his appearance aboard a hay wagon. Santa’s draw never fades and kids from one to ninety-two climbed aboard his improvised ‘sled’ for a white-knuckle ride around the grass paddocks. If you missed it this year, don’t miss the next fun show in 2014. It will be bigger and better!



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