By Tanya Zeimniak
On Saturday, November 16th and Sunday, November 17th Cayman’s equestrians rode for the chance to represent the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Equestrian Association’s (CEA) Annual Regional Jumping Challenge and also competed in the 2nd National Jump Series of the season. Milly Serpell, who is certified as an FEI Level 1 Show Jumping Judge, took on the judging duties for both shows.
Organized by the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation (CIEF) under the rules of the 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 meter. 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 ranking higher. Ties in faults received are broken using the time taken in the second jumping 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, each country’s top athlete at each height form a team, and their total faults and times are added together to form a country’s team score. As a result, the final results and ranking of all participating individuals and countries won’t be released until each country has held its leg of the competition, which will happen in December.
Winners of each height of the Regional Jumping Challenge (who also make up the Cayman Islands team) were:
• Meters – Gina Lomas riding Sunday’s Edition
• .85 Meters – Leah Alberga riding Moon Lady
• .70 Meters – Madison Ameline riding Twinkle
Highlights of the National Jumping Series #2 which was held on Sunday, included double wins by Olivia Ziemniak riding Teddy in both the .60 meter and .70 meter classes. Also participating in her first ever show was Hallie Guizio, riding Misty in the Cross Rail division.
The Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation (CIEF) is the national governing body for equestrian sport in the Cayman Islands and is a member of the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI). The CIEF holds four show jumping events and three dressage shows each year that are open to all equestrians in the Cayman Islands.
(Photos by Tanya Ziemniak)