Serpell jumps to first by a second in equestrian event

| 02/03/2016
Cayman News Service

Polly Serpell riding Sunday’s Edition

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation (CIEF) held the first of the three-part FEI World Jumping Challenge (WJC) Sunday, 28 February at Cayman Riding School, with Polly Serpell pulling out a win by only a second. The event is designed to enable riders who live in more remote countries the opportunity to compete internationally without having to travel. Individual and team competitors are ranked by geographic region and by height categories.

For 2016, the CIEF is hosting Category C, which includes jump heights of up to 1.1 metres.

The WJC is organised into three separate events, which must be completed by each participating nation during the calendar year. Each event requires riders and their horses to compete over two different jumping courses, the first round for faults and the second round for both faults and time.

After the two rounds, riders are ranked by their total faults and the event winner is the rider with the least number of faults. Ties are broken based on the fastest time in the second round. After all three events are held, the total faults generated over the six courses determine an overall country and regional winner for the challenge each year.

Competing for the Cayman Islands in this year’s WJC are Youth Olympics bronze medallist Polly Serpell, riding her sister’s horse, Sunday’s Edition; Amara Thompson on her young horse, Second Kiss; and Jenna Boucher, with her horse, Edson Arantes MB. While Serpell and Thompson are veterans of the WJC, this was Boucher’s first time competing, although her horse participated in the event last year.

Serpell came out the winner of this event, but it was not until Boucher cleared the last jump and the time was announced that the results were known. In the first round, Boucher jumped clear while Serpell collected four faults at jump seven, putting Boucher in the early lead. Thompson’s horse had two unfortunate refusals, which resulted in their elimination.

In the second round, Serpell jumped first and knocked a rail on the very last fence. Boucher had two rails down, tying her with Serpell with eight faults, but her final round time was just more than one second off the pace, putting her in second place. Serpell also won the Best Presented Horse award.

Commenting on the WJC and the results, CIEF president Sharon Hinds noted, “This is the third year the CIEF has held the FEI’s World Jumping Challenge, and it is a testament to the growth of equestrian sports in the Cayman Islands and the talent of our local riders. The unique nature of this event enables our riders to showcase their talents on the world stage, without having to travel overseas with one’s horse.”

Following the WJC, the CIEF held open jumping classes at lower heights. Olivia Kluyver won the 0.6m and 0.7m classes on her horse, Shirley Temple. Lea Rado took the 0.8m class riding Never Ending Story, and Ashley van den Bol topped the 0.9m class on Whindlass.

The CIEF will be holding WJC Event 2 on 13 March at Cayman Riding School, which is located on Hirst Road in Newlands. The show starts at 8:00am and entrance is free.

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Category: Equestrian, Sports

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