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Equestrians Vaz, Walter win for Jamaica
Jamaica, represented by Justin Vaz and Jason Walter, emerged overall champions of the annual Caribbean Equestrian Association (CEA) junior showjumping competition on the weekend, despite losing the final leg at the Kingston Polo Club, Caymanas Estates.
Coming into the final leg, the leaders with 15 points, Jamaica could only manage third, victory going to the Trinidad and Tobago's pair of Christina Rostant and Sandhya Moll.
After four rounds of jumping in the Mayberry-sponsored event on Saturday, the Trinidadians won with five points as the competition just managed to escape heavy mid-afternoon showers.
Trinidad and Tobago finished two clear of Barbados (Emily Kinch, Anne Meik-Mackie) in second, followed by Jamaica with two points and Bermuda, one.
Having won three of the four previous legs in Cayman, Bermuda and Barbados in September, Jamaica did enough to win the Bernard Payten Memorial Shield which was held by Barbados for the past two years.
As was the case in Barbados, the locals were again represented by 14-year-old Campion College student Vaz and Wolmer's High student Walter, who turns 13 in February.
National coach Betty Wates was happy that Jamaica were able to dethrone Barbados as champions.
"Justin and Jason did not do as well as when they rode in Barbados some weeks ago, but I was satisfied with their performance nonetheless as they ensured that Jamaica kept the lead. They are two very promising youngsters and I think they stood up to the pressure fairly well."
Trinidad's coach, Patrice Stollmeyer, said her girls did well, even though Jamaica prevailed in the overall standings.
"I am very pleased with their performances. Christina and Sandhya are quite inexperienced but they got a lucky draw by getting the easy horses first (smaller striding horses) and took advantage of this."
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Hillel student Bianca Fedele and Jason Walter were among the winners in the power and speed category on Sunday.
Riding for team Buju Banton, Fedele teamed up with the Bermudian Patrice Wain to top the 16 and over section ahead of the Sean Paul team (Emily Kinch, Joseph Adam), Bob Marley team (Justin Vaz, Gabby Ralston), Shabby Ranks team (Christina Rostant, Adam Black) and team Beenie Man (Rostant, Stephanie Stewart).
The 12 and under category was won by team Bounty Killer, represented by Jason Walter and Stephanie Gregg. Associate sponsor was Lasco.
- O. C.