Equestrians shine in the final leg of the 2024 Grand Caraibe Tour

Bahamian equestrian athletes Katerina Coello, Sienna Tinker and Erika Adderley made a strong showing in the final leg of the 2024 Grand Caraibe Tour at Les Ecuries de la Coulisse in Trois-Rivières, Guadeloupe. They were coached by European-based Grand Prix rider and trainer Rai Burch of Bermuda. Like all the riders visiting from other countries, they rode horses donated by riders from stables across the island of Guadeloupe.

The competition featured 52 riders from 8 countries (Antigua, The Bahamas, Bermuda, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin and Suriname) competing in three height categories: Espoir (obstacles 0.85 – 0.90m); Elite, (obstacles 0.95 – 1.0m), and Grand Prix (obstacles 1.05-1.10m). Day 1 of the competition was a speed class while Day 2 was held in a two-round format, with the first round against the clock and a jump-off in the event of first-round ties. All courses were designed by FEI Course Designer Joseph Martin of France.

Results were as follows:

Espoir Division:

Katerina Coello aboard Victoria St. Pierre: Day 1 – 6th place; Day 2 – 5th place; Overall 4th/34.

Elite Division:

Sienna Tinker aboard Titeuf: Day 1 – 4th place; Day 2 – 14th place; Overall 8th/18

Grand Prix Division

Erika Adderley aboard Dixit du Cap: Day 1 – 10th place; Day 2 – 6th place; Overall 8th/10

Katerina was also named “Most Elegant Rider” of the competition.

Thank you to Coach Rai and to Chef d’Equipe Heidi Mello (BER) for their assistance, the organizers at Les Ecuries de la Coulisse, and the equestrian community of Guadeloupe for their warm hospitality!

Congratulations to all riders and we look forward to participating fully in the Grand Caraibe Tour in the coming season!

Kacy and Angel finish top 10 at Live Oak in FEI Grand Prix

Congratulations to Kacy Lyn Smith and her 14-yr old Oldenburg gelding D’Angelo 6 for being in the ribbons and in the money in their first FEI Grand Prix together! Kacy and ‘Angel’ were one 30 combinations who took the field in the FEI CSI 1* $5,000 Manestream Logistics Grand Prix at Live Oak International in Ocala, Florida, last weekend. Thousands of jumping fans were on hand to watch the athletes tackle German course designer Olaf Petersen Jr.’s deceptively trickly course of 17 obstacles in the grass Grand Prix field. Several duos picked up time penalties for being over the time allowed, while many more saw their rides unravel as rails hit the ground. In the end only 5 riders advanced to the jump off.

Kacy and Angel rode a bold track right up to the pace, with the pair’s only error coming at the big Ariat oxer at fence 9. This was one of the trickiest jumps on course, that proved to be the undoing of several duos. The winner of the class was the USA’s Abigal McArdle aboard Samuel Parot’s I&H Boogy Woogy, one of only two pairs on the day to ride a double clear. In the end, Kacy and Angel were fast enough, even with 4 faults, to finish in 10th place! See more pics and watch their round here!

Bahamian Equestrians Shine in Grand Caraibe Debut

Equestrian athletes Katerina Coello and Sienna Tinker made the most of The Bahamas’ first-ever invitation to the Grand Caraibe Equestrian Competition Tour, using the golden opportunity to showcase their talents and the quality of Bahamian equestrian sport.

The Grand Caraibe Tour is a prestigious, internationally renowned show jumping event highlighting exceptional equestrian talent amongst the southern Caribbean nations of Suriname, French Guyana, Martinique and Guadeloupe. In recent years the competition has begun to involve other nations in the region as the organizers recognize the potential to offer a unique platform to foster inter-Caribbean exchanges.

Top junior riders Katerina Coello and Sienna Tinker did the honours for The Bahamas in our debut, competing as Individuals in the Espoir (1.0m) category in the Martinique Leg of the Tour, which took place at the EquiLibre facility in Le François, Martinique. 100 athletes from 8 nations (Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Bermuda, French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Martinique and Suriname) competed at three levels (Espoir, Elite and Grand Prix) on Martinique-based horses dedicated especially for the competition.

Coello, riding Kenybest, and Tinker on Valentino des Graves rode superbly throughout the two-day competition, making easy work of French Course Designer Joseph Martin’s initial track of 12 obstacles and a 6-obstacle jump-off. On Saturday Tinker (Valentino des Graves) and Coello (Kenybest) placed 6th and 11th respectively out of 43; on Sunday, Coello and Kenybest made the jump-off and finished 13th. Tinker and Valentino had a strong round but finished with four faults, dropping them out of the ribbons.

The athletes rode under the guidance of the Bermudian Grand Prix rider Raishun Burch and Level 3 FEI Official Heidi Mello, who most recently served as Chef d’Equipe for Bahamian rider Millie Vlasov at the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games. Equestrian Bahamas Federation President Cathy Ramsingh-Pierre, who also made the trip, thanked Burch and Mello for their expertise and willingness to guide the Bahamian athletes. At the same time, she praised the athletes’ local coaches. “Our athletes’ performances were a testament to the excellent technical foundation that they have received in their training programmes at home. So their success has been a victory for our entire equestrian community.”

Ramsingh-Pierre also thanked M. Didier Bigot, President of the Comité Régionale d’Equitation (CRE) Martinique, for the warm welcome offered to the Bahamian delegation. “My goal in accompanying the riders was to connect with the organizers of the Grand Caraibe Competition Tour, and to secure invitations to future events so that our riders can be a part of the robust competition series that exists in the southern Caribbean,” explained Ramsingh-Pierre.

