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FROM LEFT: Zoe Thornton, Roberta Foster, Gina Hunte and Bree-Ann Hurdle did well in this year’s FEI World Dressage Challenge.

Foster puts in solid WDC score

Local dressage stalwart Roberta Foster led the charge as seven of the island’s top riders took on the rest of the globe in the 2018 International Equestrian Federation (FEI) World Dressage Challenge.

Hosted last weekend at the Congo Road Equestrian Centre under the supervision of international judges, Jeanne McDonald of the USA and Marian Cunningham of Peru, Barbados’ best put on a show as they racked up points in the worldwide competition.

As is customary, Foster and Chichic shone the brightest at the event, as the pair not only achieved the highest score of the day in the highest level test Intermediate 1 with 70%, but they also bettered their 2017 score in the same test with which they won the overall division in the World Challenge last year.

Also worthy of note is the fact that Foster has now attained her Certificate of Capability to represent Barbados at the 2018 Caribbean and Central American Games in July with qualifying scores in both Prix St. George and the Intermediate 1 on two occasions this year. She now only awaits final selection from the FEI in June, but she is almost a sure-shot for the CAC Games given her exceptional performances in both qualifiers.

In terms of the FEI World Competition, Foster’s team score was increased by 20% owing to degree of difficulty, and she has thus given the Barbados team an accumulated score of 84%. Foster’s sister, Gina Hunte, riding the stunning Man in Black, was also given a 20% increase on her score in the Prix St. George Test and ended with another superb team score of 76.06%.

Fifteen-year old Zoe Thornton, riding in her first FEI competition, did well enough to be chosen for the 2018 FEI team and produced the third-highest team score of 68% in the Youth Test on the Tammy Pinto-owned retrained thoroughbred, Valentino.

Bree-Anne Hurdle, who had finished in ninth spot internationally in 2017 in the Youth Division, rode as an adult for the first time in the FEI this year and she produced a sound score of 67.2% in the Senior One Test to win this division. Hurdle also won the Senior Two Division with 62.08% aboard the handsome, Vivaldi.

Jenni Wilson and JW Merlot placed second in the Senior One Test with a very respectable 62.5%, while Paige Tryhane picked up the third spot with 61.79% on Daisy. Tryhane also scored 55.36% on her stunning imported Czech stallion, Corlato, to also take the fourth spot.

Scarlett Farmer, at 11 years old, was the seventh and youngest FEI competitor in this year’s Dressage Challenge and she performed remarkably well astride her locally bred gelding, Rasmus, with 58.17% in the Youth Test. This was certainly the most challenging competition for this dynamic duo to date.

Participation in the FEI competition is allowed from the year a child turns 12 and in the year a competitor turns sixteen they are considered an adult. A team of four is chosen prior to the competition and the top-three scores of team members produce the final team score. Foster, Hunte and Thornton have thus given Barbados a total team score of a very competitive 73.825% and should put the island in the running for an international team ranking.

Several non-FEI classes were also held after the FEI Event and there were many success stories. Jessica Lammens won the First Level Test with 57.65%; Savannah Stuart won the Training Test with 59.89%; Lena Tempro won the Intro C Test with 71%; Marlie Pinheiro won the Intro B Test with 72.66%; Rylee Pinheiro won the Intro A Test with 70.16%; and Taylor Foster won the Lead-line Test with 74.38%.

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