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MBABANE – They may not have been the best team but what a great maiden start at the Inter Africa Cup for Eswatini.

Four young riders in Lia van Wyk, Chloe Thorne, Brendan van Kooten and Coral Taman as well as adult Lara Emmett did well during the FEI Group IX Inter Africa Cup 2019 held in Penbritte Equestrian Estate near Johannesburg.

This was from May 15 to 19 where the regional event incorporated riders from Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe as well as Eswatini. Lia was placed third in the Elementary Medium in dressage warm-up classes and Chloe was just out the placings finishing 6th for show jumping.

Chloe was placed third in the Elementary dressage. For show jumping individual championships, Brendan ranked seventh  in the Championship (in a class of 30) and Chloe was just outside the placings. The team average was average 60.49% placed fourth.

The Swaziland Equestrian Federation (SEF) Secretary General Sue Elsey confirmed the results and said the SEF team of young riders had the privilege of experiencing this year’s Inter Africa Cup. “Competition levels and pressure were extreme for the young participants who competed in dressage and showjumping disciplines,” she said.

While Brendan and Lara took their own horses, Faiths Final Impact and Woof, respectively, to compete in their disciplines, Coral, Chloe and Lia rode on borrowed ones that they selected the day before the competition. Elesy said this raised the challenge of the competition for them but provided an invaluable experience in competing in regional/international competitions.


She added that all team members rose to the challenge of the four- day competition.
“It was an impressive effort from our dressage team with an average age of 17.  While it should be noted that the extreme competition pressure of such a prestigious event did negatively impact certain aspects of team members’ performance at times, only more exposure to these types of competitive environments is going to improve their performance in their future equestrian careers,” said Elsey.

She also highlighted that credit should also be given to Lara, who has had the least away-show competition and does suffer from nerves before her competitions, but she held it together well for her team and led the SEF team’s Dressage scores throughout.

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