Happy New Year and Congratulations to Millie, Peyton and Mila on being recognized!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! to Peyton Wong, voted one of The Nassau Guardian’s Top 10 Junior Female Athletes of the Year.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! to Mila Sands, who finished out of the top 10 but received votes for special mention.
And finally, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! to Millie Vlasov, The Nassau Guardian’s 2nd-ranked Senior Female Athlete of the Year. Millie was edged out of the top spot by only 1 vote!

Congratulations to Millie Vlasov: Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture 2020 Sports Champions Awards Finalist – Vote Now!

Equestrian Bahamas is proud to announce that Millie Vlasov has made the list of Finalists for the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture 2020 Sports Champion Award!

Bahamians all over the world thrilled to hear our National Anthem playing for the first time ever in an international equestrian arena, after Millie’s CSI 1* win aboard Beaumont M/V at St. Tropez earlier this year.

The nomination for the 2020 Sports Champion Award is a tremendous honour not only for Millie but also for Equestrian Sport in the The Bahamas. Please show your support for Millie and for Equestrian by casting your vote today!

To Vote:

Congratulations to our Princeton Equestrian League Finalists 2020

Placements:

ALEXIS NEYMOUR: Children’s/Adult Medal 2’6” – 5th Place
SARA GOTTBERG: Children’s/Adult Medal 3’ – 5th Place
ALEXIS OSAZUWA & TRADE SECRET: Leapfrog Jumpers 2’ – 8th Place
MILA SANDS: Children’s/Adult Medal – 3rd Place; Low Children’s Equitation 2’6” – 5th Place
STORM D’ARVILLE & VALENTINE: Leapfrog Jumpers 2’ – 6th Place KATHRYN GOULANDRIS: Children’s/Adult Medal 3’ – 7th Place HANNAH D’AGUILAR: Modified Rider 2’3” – 5th Place

Peyton Wong riding her own Shadowfax in the Camperdown Equestrian Centre Annual Show

Wong Makes the Leap to Collegiate Equestrian Competition

Equestrian athlete Peyton Wong hasn’t allowed COVID-19 or the Freshman blues to get in the way of pursuing her training.

The Queens College graduate began her freshman year at the University of Tampa this fall and will ride for the UTampa Equestrian Team under trainer Karey McGee. Wong is a Business major, currently studying International Business and Marketing.

Wong is no stranger to success in the show ring. In high school she rode her horse Shadowfax to multiple victories in Jumper classes under trainer Kimberly Johnson of Camperdown Equestrian Centre. A three-time Finalist for the Equestrian Bahamas Junior Sportsmanship Award, she also captained the Queens College Interscholastic Equestrian Team and represented Team Bahamas at the IEA International Invitational in Conyers, Georgia last February.

Wong looks forward to taking her riding to the next level. Although competitions are currently suspended, she focuses on remaining show-ready by training with her team at a riding facility about 30 minutes away from the University of Tampa campus.

“The plan for this semester is to take the time and train since shows are cancelled,” said Wong. “In the spring semester we will be having 10 shows where we will be traveling all over Florida, some parts of Georgia and maybe Alabama depending on the shows.”

The UTampa Spartans compete in Region 5, Zone 5, of the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA). This highly competitive Zone encompasses colleges and universities across Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Millie Vlasov and Beaumont M/V are pure gold in St. Tropez!

Congratulations to Anna Camille Vlasov and her horse Beaumont M/V on their victory this weekend in the CSI 1* 1.30m Grand Prix competition at the Jumping du Golfe de St. Tropez HUBSIDE Event in St. Tropez, France!

A victory at the CSI 1* Grand Prix level marks a significant milestone for Equestrian Sport in The Bahamas. The success of our riders abroad reflects not only the talent and dedication of our athletes, but also the foundational quality and technical relevance of our local instructional programs.

Watch Millie’s winning rounds
Watch Millie’s anthem ceremony

Equestrian Bahamas remains committed to supporting Bahamian riders at every level of the sport. Congratulations again to Millie…we send our best wishes to her and to all our Bahamian riders who are doing great things abroad!

Read @ The Nassau Guardian…
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Equestrian Bahamas teams up with IEA to create history

It has been a year of achievements for Equestrian Bahamas, and this past summer, the federation achieved another milestone by expanding its youth scholastic riding program to partner with the United States-based Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), becoming the first international affiliate in IEA’s history.

Equestrian Bahamas considers it a tremendous honor to have been chosen by the IEA as their first international partner. Both organizations emphasize promoting riding as a sport for all and as a pathway to educational opportunities.

The launch of the partnership was originally scheduled for October 2020, but unfortunately has been postponed until the 2021-2022 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IEA is the largest interscholastic equestrian league in North America with over 14,500 members in 46 states. The Bahamas has been designated Region 13 of IEA Zone 4. That zone covers Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Unfortunately, this exciting development faced a major roadblock with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the IEA competition season already underway in the US, The Bahamas region officials were forced to make a difficult decision to postpone participation until next season.