Mission accomplished: The Bahamas looks forward to competing in the fourth and final leg of the 2023-2024 Grand Caraibe Tour which will be held in Guadeloupe, May 8-12, 2024. The Federation hopes to field a complete team, accompanied by local coaches, for the event.

2023 Caribbean Equestrian Association Mini Jumping Challenge

Riders braved stormy weather to compete in the Bahamas leg of the 2023 Caribbean Equestrian Association Mini Jumping Challenge, meet Bahamian Show Jumper Millie Vlasov and get a chance to see what a 1.50m jump really looks like! Thanks to Moonstone Stables for hosting the event. Congratulations to Team Bahamas members Gabriella Moran, Sienna Jones and Alexis Osazuwa!

Full results below:
Height Class A:
1st – Alexis Osazuwa/Coraggio di Essere
2nd – Sienna Tinker/Salt and Pepper
3rd – Marlo Pinder/Rags to Riches
4th – Connor Watkins/Fiona
5th – Anouk Formige/Valentine
6th – Hannah D’Aguilar/Rags to Riches

Height Class B:
1st – Sienna Jones/Lea’s Pride
2nd – Emma Johnston/Valentine
3rd – Sennen Fitzmaurice/Lea’s Pride
4th – Emma Euteneuer/Flight of the Phoenix
5th – Isabella Coello/Laureanna CF
6th – Hannah D’Aguilar/Coraggio di Essere

Height Class C:
1st – Gabriella Moran/Fiona

FEI Coaching Course A Success

FEI Tutor Jaime Morillo led two fantastic days of learning and fellowship in the FEI Introduction to Olympic Disciplines Coaching Course, held at Mariposa Stables. Congratulations to the six local coaches and three visitors from Bermuda and Cayman Islands who participated. Local coaches who successfully completed the programme included Erika Adderley, Mickael Baillieux, Frances Doyle, Kimberly Johnson, Amber Lleida, and Danielle Lowe. Thank you also to our demonstration riders and all sponsors and supporters who made the event a success.

Mariposa Monarchs edge out CEC Blue Marlins in first BIEL Show

Mariposa Monarchs won the hotly contested fall BIEL show at Mariposa Stables by just one point!
Results: Mariposa Monarchs 1st – 40 points; CEC Blue Marlins 2nd – 39 points; Mariposa Gold Drops 3rd – 38 points; CEC Sand Dollars 4th – 35 points.

Congratulations to all riders who received their certificates for successfully completing Rider Certification Exams.

VLASOV FINISHES HIGH IN OLIVA GRAND PRIX, CONTINUES QUEST FOR PARIS

Millie Vlasov aboard Gulliver du Saint-Chene turned in an impressive performance in the CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prix at the MET Autumn Tour II in Oliva, Spain, finishing 12th out of 50 rider/horse combinations from 19 countries.

Millie and Gullie were unfazed by the rainy conditions on course, navigating Swiss Course Designer Gerard Lachat’s twisting track of 13 obstacles the course in a fast time of 73.80 seconds and going nearly clear until dropping an unlucky rail at Fence #11. Although the dropped rail meant that they could not advance to the jump off, the pair finished on four faults with the 5th fastest time in the first round. In the end this was good enough for 12th place, a share of the prize money, and most importantly, an opportunity to earn more of the ranking points needed to earn a qualifying spot to represent The Bahamas in Equestrian Show Jumping at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

In Olympic Equestrian sport there are limited slots allocated to Individual athletes, based on their position in the FEI Longines Rankings as determined by their performance in major show jumping competitions in the calendar year. With just a few weeks left in the year to amass more points, Millie is one of a dozen individual athletes in FEI Olympic Groups D and E (North, Central and South America) vying for one of these coveted slots. Nonetheless she remains determined, saying: “It’s my dream to represent The Bahamas at the Olympics. It’s a challenge but I’m up to it!”

A successful weekend of learning

Our first Educational Weekend of the season was a rousing success! The weekend began on Friday evening with a Parent Education Clinic featuring a presentation and Q&A session by prominent Equestrian Canada Senior Show Judge Di Langmuir. On Saturday and Sunday, riders from CEC and Mariposa tried their hands at EB’s rigorous Rider Certification process.

This is the first of several Educational Weekends planned for the season. Watch this space, results will be online next week!

DRESSAGE IS BACK BAHAMAS TAKES ON CARIBBEAN IN CEA MINI DRESSAGE CHALLENGE

Dressage is back in The Bahamas in style with a fantastic competition held at Mariposa Stables on September 30, 2023. Well done to all and a huge thank you to all parents, sponsors, volunteers and officials, especially FEI 4* Judge Mr. Cesar Torrente (COL).

Special applause to riders Lorrinda Maura (Adult Training Level 1), Gabriella Moran (Adult Introductory Level B), and Katerina Coello (Childrens Introductory Level C) who posted scores of 70% or more.

Above all, congratulations to those whose scores make up the Team Bahamas entry to the CEA Mini Dressage Challenge:

  • TEAM BAHAMAS (Childrens) – Katerina Coello, Sennen Fitzmaurice, Ella Saidi.
  • TEAM BAHAMAS (Adults) – Erika Adderley, Danielle Lowe, Lorrinda Maura.