The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) along with Bahamas Interschool Equestrian League (BIEL)-a division of Equestrian Bahamas will hold a Hunt Seat Invitational and Selection Trials on Sunday, December 8th at Mariposa Stables in Nassau, Bahamas. In addition to conducting regular rated horse shows, Equestrian Bahamas, a recently ratified member of Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI), is in their 3rd year of developing BIEL – a team-oriented riding program using a draw-based competition format similar to IEA.
The competition on December 8th will be judged by ‘R’- rated Hunter/Jumper judge, Linda Mancini of Warwick, New York and will serve as the Selection Trials for five riders who will advance to the first ever IEA International Invitational in Conyers, Georgia on February 15, 2020. These top five riders from grades 9-12 at the Selection Trials will represent the Bahamas as an upper school team in both fences and flat classes. The International Invitational will be held in conjunction with the IEA Zone 4/Region 1 Finals at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers.
President of Equestrian Bahamas, Catherine Ramsingh-Pierre, whose son is an alumni of IEA and rode on the Carriage Hill Farms IEA Team, contacted IEA Co-founder and Executive Director, Roxane Durant over a year- ago to discuss ideas on collaboration between the two organizations. Durant, along with IEA Zone Captain and Zone 4 Administrator, Simon Towns, will travel to Nassau this weekend to help conduct the Selection Trials and to learn more about the unique BIEL program.
“We are thrilled to be able to have this opportunity to expand outside of our U.S. boundaries and to witness the enthusiasm and talent of these young riders in the Bahamas,” stated Durant. “IEA has always been open to the idea of expanding our programs to include other countries and we look forward to hosting BIEL riders in February.”
“Equestrian Bahamas is excited that our high school equestrian athletes have been granted this tremendous opportunity to compete in the IEA International Invitational. As Bahamians we consider it an honor to be the first country outside the U.S. to be invited to participate in IEA competition,” stated Ramsingh-Pierre. “We look forward to welcoming our guests at the selection trials this coming weekend. Hopefully this is just the first step in a long-lived partnership!”
ABOUT INTERSCHOLASTIC EQUESTRIAN ASSOCIATION (IEA)
Now in its 18th year, the IEA has over 14,000 members across the United States riding and coaching Hunt Seat, Western and Dressage disciplines. The non-profit (501(c)3) IEA was organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle and secondary school students and is open to public and private schools and barn teams. There is no need for a rider to own a horse because the IEA supplies a mount and tack to each equestrian for competitions. Its purpose is to set minimum standards for competition, provide information concerning the creation and development of school associated equestrian sport programs, to generally promote the common interests of safe riding instruction and competition and education on matters related to equestrian competition at the middle and secondary school levels. For more information, please visit rideiea.org.
It is with great pride and pleasure that Equestrian Bahamas announces that we have been ratified by the FEI General Assembly in Moscow, Russia, as the official National Federation for Equestrian Sport in all International and Olympic competition. This ratification comes as the culmination of six years of dedicated work by many. The Board of Directors wishes to thank all officials, riders, parents and other supporters who helped to make this possible. In particular we wish to extend thanks to the Bahamas Olympic Committee for their unflagging support in our efforts to promote equestrian sport in The Bahamas.
The second horse show of the Equestrian Bahamas 2019-2020 season took place last weekend at Camperdown Equestrian Centre. The show was judged by USEF ‘R’-rated judge Mr. Scott Hofstetter of Ocala, FL. Saturday’s events included equitation classes at all levels (which continued into Sunday due to rain stoppage!) and featured great rides by Mila Sands and Sara Gottberg who were Champions in the Children’s and 15-17 Equitation Divisions respectively, as well as Alexis Neymour who won the Marshall and Sterling Children’s Medal and Elle O’Brien who placed first in the Bahamas Junior Classic Qualifier.
Sunday’s competition featured the first show of this year’s Bahamas Interschool Equestrian League (BIEL) series. BIEL continues to grow and and Sunday’s event was the largest in the three-year history of the series, with seven teams competing for the first time.
First place went to the Lyford Cay International School team, with Windsor School beating Queen’s College for second place by just one point. St. Augustine’s riders posted an impressive fourth place despite a team of just two riders, while Tambearly School and St. Andrew’s School placed 5th and 6th.
