MARIA Inez Garcia has been helping the Trinidad and Tobago Equestrian Association (TTEA) during the coronavirus.
The esteemed coach, who has been certified by the world governing body for the sport (International Federation for Equestrian Sports — FEI), has been sharing her knowledge online in “Zoom” sessions over the last two months.
Garcia has been here on coaching stints over the last four years and confessed that “I really like the country and the way riders take care of their horses.”
The Colombian, who was last here in March just before the shutdown for the global pandemic, pointed out that “these moments are moments of great transformation in sport and our lives and we should embrace this transformation, this new idea, the new technology and the new ways to be in contact with each other, with the IT platforms.”
Patrice Stollmeyer, one of the country’s leading riders, was not only instrumental in making Garcia’s visit possible in March, she was also the driving force behind implementing the “Zoom” sessions.
The recently-elected TTEA president, stated “Maria is the best dressage coach that I have been lucky enough to ride with. You can see she truly cares about each student’s betterment and well-being, pushing for the development of stronger riders in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Stollmeyer also said that many of the country’s leading young riders, including Annabella Hill and Fletcher siblings, Justynne and Jaimie, have improved their skills considerably because of the online sessions with Garcia.
The first local dressage competition in four months was staged at three stables in Santa Cruz a few weeks ago, and the first show jumping event since the shutdown is expected to take place this month.
According to the FEI, “Dressage is the highest expression of horse training where horse and rider are expected to perform from memory a series of predetermined movements.”