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Caribbean Equestrian Association Championship abandoned

Published:Monday | December 28, 2015 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott
Wates

After 18 years, the Caribbean Equestrian Association Championship has been abandoned. The shortage of horses was the main reason given for the cancellation, as horses were in short supply and were insufficient for the championship to go ahead.

Since 1997, the championship gave young riders from the region the opportunity to compete against each other, and the scrapping of the tournament is seen as a major blow to the sport in the region and for the young aspiring riders.

Jamaica's coach, Susan 'Betty' Wates, in a television interview, explained that owners invest a lot of money and put a lot of commitment into their horses, and with the changes taking place economically, these owners are finding it increasingly difficult to lend their horses to a host of riders for this tournament each year.

However, Barbados coach Di Clarke does not believe it is all bad for the young regional competitors.

Clarke argued that competition in the region has evolved, and they will continue to have invitational tournaments in the various countries. However, because the Caribbean championship is a borrowed-horse competition, Clarke believes the young participants will perform better when they have their personal mounts at their disposal for these invitationals, adding that the invitationals will still help cultural exchanges to continue.

Jamaica won the first of their seven Bernard Payen Memorial Shields in 1998. This was followed by victories in 1999, 2000, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2014. Jamaica won their last championship with 12 faults, ahead of Trinidad and Tobago, who won the two previous tournaments, with 14.