Last weekend eight of Bermuda’s dressage riders competed in the 36th annual FEI World Dressage Challenge, a competition which bridges national and international levels of competition in the dressage community.
The riders, all competed on their horses at the National Equestrian Centre in Devonshire with the largest crowd of volunteers and supporters that they have had in recent years.
Over 30 countries including South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, India, Singapore and Peru have already competed in the 2016 FEI World Dressage Challenge, where each countries’ riders compete on their home turf with the judges travelling to the different locations to score them.
International Dressage judge Jeanne McDonald [USA], flew into Bermuda from judging the New Zealand riders for this competition. Speaking to Bermuda’s riders at their awards dinner following the event she described Bermuda’s horse inspection, where the riders present their horses for a fitness test, prior to the competition and in front of the judges and an official veterinarian, as “the best I have ever judged, including the professional riders that I see at the top international events”.
The highest test score of the day went to 16 year old Casey Truran and his horse De Le Vega scoring a 66.5% in the Juniors Elementary class. Judge Lois Yukins [USA] personally congratulated Casey on his score.
The Bermuda Team, which must be selected from the group, before the riders compete, scored as follows: Angela Halloran-Smith riding Finnomenal AV, owned by Rebecca Bartoletti, 66.172% in the Medium class, Dawn Fox riding her horse Lancelot scoring 64.079% in the Intermediate 1 class and Suzette Sailsman riding Paula George’s Wiriana with a score of 62.368% in the Prix St George class. These scores currently put Team Bermuda in 7th place in the team world rankings with 6 weeks of competitions left.
The remaining individual riders, who will receive FEI World Dressage Challenge world rankings at their levels of difficulty for 2016 are as follows: Robin Stempel and her horse Happy Feet scoring 63.5%, Kelsey Amos and her horse Wiratoro scoring 62.58% both in the Junior Elementary class. Claire Salmon and her horse G.P. Sophia scoring 60.078% and Jackie Scott with her horse Deportista scoring 53.281% both in the Medium class and Dawn Fox riding Ashley Gibb’s horse Landtango, scoring 60.921% in the Prix St George class.
“The Bermuda Dressage Group would like to thank event sponsors Aon, HSBC, Hiscox, Transworld Oil, Orbis, Sousa’s Landscaping and Hinson Hall Stables for their kind generosity. We would also like to thank the volunteers for their time and enormous efforts to get the show together and the riders and their coaches for their dedication over the last year while they trained for this event,” the BEF said.
“Veterinarian Dr Lucy Richardson of Cedar Tree Vets is also thanked for her time and strict organization on the day. Overall the competition was a huge success, the judges were impressed with Bermuda’s talent and the Bermuda Dressage Group have their fingers crossed that at the end of this year, we may be able to say Bermuda has a top 10 placing in the FEI WDC rankings.”
Click to enlarge photos:
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