Tidbits of the Month - Equestrian Federation of Jamaica March - April 2014

M A R C H - A P R I L OF THE MONTH GOLDEN HORSESHOE PIC OF THE MONTH: BEAUTIFUL BAY COLT, ‘PHANTOM’ DOZES OFF , NESTLED IN THE LOVING EMBRACE OF CAYMANAS PONY CLUB RIDERS, SAVANNAH THOMPSON AND ELLA MC CONNELL. FRESH OUT THE STABLE SDF Funding The Sport Development Foundation (SDF) will continue to support the Equestrian Sport in Jamaica. They have approved an allotment of $107,500 per month for the development of our sport. We will use this funding to contribute to the running of shows, and clinics in an effort for all riders to enjoy and improve our sport. We would like to formally thank the SDF for their continued support of the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica. 2 0 1 4 Grand National Delivering another romantic racehorse story ‘The Grand National is as disrespectful of reputations and predictions as it is constant in converting flimsy dreams to far-fetched reality’ one BBC reporter writes. The 175th Grand National has again brought us another exceptional and romantic story of the improbable underdog delivering a sparkly-eyed saga of triumph. The Grand National, was held on April 5th, is a steeplechase at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England, which covers over 4 miles and 3.5 furlongs (7,141m) with horses jumping 30 fences over two circuits. It is the most valuable jump race in Europe. This is the first £1million purse for a Grand National, and won by such an unlikely team. Aintree had around 40,000 spectators, with an expectation of more than £1billion in overall bets. At 25-1, 11-year-old Pineau De Re defeated and far surpassed the odds stacked against him. This epic tale presents us with a jockey (Leighton Aspell), who retired seven years ago after his game seemed up and a trainer/part-owner (Dr. Richard Newland), with a part-time career as a family doctor and a stable of just 12 horses. He bought the horse with his long time friend (John Provan), with much lower expectations than the Aintree Grand National. Trainer Dr. Newland turned to Aspell only after his regular jockey chose to ride 13-year-old top weight horse Tidal Bay. Pineau De Re took the race with a clear victory of five lengths ahead of his rivals, followed by Balthazar King ridden by Richard Johnson (14-1) and then by Double Seven ridden by AP McCoy (10-1). This race remains the ultimate test of horse and rider, with 40 setting out and only 18 completing the course. It has been reported that all horses returned home without any experiencing serious injury. Over the past few years, many safety alterations have been made to the racecourse, including alterations to fence designs, shortening the race from 4 and a half miles, installation of a cooling down area for horses after the race and horses being spared the stress of posing for photographs right after the unprecedented exertion of the Grand National. It is important that we not only look at our sport within our country, but that we also open our minds to the vast horse world around us.