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Walker, Stephany out of running

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Walker, Stephany out of running

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Heather?Walker and Erin Stephany both came up short yesterday in their bid to qualify for next year’s Youth Olympic Games in Nanging, China.
Both were eliminated, one in each round, of the FEI World Jumping Challenge Category A Competition at Yorkshire Grove, Christ Church.
Walker, aboard Super Trooper, rode a clear first round, navigating all ten of the barriers on the course. Stephany, 16, and Stella Blue were in their first Category A competition, and were not on the same page. After a number of knockdowns and two refusals, Stephany was eliminated in the first round.
Refusals affected 17-year-old Walker in the second round which comprised nine obstacles. After two refusals by Super Trooper, she was also eliminated.
Tristan Blades and Bayswater did not start, the latter coming up lame. While she could compete in Category A, she wasn’t eligible for the Youth Olympics.
That was the only chance Walker and Stephany had to qualify for the Youth Olympics which will be held from August 16 to 28 next year.
From 8:30 this morning, they will be in the second competition, which will be run as a National Championships, again comprising two rounds.
Meanwhile, judge Gloria Vinueza, who flew in from Ecuador, said it was “an unfortunate outcome” that both were girls were eliminated yesterday.
Vinueza told SUNSPORT there was more pressure on the riders because the field was so small.
The judge was unable to speak to the standard of the competition here having seen the girls jump only one course, but was full of praise for the Yorkshire facility which she said was “a beautiful place”. The ground overlooks the St George Valley, providing the perfect backdrop for the 45×65-metre course which was designed by Australian John Vallance.
In her recommendations to the Barbados Equestrian Association, Vinueza urged them to promote the sport more and try to secure more sponsors.
“They are trying hard. To bring an FEI show, and a judge from abroad just for two girls shows the association is willing to do things the right way,” Vinueza said. (SAT)

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