Bahamian equestrians bring home medals after final leg of the Grand Caraibe tour

BAHAMIAN equestrian athletes Katerina Coello, Sienna Tinker and Erika Adderley made a strong showing in the final leg of the 2024 Grand Caraibe Tour, bringing home broad smiles and a fistful of medals and awards.

The Grand Caraibe Tour is composed of four show-jumping competitions, held from October to May in the southern Caribbean. This season’s final leg took place in May at Les Ecuries de la Coulisse in Trois-Rivières, Guadeloupe, and featured 52 riders from eight countries (Antigua, The Bahamas, Bermuda, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin and Suriname).

The competition was run under French Equestrian Federation (FFE) rules and featured three height categories: Espoir (obstacles 0.85 – 0.90m); Elite, (obstacles 0.95 – 1.0m), and Grand Prix (obstacles 1.05-1.10m).

Day 1 of the competition was a speed class while Day 2 was held in a two-round format, with the first round against the clock and a jump-off in the event of first-round ties.

All courses were designed by FEI course designer Joseph Martin of France.

The Bahamas athletes competed as individuals (four riders were required for a team) and were coached by European-based Grand Prix rider and trainer Rai Burch of Bermuda.

Like all the riders visiting from other countries, they rode horses donated by riders from stables across the island of Guadeloupe.

Riding unfamiliar horses posed no problem for the Bahamian athletes.

In the Espoir Division, Katerina Coello aboard Victoria St. Pierre was one of the few riders in the competition with 3 clear rounds.On Day 1, she went clear in 66.31 seconds to place 6th in the speed class, and on Day 2 she posted a double clear in the first round and the jump-off to finish 5th.

In the Final awards ceremony, Katerina finished just off the podium, placing 4th of 34 in the Espoir Division, and was named “Most Elegant Rider” of the competition. In the Elite Division Sienna Tinker, riding Titeuf, posted a time of 70.20 seconds for the fastest round in the Speed class, a performance that was good enough for 4th place despite just clipping the final plank jump for four jumping faults.

Despite not making the jump off on Day 2, the pair rode strongly to finish 8th out of 18 overall in the Elite Division. In the Grand Prix Division, Erika Coello riding Dixit du Cap had a rough go the first day with four fences down, but rebounded on day 2, reaching the jump off to earn 6th place. Overall, she and Dixit placed 8th out of 10 in the Grand Prix Division.

Equestrian Federation president Cathy Ramsingh-Pierre, who accompanied the delegation to Guadeloupe, was full of praise for the Bahamian riders, and gratitude to the host barns of Guadeloupe and the organizers of the Grand Caraibe Tour.

“The Grand Caraibe Tour embodies a spirit of camaraderie and friendly competition combined with a high level of technical excellence,” said Ramsingh-Pierre.

“The Bahamas is honoured to have been invited to participate in these interactions which strengthen our bonds as equestrians in the region. We have been invited to participate in the full Tour next year, and our goal will be to field a complete team.”

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