EQUESTRIAN athletes were rewarded for their efforts during the year when the TT Equestrian Association (TTEA) held their 2019 End of Year Awards at the scenic San Antonio Farm in Santa Cruz, on Saturday. The athletes and administrators were delighted with the efforts in 2019, but were anticipating stronger performances in the forthcoming year.
Awards were distributed for the dressage league and jumping league in a number of categories that included junior and senior athletes.
Sara McCartney, a long-standing member of the TTEA and a FEI (International Federation for Equestrian Sports) judge, said the awards distributed were based on the number of points the athletes accumulated during the competitions in the dressage and jumping league.
McCartney, discussing the forthcoming year, said, “We will continue the dressage league and the jumping league and continue to improve it. We need to get more developed with our jumping horses because what happens with the horses is that it’s wear and tear on their joints, so you lose a few (when) they get old so you have to bring in the younger ones.” McCartney said the TTEA would like to compete in competitions abroad, but it is an expensive process to send horses to other countries.
Vice-president of the TTEA and FEI judge Vashish White, said for the past few years high level FEI judges have been coming to Trinidad to train local coaches and athletes in an effort to improve the standard of equestrian locally and he wants this to continue.
Sandhya Moll, who was the first level senior champion in the dressage league, was delighted with her performance in 2019 and wants to see the sport continue to grow in TT.
“One thing is spreading the word, there is a lot of people that don’t know about our sport so I think a lot more people need to know about our sport. Within the sport I think that everyone needs to push themselves a little bit and (get) out of their comfort zone. Sometimes it really helps, sometimes it may not work but I think it is something that is necessary.” Justynne Fletcher, 11, is the reserve champion in the advanced beginner category in the jumping league. Fletcher, speaking about the fun she has in equestrian, said, “I like being able to jump high on the horse and just ride. I feel very free when I am on the horse and comfortable.”
Annabella Hill, 11, who rides a horse named Morocco said she wants to improve in 2020. “I am hoping to achieve a jump of one metre...(my highest jump) is .85m. I have to practice a lot and come to all my practices and work very hard.” Hill said Morocco is a handful at times as he tries to open his stable door, but Fletcher’s horse is more disciplined. Jessica Pagee, 13, who has been riding for the past six years, is the maiden level champion in the jumping league.
Pagee said 2019 was a learning experience. “I have been able to ride some of the green (young) horses in competitions and learn from them and they could learn from me about competing...I did have falls, I did have accidents but it was all part of me learning and the horses learning as well and I think it was a very enjoyable experience for me.”
Fourth Level Senior
Champion - Luisa Fernandes - 340 points
Third Level Senior
Champion - Patrice Stollmeyer - 340 points
Reserved Champion - Lena Dempewolfe - 320 points
Third Place - Nicola Chatoor - 300 points
First Level Senior
Champion - Sandhya Moll - 430 points
Reserved Champion - Gabrielle Marhue - 410 points
Third Place - Asha Bansee - 380 points
Training Level Senior
Champion - Katherine-Ann Pyke - 410 points
Reserved Champion - Sara McCartney - 330 points
Training Level Junior
Champion - Annabella Hill - 430 points
Reserve Champion - Jessica Pagee - 410 points
Third Place - Chloe Bain - 410 points
Fourth Place - Georgina Boos - 410 points
Fifth Place - Scarlett Selby - 380 points
Sixth Place - Justynne Fletcher - 340 points
Seventh Place - Caitlyn Sebastien - 320 points
Eighth Place - Amanda Thiessen - 270 points
Introductory Level Senior
Champion - Melanie Waddell - 400 points
Reserve Champion - Janelle Spencer - 310 points
Introductory Level Junior
Champion - Myrissa Maundy - 420 points
Reserve Champion - Charlotte Mack - 390 points
Third Place - Jamie Fletcher - 380 points
Fourth Place - Sophia Samaroo - 360 points
Fifth Place - Caitlin Whitling - 320 points
Sixth Place - Seanna George - 310 points
Seventh Place - Kyra Teelucksingh - 270 points
High Score Introductory and Training Level
Janelle Spencer - 68.75
High Score First Level and Higher
Sandhya Moll - 67.41
Champion - Charlotte Mack - 420 points
Reserve Champion - Justynne Fletcher - 360 points
Third Place - Caitlynn Sebastien - 300 points
Champion - Jessica Pagee - 430 points
Champion - Annabella Hill - 230 points