The next BIEL competition will be at the Annual Mariposa Holiday Jumper Show, on December 7-8, 2019.
Equestrian Bahamas launched the first show of the 2019-2020 season with a successful two-day event last weekend at Mariposa Stables. The show was judged by USEF ‘R’-rated judge Mr. Doug Bruce of Delray Beach, FL.
Classes were held at all levels of ability. Some young riders were entering their very first competition. Many of the riders moved up at least one level since last season, and enjoyed testing their more advanced skills for the first time in the show ring. The show featured the return of amateur adult riders to horse showing. Local veterinarian Dr. Amanda Pinder rode Relax Jack (owned by Shiloh Cox) to Champion Honours in the Child/Adult Amateur Hunter Division.
The highlight of the show was the Bahamas Junior Qualifier class and Sara Gottberg’s sparkling ride aboard Linda D’Aguilar’s Laureanna CF, scoring an 87 to win.
The next horse show on the calendar is the Annual Camperdown Horse Show on November 9, 2019. See you there!
This past weekend Equestrian Bahamas was honoured to host representatives from the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI). Mr. Mark Samuel, Vice-President of the FEI Board and Chairman of Group IV (North America and the Caribbean), and Mr. Francisco Porras Lima (Director of Governance and Institutional Affairs) visited us from September 15-17 to conduct a site visit. This site visit was the final step to our recognition by the FEI and the IOC as an official member National Federation of the international Olympic body.
During the site visit Mr. Samuel and Mr. Lima met with EB Directors and Officials, representatives of the local barns, and members of the Bahamas Olympic Committee to undertake a comprehensive analysis of our competitions, facilities, development programs and more. As a result of the visit, upon the recommendation of the FEI Board our application will be presented for ratification at the upcoming FEI General Assembly in Moscow. EB Board Member Mr. Peter Vlasov will be in attendance at the GA to represent Equestrian Bahamas.
Equestrian Bahamas wishes to thank Mr. Samuel and Mr. Lima, as well as the Bahamas Olympic Committee, for their support and encouragement. We also thank those who worked to organize the logistics of the visit and helped to make it a success!
Membership in the FEI presents tremendous opportunities to expand our grassroots programs, provide comprehensive training programs for our coaches and riders, and afford access to international competitive opportunities for our riders at every level. This is an exciting step forward for equestrian sport in The Bahamas. We look forward to hearing positive news from the General Assembly in Moscow!
EB’s very own Elle O’Brien shone brightly last Friday at the Marshall & Sterling League 2019 National Finals in Saugerties, New York, placing 12th out of 76 riders in the 2’6” Children’s Medal class.
O’Brien was invited to compete as a League Finalist by virtue of having accumulated qualifying points in competitions throughout the year. She was accompanied to the competition by her trainer, Mrs. Erika Adderley-Coello of Mariposa Stables.
Riding Stacey Vertullo’s bay mare “My Way”, O’Brien was the 28th rider to enter the ring, facing a jump course designed by Rian Beals. Under the watchful eye of the judges Mrs. Paddy Downing-Nyegard and Mrs. Amy Nunnally, O’Brien and My Way jumped a crisp and stylish clear round, eventually called back 8th for the final testing phase. A costly mistake in the test phase caused her to drop in the rankings, but in the end, the pair rode proudly into the ring to claim 12th place overall.
Equestrian Bahamas President, Cathy Ramsingh-Pierre, praised O’Brien’s accomplishment in placing so highly at such a prestigious competition, and noted the important role played by her trainer. “The Marshall & Sterling Insurance League is one of several international organizations with which Equestrian Bahamas currently partners to provide competitive opportunities for our riders,” said Ramsingh-Pierre. “Elle’s success at the League Finals is a testament to the abilities of our Bahamian riders, and to the competency of our training programs here at home in the Bahamas.”
Trainer Erika Adderley-Coello also praised O’Brien’s performance, noting that although there is always room for improvement, to gain a ribbon in such a large, competitive field was a notable accomplishment. “12th out of 76?” she said with a broad smile on her face – “I’ll take that!”