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Dressage riders aiming high at test event

Preparation work: Angela Halloran-Smith, back, training Claire Salmon and her horse G.P. Sophia (Photograph by Jamie McDowell)

The Bermuda Dressage Group will hold their first competition of the season this weekend at the National Equestrian Centre on Vesey Street.

Starting at 9am, the competitors will each ride their tests, which consist of set choreography from the United States Dressage Federation, in front of Judge Nancy Lindroth from North Carolina.

The tests being ridden range from Introductory level for the beginners up to Prix St George level, one of the highest levels in dressage competition.

The riders are all aiming high this weekend and using this competition as a warm-up for the FEI World Dressage Challenge 2016, which will be held on November 12.

Team Bermuda won the competition last year for the Caribbean zone. This year the FEI, the International Federation for Equestrian Sports, has implemented a rule change and now the dressage riders are competing for individual and country world rankings.

Angela Halloran-Smith, the Bermuda Dressage Group president, said: “Although this is the first competition of the season, Bermuda’s riders have worked hard throughout the year, attending special boot camps and learning the new test choreography released by the FEI.

“This year we are competing for a team world ranking and riders are competing for individual world rankings. This will put riders against 52 nations including Brazil, South Africa, China and New Zealand, to name a few.”