Barbados has captured the top spot in Zone 10 (the Caribbean) in the 2015 FEI World Dressage Challenge held at the Congo Road Equestrian Centre on March 15th.


With a total score of 199.970, our local riders have ousted Cayman Islands, Haiti, Trinidad, Jamaica and Bermuda for the coveted Zone 10 title, which was won in 2014 by the Cayman Islands.  The Caymans had to settle for third place this year, while Jamaica took second spot.


Barbados’ total score will now go up against about 50 countries around the globe that participated in this prestigious event and the final international placement of Barbados will be known by the end of the year.


FEI International Judges, Elke Ebert of Germany and Mariano Santos of Spain spoke highly of Barbados’ performance and the overall quality of our Dressage riders. These two Judges travelled throughout the Caribbean to ensure the judging was of the same standard at each venue.


A team of four riders was chosen after the vet check on Saturday March 14 and the scores of the top three of these team members were tallied for the total Barbados score adding extra points for higher levels of tests performed.


The 2015 FEI WDC team chosen comprised of Roberta Foster, Mackenzie Manning, Bree Anne Hurdle and Erin Stephany, this latter rider being one of the top show jumpers on the island.


The scores of the former three riders comprised the total team score, as although Stephany and her mare, Stella Blue performed brilliantly in both the Preliminary Adult and Elementary Adult Tests, placing second and first in these tests respectively, the scores of the other three riders were higher and hence her score was dropped.


The former Pan Am and CAC Games Dressage rider, Roberta Foster, on her beautiful Dutch warmblood mare, Chichic, received the highest score of the day with 69.86% in the Advanced Test, which has also earned her the number one position in the region in the Advanced Test. As is often the case, Foster proved to be the anchor for the local team and she is the trainer of two other team members--Bree Anne Hurdle and Mackenzie Manning.


Hurdle, an up and coming twelve year old, rode Michelle Elliot’s Vivaldi to victory in the Children’s Preliminary Test with the third highest score of the day of 66.29%. Hurdle also took top spot in the Children’s Elementary Test with 65.95%, which earned her the top spot in the region in this category. She will surely be off to the Children of the Americas Dressage Invitational (CADI) in Boston again this year, as one of Barbados’ representatives in this prestigious international competition.


 The ultra-talented fifteen-year old Mackenzie Manning, riding her equally talented gelding Sisco in the medium test, won this section easily with a score of 63.81%. Manning also placed second behind Foster in the Advanced Test, riding this high level test for only the third time since she is only now old enough to ride at this high level of Dressage under the FEI rules. She is definitely following in Foster’s footsteps and will certainly be an International Games rider to be reckoned with in the future.


Resident Frenchman, Camille Martin, performed brilliantly on Mario, a young and spirited horse owned by Monique Archer, and gained the second highest score of the day with 67.16% in the Preliminary Adult Test. He won this Test easily, far ahead of the other competitors in this category.


Akoele Shorey, another former Pan Am and CAC Games rider, astride her handsome locally bred stallion Galantino, did not disappoint fans and pulled out all the stops for a 65.53% score in the highest test of the day, the Prix St. George Test. Shorey placed second in the Zone 10 region with this fantastic performance. 


The prize giving ceremony took place the following evening at the Coconut Court Hotel, while Dressage lessons by the visiting Judges were offered to each rider the day after the FEI event before these Judges returned to Europe