By Eve van den Bol
On Sunday, Cayman's elite dressage athlete, Jessica McTaggart took an important step on the road to international competition when she rode her horse Loris 7 in the FEI Intermediate 1 test for the first time ever, scoring an impressive 65.23% at the first National Dressage Show of the season, which was held at the Equestrian Center. The FEI Intermediate 1 test is the harder of the two tests that McTaggart will need to ride in order to obtain a qualifying score to compete at the next Central American & Caribbean Games which will take place in Panama in 2022.
McTaggart was clearly pleased with her ride, "While there are a few things we still need to work on, overall I couldn't have asked or expected more from Loris. He is an amazing horse that continues to develop with time."
The Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation (CIEF) flew in Bill Woods, a USEF "R" judge from Ocala, Florida, for the competition. Other highlights from the show include newcomers Sandra Gowrie and Nadia Thompson who competed for the first time at a CIEF Dressage show. Marley Trench also debuted her new horse, Gitana RDL, on whom she won both of her classes and the award for Junior High Point Champion. McTaggart was named Adult High Point Champion for her ride on Bandalero.
The second of the four National Dressage Shows scheduled for this season will take place at the Equestrian Center located on the Linford Pierson Highway on March 29th starting at 8:00am. As always, spectators are welcome and admission is free.
For more information on the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation, including a calendar of events, please visit ciefcay.com.
Winners of each class in decreasing order of difficulty were:
• FEI Intermediate 1 — Jessica McTaggart riding Loris 7
• USEF First Level Test 3 (Adult) — Jessica McTaggart riding Bandalero
• USEF First Level Test 3 (Junior) — Kayla Mannisto riding Ray of Light
• USEF Frist Level Test 1 (Adult) — Leah Alberga riding Kartouche
• USEF First Level Test 1 (Junior) — Marley Trench riding Gitana RDL
• USEF Training Level Test 3 (Junior) — Marley Trench riding Gitana RDL
• USEF Training Level Test 1 (Adult) — Leah Alberga riding Moon Lady
• USEF Training Level Test 1 (Junior) — Olivia Ziemniak riding Teddy
• USDF Introductory C Test (Junior) — Sierra Martin riding Fly With Me
• USDF Introductory B Test (Adult) — Sandra Gowrie riding Joey
• USDF Introductory B Test (Junior) — Alyssa Hislop riding Amarilla