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BARBADOS - dressage

FEI/PSI World Dressage Finals

Akoele Roachford riding Swedish warmblood stallion “Carush” during the FEI World Dressage Challenge Clinic.

Web Posted - Tue Jul 06 2004

Akoele Roachford, one of Barbados’ top riders, was quite a commendable performer at the FEI/PSI World Dressage Finals which recently concluded in Aachen, Germany.
Roachford took second place overall following very fine performances competing against high quality opposition.

Akoele was the overall winner of the regional Dressage Challenge to qualify to compete at the World Dressage finals.

Akoele started the world tournament in great fashion placing first on the opening day. She followed this performance with second place finishes on the second day and also on the final day. < Read more >

Compliments of the Barbados Advocate

Akeole stands tall in saddle -

Sunday 18, July-2004

From the sunshine of Barbados to the wind and rain in Hagen, Germany, Akoele Roachford – one of Barbados’ top equestrians – braved the weather conditions to place second in the International Equestrian Federation World Dressage Challenge recently.

South African Andrea Harrison won the challenge with 67.87 per cent, Roachford was second with 64.45, and Bridgette Davidow of Namibia, third with 61.87 per cent.

Roachford could count herself unlucky. After winning the first qualifier with 67.5, then placing second in the other with 66.04, the points were notcarried forward.

“They requested a redraw the second day. Everybody got new horses and because it was done in such a rushed manner, none of us got to try those horses, but they accommodated the fact that people thought it was unfair.

“I could live with that because the system was a bit unfair. If you get a good horse you do a good ride, at least a better one than if you had a bad horse. But I think it is really odd with the two different scales of judging,” Roachford said.

“It was really exciting. I was exposed to international competition last year when I went to the Pan American Games, and I had to do all of my qualifiers in the United States, but somebody sponsored a horse for me to qualify.

“It was exciting to go out again, I love showing. It is nice to know even though you do a sport that people consider to be a snob sport, the people that deal with it are actually nice people. Most, like me, can’t afford to have a horse so they have a sponsor that maintains them and they are still able to show.”

Among those who helped make the trip possible were her sister Tove and friend/manager Anna Warren who allowed her to use their horses; and Roberta Foster, who attended in 2001 and 2002, gave some pointers as they were not able to afford a coach.

Last Friday, the Barbados Equestrian Association held a luncheon to thank the National Sports Council (NSC) and the media for their support. President Alison Elliott presented a picture of Roachford aboard Wakidi, the winning horse in the first qualifier.



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Elliott also thanked hosts Southern Palms Beach Hotel where the judges stay when they come to Barbados.

“When people look at equestrian (sport) and a Barbadian competing in Germany, the first thing that would come to mind is, why are you going to waste time, a small country of 270 000 people, going to compete against the Europeans in this vast country. But we can see that you have paved the way and we hope that others will follow and bring some recognition in the sport of equestrian to Barbados and the region,” said Erskine King, NSC director.

Meanwhile, Roachford continues to look towards her ultimate goal of some day going to the Summer Olympic Games.

“Next year I would like to get into the finals and if I do, I would like to do well. I would feel it is not a fluke. I would love to go to the Olympics, but you need a horse of a certain standard and he needs to perform certain movements and those horses are very expensive. Without a sponsor that is probably not going to be a reality, but as a rider that would be my next step.”

Compliments of the Nation News

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