Bermuda riders are gearing up to compete on Saturday February 23rd in the 2013 FEI World Dressage Challenge. This competition is entering its 33rd year with an estimated 54 countries participating in 2013.
Bermuda is competing in Group X of the FEI World Dressage Challenge; this group comprises of Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Haiti and Cayman. Judges Elke Hilde Ebert from Costa Rica and Mariano Santos from Spain are currently traveling to the competing islands and will make their first stop in Bermuda.
It is anticipated that Bermuda will have a strong group of riders and who are all hoping to repeat winning the Team portion of the competition during a preparation competition in November, the CEA mini Dressage Challenge. Expected entrants are Dawn Fox on Lancelot and Paula George on Wiriana competing in the Prix St. Georges Levels; Suzette Sailsman and Wiriana competing at the Advanced Level.
First time riders in the WDC in the Children’s division of the Preliminary Level will be Zoë Oleksak on Limited Edition, Nina Wehmeyer on Rumourhazit and Courtney Bromby on Jack Frost. Adult riders at the same Level will be Shelley Lewis on Kir Royale, Samantha Armano on After Dark, Michelle Ingham on Roseland, Jackie Scott on Scooby Doo, Erin Smith on Project Runway, Angela Holloran-Smith on Finnomenal, and Claire Salmon on G.P. Sofia. At the Elementary Level competitors are Jackie Scott on Scooby Doo, Angela Holloran-Smith on Helsinki Van De Heffinck and Ashley Gibbs on Landtango. Finally in the Medium Level will be Michael Rodrigues on Southern Eclipse and Ashley Gibbs on Landtango.
The major objectives of this worldwide Dressage competition are:
- To give the less experienced Dressage riders, who under normal circumstances, cannot take part in international Dressage competitions, in the more remote countries of the world, the opportunity to compete internationally without having to leave their own country.
- To promote the new generations. Last year, 276 Children from 52 NFs competed in the Challenge. A real progression comparing to 2010 and 2011 where respectively 200 [53 National Federations] and 248 [46 National Federations] participated in the Elementary and Preliminary competitions.
Internationally experienced FEI Judges will travel to the individual geographical regions of the world to judge this competition and give the riders a clinic to teach them the art of Dressage. Each Group of countries is judged by the same Ground Jury composed of 2 FEI Judges appointed by the FEI.
The FEI, Fédération Equestre Internationale, is the sole controlling authority for all international events in Dressage, Para-Equestrian Dressage, Jumping, Eventing, Driving, Para-Equestrian Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining. It is the umbrella organization that works in conjunction with National Federations of each member country to regulate and govern the equestrian disciplines [per www.fei.org].