Local trainers Erika Adderley-Coello, of Mariposa Stables, and Kimberly Johnson, of Camperdown Equestrian Centre, were appointed as region president and region vice president, respectively.

“We were disappointed to have to cancel this year’s participation in the IEA as the new Region 13 due to COVID,” said Adderley-Coello. “We are grateful that IEA officials agreed with us [in] postponing our start to next season.”

Through its affiliation as an IEA region, riders in the Bahamian Interscholastic Equestrian League (BIEL) will travel each year to compete against riders from all over North America. The relationship opens the way to multiple educational opportunities such as access to thousands of dollars in IEA college scholarship awards, and participation in the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Equestrian College Search Program.

One young rider, Mila Sands, has already benefited from the Equestrian Bahamas and IEA partnership. Sands, a 10th-grade student at Queen’s College, was a part of the Bahamian team that rode at the IEA Zone 4 Invitational in Conyers, Georgia, in February. Her stellar performance earned her the Steward’s Award: a fully paid, week-long summer experience at the prestigious Chatham Hall School in Chatham, Virginia. Sands was unable to attend this summer because of the pandemic but was granted an extension to attend in 2021.

Equestrian Bahamas and the IEA continue to share a common mission of promoting equestrian sport to school-age riders and providing competitive and educational opportunities. Riders and coaches look forward to participating in the IEA next year.

Read at the Guardian

The show goes on for Bahamian Equestrians abroad

Bahamian show jumpers abroad are seizing the opportunity to shine in the ring, as equestrian event organizers worldwide begin to establish a “new normal” for showground competition after months of event cancellations due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. For equestrians Marcus Davis, who trains in Canada, and Anna Camille Vlasov, who is currently based in France, it’s back to training and competing as usual.

This year, there is one big difference whenever Davis or Vlasov enter the ring – the Bahamian flag on the Jumbotron in the Grand Prix arena! Both riders are focused on qualifying for the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, scheduled to be held in Panama in 2022.

With equestrian competition on hold earlier this year due to Covid-19, Davis used his time out of the saddle to participate in social media campaigns to raise awareness for diversity in equestrian sport.  He returned to competition in July, riding in his first Grand Prix competition. At the Angelstone Tournament in Ontario, Davis and his mount El Porvenir Corro put in two strong rounds in the 1.15m Jumpers to finish 5th out of a field of 22.

Vlasov has been active on the European circuit since competitions resumed. Last week, in Deauville, France, she and her veteran equine partner Beaumont M/V placed 3rd out of 42 in the 1.15m class. While Vlasov noted that Beaumont is “in his retirement phase” and just “having fun winning”, she is very excited about her elite competitive prospects with her new mount, Etos HBC. At Deauville the pair had a clear round in the 1.30m class, finishing 24th out of 78 in a time of 74.21 seconds. Vlasov was enthusiastic about the performance, noting that Etos is a young horse and still has a lot to learn. “I’m so pleased with [his] progress,” she said. “Hopefully next show we can start the bigger classes.”

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Bahamas Interscholastic Equestrian League takes on a new look: Equestrian Bahamas and IEA forge partnership as Bahamas Joins IEA Zone 4

Dear Fellow Equestrian Bahamas Members,

Equestrian Bahamas is proud to announce a partnership between the Bahamas Interscholastic Equestrian Association (BIEL) and the US-based Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA). As of the 2020-2021 show season, The Bahamas has been designated as Region 13 of Zone 4 of the
IEA: the first international regional affiliate in that organization’s history!

Congratulations to Mrs. Erika Adderley-Coello of Mariposa Stables and Mrs. Kimberly Johnson of Camperdown Equestrian Centre on being appointed as Region President and Region Vice-President, respectively, for this newest Region of the IEA Zone 4.
BIEL and the IEA share a common mission of promoting equestrian sport to school-age riders by providing affordable competitive options as well as exposure to collegiate recruitment and educational opportunities, without the need for horse ownership. Based on a competition format that levels the playing field while maintaining affordability, BIEL and the IEA give riders the opportunity to develop their competitive skills in a fun, team-based format, while at the same time laying the foundation for competing at the collegiate level. As IEA members, BIEL riders will have access to multiple opportunities such as:

• Access to over $15,000 in IEA Founders College Scholarship Awards
• Enrolment in the USEF Equestrian College Search Program
• Opportunities to attend IEA clinics and complimentary memberships/benefits with select IEA partner organizations
• Competitive opportunities abroad, representing The Bahamas as Region 13 of IEA Zone 4!

