Bermuda riders up for the challenge
Bermuda will field seven riders in the annual FEI World Dressage Challenge at the National Equestrian Centre on Vesey Street on Saturday.
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.
Jeanne McDonald and Lois Yukins, both from the United States, flying in to judge the event.
Claire Salmon, the secretary of the Bermuda Dressage Group, said the event helped bridge the gap between local and international competitions.
“The beauty of the FEI World Dressage Challenge is that the riders are able to compete on the international stage without flying our horses to overseas locations,” Salmon said.
“We're hoping for a strong performance from Bermuda's riders, individually and as a team.
Team Bermuda triumphed in this year's Caribbean Dressage Challenge with a team of Angela Halloran-Smith, Dawn Fox and Suzette Sailsman, beating out competition from Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.
Halloran-Smith, riding Finnomenal, also secured the overall highest score of all competitors with 74.537 per cent in the adult second level test three.
Also securing top individual scores in individual tests was Rebecca Bartoletti on Finnomenal in the adult first level test three with 70.500 per cent.
In the adult four level test four, Dawn Fox, on Landtango, claimed victory with a score of 69.162 per cent and also won the adult intermediate one with 71.395 per cent.
Salmon added: “Team Bermuda won the Caribbean Equestrian Association's Caribbean Dressage Challenge, so we hope to continue to put out good scores.
“We're very lucky to have some wonderful support from our sponsors Orbis Investment Management Ltd, Aon Bermuda Ltd, HSBC Bank of Bermuda Foundation, Hinson Hall Stables, Transworld Oil Ltd and Hiscox.
“We're a small group and so their help is very important in allowing us to continue to compete at this level.”
The challenge, which includes 52 nations competing on home turf, will start at 10am with a veterinary inspection of all of the horses. The first horse and rider combination starts at 11am.