The Caribbean Equestrian Association (CEA) recently announced the results of the 2022 CEA Mini Jumping Challenge, with Bahamian rider Katerina Coello obtaining the top overall individual score.
Over 40 riders across the Caribbean competed in the event. Each leg of the challenge was held in a different country, allowing athletes to compete on their own horses over a pre-set jump course built to international specifications and contested at three different heights. Those heights were Class A (0.50 meters), Class B (0.60 meters) and Class C (0.70 meters).
The Bahamas joined the CEA in February 2022 and held its first mini jumping challenge event in October 2022. The jumping rounds were judged on the concept of ‘optimum time’, designed to give riders an understanding of the correct speed at which a show jumping course should be ridden under international rules. The order of finish in each class was dictated by how closely the rider’s time matched the optimum time of the course.
Under these conditions, The Bahamas’ Coello who rode TGIF of Mariposa Stables here in New Providence, was near perfect. She finished just 0.02 seconds off the optimum time which was enough to edge Barbados’ Kai Cook-Johnson by three-hundredths of a second, to earn the top scorer award.
Besides posting the top individual score overall, Coello, age 14, was also named the individual winner of the Class C height. Bahamian teammates Storm D’Arville and Ella Saidi were also named as finalists in that height class, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively.
Equestrian Bahamas President Cathy Ramsingh-Pierre praised all the riders, and Coello in particular, for their excellent performances.
“Katerina was fantastic, and Storm and Ella also had very strong rides,” she said. “They have shown that we can hold our own with the rest of the region in equestrian sport. We congratulate Katerina and commend all our riders for representing The Bahamas so superbly in our very first mini jumping challenge.”
While dominating the top of Class C, Team Bahamas fared not as well in the lower height Classes A and B. Overall in the team competition, The Bahamas placed third behind Bermuda and Barbados.