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!”