Through BIEL and its affiliation as an IEA Region, Bahamian riders will have the opportunity each year to advance to IEA Zone Finals and possibly even National Finals, competing against riders from all over North America. The affiliation with the IEA has necessitated some restructuring of BIEL, but our mission and values remain the same: equestrian sport for all! We hope that you will choose to join us on this exciting journey. Here are some important things to note:

• All riders in Grades 5-12 who reside in The Commonwealth of the Bahamas can participate
• Riders must be members of Equestrian Bahamas and of the Interscholastic Equestrian League
• To participate you must be affiliated with a team – This MUST be done through your trainer…contact them now to express your interest!

To learn more, ask your trainer…or explore our updated website, including an informational flyer, the new BIEL Rule Book, links to the IEA website and more. In this partnership with the IEA we see a wonderful opportunity for our junior members to further explore the joys of competitive riding in a fun, team format while reaping multiple benefits. We encourage you to become involved!

As we return to riding Equestrian Bahamas encourages you to continue to adhere to mandated health and safety protocols in your barn and at large, to protect yourself and those around you. As a community we are strong and resilient, and together we will emerge from this crisis. Our world may well look different, but we will still be united by the love of the horses.
Warmest regards,

Cathy Ramsingh-Pierre
President Equestrian Bahamas

BIEL and IEA in Partnership - Promotional Flyer

Equestrians Address Diversity in Sports

Against the backdrop of civil unrest being played out across North America in recent weeks, questions about underlying ideals and values and systemic discrimination are being raised… not only regarding race, but also in gender and in other forms. Athletes in various sports have spoken out on this topic. Last week, Equestrian Bahamas participated in a virtual Zoom discussion about diversity and inclusion in horse sports which was hosted by Heels Down Magazine.

The discussion featured four Black equestrians who shared their experiences as horseback riders in America, and their ideas on improving diversity and inclusion in the sport. The panelists represented a cross-section of Black participants in equestrian sport, including an amateur rider; an agricultural entrepreneur with over 15 years horse experience in reproduction and barn management; a successful trainer and activist, and a professional Grand Prix rider.

Mrs. Bonnie Davis, Secretary-General of Equestrian Bahamas, participated in the Zoom discussion and described it as “an eye-opening experience”. One hot topic of discussion was the financial constraints which pose a major challenge for Equestrian athletes from all small island nations, particularly athletes aiming to compete at the highest levels. These challenges can be met through stronger support at the corporate levels.  During the panel discussion Davis addressed the issue of sponsorship, noting that, “Many of the large equestrian clothing companies, for example, have limited diversity…how do we change this mindset?”

Davis’ son, Marcus Davis, is an aspiring Bahamian equestrian who embodies the modern diversity of the sport. Marcus began riding at age 7 with local instructor Kimberly Johnson. He later moved to Canada to pursue his academic and equestrian goals. A Senior at Queens University studying Applied Economics, Marcus trains with world-renowned trainers Amy Millar and Alex Grayton at Millar Brooke Farms in Perth, Ontario. His goal is to qualify for and represent The Bahamas in the upcoming Pan-American Games.

“The values of diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity are embedded in the Mission and Core Values of the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI), the governing body of Equestrian Sport,” noted Cathy Ramsingh-Pierre, President of Equestrian Bahamas. “Equestrian is already the highest-ranked sport in the world regarding gender equality. On the world stage, national Equestrian Federations are now focused on achieving the same degree of equity and inclusion with regards to race, not only in principle but in practice. Here in The Bahamas, we are proud to participate in a sport where race is not an issue. Gender is not an issue. As a Federation we are about promoting the principles and values of responsibility, sportsmanship, and ethical competition while enjoying the bond between rider and horse. Our mandate is inclusion – a sport for all.”

Bahamian Rider Qualifies for World Championships

Bahamian rider Reine Pagliaro qualified for the 2021 Young Rider World Endurance Championships in Ermelo, The Netherlands, when she finished her second 120km/75 mile Endurance race at the Fun in the Sun Endurance competition held at Williston, FL, from March 13-15, 2020.

Reine and her mount, Beautiful Knightmare, a 10-year old Arabian gelding owned by Mary Kathryn and Peggy Clark of Eatonton, Georgia, added a First FEI Young Rider 2* level competition to their list of accomplishments. In November 2019, the pair swept the Young Rider division by winning the 2019 North American Endurance Championship event and the overall 2019 USEF North American Endurance Championship title. In 2018, Reine rode the Clarks’ Gaila Whisper and their JG Btash in two 80km/50 mile events, finishing as the highest-placed FEI Young Rider in both races.

Endurance is one of eight Equestrian Disciplines contested on the international level. It is a long-distance competition against the clock, testing the speed and endurance of a horse and challenging the rider over their effective use of pace, thorough knowledge of their horse’s capabilities and ability to cross all kinds of terrain. An Endurance course is divided into phases, with a compulsory halt for a veterinary inspection after each.
Pagliaro, who is 16 years old, is Bahamian but lives and trains in the USA. Her successful qualification for the Young Rider World Championships means that The Bahamas will be represented in this event for the first time ever.