January 24, 2020

Cayman 2nd in jumping challenge


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Cayman Islands places second overall in regional jumping challenge

By Eve van den Bol From

The Equestrian Center, located on the Linford Pierson Highway, was the site of the Cayman leg of the third annual CEA Regional Jumping Challenge this past Sunday, where the came in second place overall just behind, Bermuda and ahead of . Along with the excellent results posted by its athletes, the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation (CIEF) was pleased to welcome Dr. Jody Timpson M.D., a local sport medicine specialist, who volunteered to be the medical officer for the event.

Organized by the CIEF under the rules of the Equestrian Association (CEA), the Regional Jumping Challenge is a competition between the Cayman Islands and its English-speaking neighbors of Bermuda, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad. What is unique about this event is that the horses and athletes do not travel in order to compete. Instead, each participating country builds the show jumping course to the exact specifications proscribed by the CEA.

The competition is held at three heights: 0.7 meters, 0.85 meters and 1.0 meters. Athletes ride the course twice and their final placing is determined by the total faults received in the two rounds, with those receiving the least number of faults being ranked higher. Ties in faults received are broken using the time taken in the second round, with the fastest rider being placed higher.

The CEA Regional Jumping Challenge is both a team and individual competition. While all riders in the Caribbean participating in the event are ranked against one another, the top two riders from each country at each height form a team, and their total faults and times are added together to form a team score

It was an exciting day, with two Cayman riders returning to compete at home. Ashley van den Bol, 16, who attends boarding school and rides competitively in the US, flew in for the Thanksgiving holiday to clinch the top spot in the 1 meter class with just 4 faults on her mother’s horse, Whindlass, while Jodie McTaggart, who had not competed in show jumping for a number of years because she had been living in the US until a few months ago, wowed the crowd with a blisteringly fast double clear on her new horse, Nala. After her ride, McTaggart announced that she is aiming to compete in the 1.0 meter class on Nala next year.

The Cayman team of Megan Swartz and Charli Milgate at 70cm both had double clear rounds and excellent times, placing them second at the 70cm level among the five Caribbean teams participating. The team of Jodie McTaggart and Abbey Swartz placed 4th in the Caribbean, and the team of Ashley van den Bol and Jessica McTaggart-Giuzio placed 3rd in the Caribbean. All six riders, based on their combined scores, led Cayman to a second place finish overall for the event.

Results of the Cayman Islands leg of the RJC follows:

70cm Team
First Place – Megan Swartz riding Zeus
(2nd in the Caribbean)
Second Place – Charlie Milgate riding Fly By Me

85cm Team
First Place – Jodie McTaggart riding Nala
(4th in the Caribbean)
Second Place – Abbey Swartz riding Blue Ridge Dream On

1.0 meter Team
First Place – Ashley van den Bol riding Whindlass
(3rd in the Caribbean)
Second Place – Jessica McTaggart-Giuzio riding Sunday’s Edition

After the CEA Regional Jumping Challenge was completed, the CIEF held two introductory jumping classes. Abbey Swartz won the 60cm class on Teddy and Kayla Mannisto won the 50cm class riding Pony Up.

The next show jumping event to be held by the CIEF will be the second leg of the four-part National Jumping Series, which will take place at the Equestrian Center, located on Linford Pierson Highway, on January 28th with a start time of 8am. As always, spectators are welcome and admission is free. For a complete list of CIEF horse shows, please visit their website at http://ciefcay.com/events/calendar/

Photo credits: Eve van den Bol

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