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Vaz, Wildish sweep CEA contest
The Jamaica Equestrian team, comprising Justin Vaz and newcomer Shelby Wildish, made a clean sweep in both categories of the Caribbean Equestrian Association's Junior Show Jumping competition in Bermuda on May 12 and 13.
Vaz, who led Jamaica to victory in the same competition last year, swept to a commanding victory with four clear rounds in the 16-and-under category, something no other rider in the competition was able to accomplish.
Wildish, competing in the 12-and- under category, acquitted herself admirably in representing Jamaica for the first time. She completed a double with a gritty two-day total of 13 faults, ensuring a clear sweep for Jamaica in both categories.
Important to Jamaica
Vaz is a 14-year-old student at Campion College. Willdish, 11, attends Hillel Prep. Both were accompanied by national coach Betty Wates, who noted that this victory was important to Jamaica if we hope to dethrone defending champions Barbadosin the two remaining rounds.
"The big test will be Barbados in September," said Wates. If we perform well over there, we should be able to hold on when the final leg is held here," she added.
The CEA competition is an annual event that brings together young riders from the Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda, Antigua, Barbados and Jamaica. One round is held in each country, with three countries visiting the host country. The country with the highest accumulated score at the end of the year will be declared the winner.In the opening round in January, Jamaica placed first in Cayman with Bianca Fidele and Steven McConnell representing.
As a result, Jamaica lead comfortably with 10 points, followed by Bermuda on six. The next leg takes place in Barbados with the final leg scheduled for Jamaica in November.
Wates disclosed that a Puerto Rican coach is currently in Jamaica to assist show jumpers in upgrading their riding skills. His one-week coaching stint started on Labour Day and this will take place at The Ponderosa, in Bog Walk, and also the Kingston Polo Club, Caymanas Estates.