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BEF face tough Olympic decision

Bermuda Equestrian Federation (BEF) will once again have to make what may be a contentious decision of whether to send either Jill Terceira or Patrick Nisbett to the show jumping event at next summer’s Olympic Games. Terceira earned the Island a spot in the London Games while competing at the Pan Am Games last week with an eighth place finish. Nisbett, however, failed to make it through to the final round. The BEF now face the same dilemma that they were confronted with heading into 2008 Olympics when the equestrian event was held Hong Kong rather than host city Beijing. On that occasion Nisbett won the right to carry the flag for Bermuda after a three-legged competition that decided the winner, a decision that left Terceira fuming when the BEF made the announcement. But she finally made the trek on board her horse Chaka after Nisbett took his name out of the hat, citing his horse, Antille, was not fit to go after attempting to jump at a show in Spain in the building to the Games. BEF president Mike Cherry said yesterday he wasn’t sure which rider his committee would select to compete in London. “That has yet to be decided,” said Cherry. “What will happen is that the committee will sit down and make recommendations on who they think should go and we will go from there. “We don’t know how it will be done yet. “The situation as it stands is that the spot has been given to the country and we must decide who will ride for Bermuda. “This is the same process in which we decided the 2008 rider and will do it again this time around.” Terceira and her horse, Bernadien, excelled in Mexico, beating out the likes of six-time Olympian Ian Millar and number one world ranked rider Eric Lamaze. However, she still needed some help to secure an Olympic spot as she had to rely on the performances of USA riders. As the rules state, the FEI (world governing body) only allocate Olympic spots per region, with Bermuda grouped along with Canada, USA and the Caribbean. Bermuda’s hopes hinged largely on the Americans qualifying a team, something they did in fine style.

Jill Terceira in action in 2010.