Equestrian on the up – Avril
President of the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica, Denise Avril, said she is grateful for the support of sponsor Front Runners for the staging of Saturday’s Front Runner Jumping League at the St Ann Polo Club and Equestrian Centre.
The Super League section was won by Julian Hyde, riding Jiggy, who also took the High League section, riding Poppy’s Pride. Lackife Leslie, riding Harley, took the Medium League, Denise Avril took the Low League riding Ragashanti, and the mini league was won by Clementine Fitzgerald.
Avril said that the sport is once again on the rise and that she is hoping that the new crop of youngsters will continue to improve.
“We are really excited to have Front Runner on as a sponsor for the league. It is a sign of growth for us, and we hope to be able to continue that partnership for years to come,” Avril said.
“I do believe we are on an upward trend. The sport cycles, and for the past couple of years, we have been a bit down because we have lost riders going away to schools overseas. However, we have a lot of young riders coming up, and these shows are really a good experience for them in building their confidence. Even some of the older riders here do ride younger horses to train them, so it’s always a work in progress, and I do believe we are on an upswing,” she added.
Avril also encouraged the public to come out and learn more about the sport.
“The sport itself is established as we have been around for a long time,” she said. “We are trying to change the public perception of the sport. We want to tap into the wider public and encourage them to come out. They may not be interested in riding, but just to come, enjoy the day, and watch the horses. We have some eight to 10 shows for the year.”
Avril said that Saturday’s show was the first leg in a three-showcase series and will be followed by one in June at the Kingston Polo Club, before the final event back at Drax Hall in July.