The 2016 Caribbean Equestrian Association (CEA)’s Dressage Challenge took place on Sunday 26th June at two TTEA member stables, Goodwin Heights and Saddle Valley. The Challenge is held among the other islands of the CEA, Barbados, Jamaica, Bermuda and Cayman Islands. This year the event was judged island-wide by Ms. Jeanne McDonald, FEI 3* Judge (USA).
Dressage tests comprise a series of movements and patterns the horse and rider perform with the goal of appearing to be an effortless dance to the viewer. These tests increase in technical difficulty as the horse and rider improve their balance and harmony. Each movement is scored out of 10 (10 being outstanding, and 0 meaning not performed), and the accumulated points are expressed as a percentage.
This year’s competition began with Goodwin Heights in St Anns, fielding eleven CEA athletes riding a variety of Dressage tests, from the advanced USEF Fourth Level ridden by top athlete Amber Thompson, to the Training Level riders, the youngest of whom is 10 years old.
Goodwin Heights finished the morning with some very good scores, and the CEA Challenge continued in the afternoon at Saddle Valley Stables, Santa Cruz with the final three CEA riders.
In addition to the CEA Challenge, each stable took the opportunity to allow several of their new and improving riders to compete in an Alternate Challenge, also judged by Ms McDonald.
A final tally of scores at the end of the day produced the two CEA teams of adults and children who received the best scores of the day.
Sara McCartney & Shannon M (Training Level Test 3) 68.636%
Brynn English & Nobill LX (First Level Test 3) 67.559%
Nikki Chatoor & Unbridled Dream (First Level Test 3) 66.676%
Michelle Sabga-Aboud & Take Over (Third Level Test 1) 62.561%
Katie Darlow & Queen of Sheba (Training Level Test 3) 54.545%
Joanne Benjamin & Starlight (Training Level Test 3) 52.955%
In the overall CEA final results, the Trinidad & Tobago adult team placed fourth and the children’s team placed fifth.