July 3, 2022

‘Smith And Fowler Make Cayman Team’

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Image 1At the end of March, with first place in the World Dressage Challenge behind them, youth show jumpers from across the island swapped the grace and style of their dressage games for the speed and accuracy of the jump arena.

The prize this time? A place on the Cayman Team and the right to compete for Cayman in the Caribbean Equestrian Association’s Show Jumping Competition to be held in Cayman in May.

Six riders from the Equestrian Centre (EC) and one rider from Cayman Riding School (CRS) gathered at CRS for the first ever Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation (CIEF) show to be held at CRS. Sharon Hinds, newly-elected President of CIEF said “We are delighted that another show venue has opened up for the use of CIEF members. It is great experience for horses and riders to ride on ‘unfamiliar’ ground and hence an opportunity to further develop their skills in this area. It is also helpful for different stables to share the load of hosting the growing number of shows in the CIEF calendar. We really appreciate all the hard work that volunteers have put in to prepare this venue for its first CIEF show and we look forward to many more here in the future. “

Visiting horses from the EC settled in easily and seemed to take their new surroundings in their stride. The random draw settled the order of go for the three rounds of competition in each of the age categories, under 16 and under 14.

Three experienced riders from the EC competed in the Under 16 age category, Thea Millward, Polly Serpell and Isabelle Smith; in the Under 14 age category, three seasoned riders from the EC, Madeliene Arquart,, Phoebe Serpell and Ashley van den Bol were joined by Hannah Fowler from CRS.

Given the new surroundings for the visiting horses, riders were asked to ride their own horses in the first round, switching onto their competitors’ horses for rounds 2 and 3.

Competition was tough as few rails fell in the opening round. Six of the seven riders jumped clear and took a clean sheet into the second round. The course changed for each round and in the second round the same six riders maintained their clean slate going into the final round. Those who remain clean in the final round, have their times from all three rounds added, with the lowest overall time bagging first place. At this stage riders always have to choose whether to gamble on the course to ‘shave’ time at the risk of forcing an error and bringing down a rail or two in the field.

Both Millward and Smith held their nerve in the final round to finish clear in the Under 16 category and Fowler, Phoebe Serpell and van den Bol followed suit in the Under 14 category leaving spectators none the wiser as to who had clinched the top spots.

They didn’t have long to wait for the announcements. Smith took first place in the Under 16 category with a combined time of 128.15 seconds and will represent Cayman in that category in the CEA JSJC against Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica next month. Millward finished second with 134.78 seconds and is the Reserve Team Member for the U16 and Polly Serpell finished third with 8 faults and a combined time of 133.20 seconds.

In the Under 14 category, Fowler took first place to win the trial in the younger age group with a combined time of 124.5 seconds. Phoebe Serpell was a close second with a time of 125.14 seconds and will be the Reserve Team Member for the U14s. In third place was van den Bol with 133.8 seconds and in fourth place was Arquart with 4 faults and a combined time of 134.05 seconds.

Smith and Fowler will be training hard between now and the 10/11 May when their competitors from Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad arrive. CIEF is actively seeking corporate sponsors to assist with staging this weekend-long event and anyone interested in sponsoring the event should contact [email protected] or 916 4312.


Trial Competitors : From L to R : CIEF President, Sharon Hinds, Ashley van den Bol, Madeleine Aquart, Phoebe Serpell (Reserve for U14), hannah Fowler (Winner of U14), Isabelle Smith (Winner of U16), Thea Millward (Reserve of U16), Polly Serpell and Judge Michelle Boucher

Isabelle Smith, Winnder of Under 16 Trial receiving her rosette from President, Sharon Hinds

Isabelle Smith on her horse Edson Arantes MB

Hannah Fowler, Winner of Under 14 Trial receiving her rosette from President, Sharon Hinds

Hannah Fowler, winner of the Under 14 Trial, on her sister’s horse, Shirley Temple



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