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Equestrian Enthusiasts Come Together For The “Spooky Spectacular” Show Jumping Competition

Equestrian Philippines, Inc. (EquestrianPH) takes the title banner for a series of competitions of the Manila Polo Club, launching the EquestrianPH Indoor Championship Series 2019 with a Halloween-themed event

Equestrian enthusiasts came together at the Manila Polo Club last Saturday, October 26 for “Spooky Spectacular,” the 5th MPC Show Jumping Competition. It showcased Philippine-based riders in Halloween costumes under the Indoor Championship Series 2019 sponsored and organized by Equestrian Philippines Inc. (Equestrian PH), a top provider of equestrian training, management, and competition services in the country.


The indoor season runs annually from September to December at the club’s indoor arena which features world class footing, keeping competitions protected from the rains that come during this time.


Manila Polo Club Equestrian Committee chairperson Nina Herrera Huang and Equestrian Philippines Inc. president Carissa Coscolluela | Photo by Juan Carlo Medina, courtesy of EquestrianPH
Dani Aliaga, Reena Lagdameo, Equestrian Philippines Inc. communications director Anton Barretto | Photo by Juan Carlo Medina, courtesy of EquestrianPH

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“This is the first time EquestrianPH is sponsoring this season series. We’re very excited about it because it’s a series of shows that lead up to the championship title. We thought, to make it interesting, we should have different themes for each competition,” Equestrian Philippines Inc. president Carissa Coscolluela tells Metro.Style. “This first one is a costume competition in line with Halloween and it adds a different dimension to the usual competitions. The riders were in costume, the horses in costume, there were prizes for everyone. It was a fun show. It’s the first show of the series so it posed introductory and fundamental questions of the horses and riders. We kept it friendly, easy, and interesting.”


Team Equisport’s Nikki Aboitiz, Janine Felix, and Harvey Alumisin in Star Wars-themed costumes. | Photo by Daniel Soriano

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Made possible by special tie-ups with JFJC Equestrian Training Services, Leviste Equestrian Park, Metro Society, and Metro.Style, the event featured classes in different height categories, ranging from 0.60m up to 1.20m. The course was built by German national Dieter Heinz, an accredited 3* course designer of the Federation Equestrian Internationale with 40 years of experience as an FEI official in international tilts that include five Olympic Games.


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"There’s a course and you and your horse are meant to jump as clear as possible. As you knock fences down, you incur faults, so the rider with the least faults and the fastest time, to put it simply, is the winner,” explains Carissa prior to the event.


Paola Lorenzo topped the highest category at 1.20m on her horse Rubis Landais as Nicole Camcam won in 1.10m on Aralea T. The latter also came first in the 1.00m category riding Com Amber, while Lorenzo placed second on Happy Cooper in the same class.


Mohamed El Akkad bagged first place on Cooper in the 0.90m category, ahead of Nikki Aboitiz on Astuce Courcelle and Lara Zobel on Lobelia, while Aaliya Lalonde won both 0.75m and 0.65m classes on Odeon du Marey.


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Lara Zobel in dalmatian costume in the 0.90m class with Lobelia | Photo by Juan Carlo Medina, courtesy of EquestrianPH
Paola Lorenzo winning the 1.20m class with Rubis Landais | Photo by Juan Carlo Medina, courtesy of EquestrianPH
Nikki Aboitiz in Star Wars-themed costume in the 0.90m class | Photo by Juan Carlo Medina, courtesy of EquestrianPH
Anda Lagdameo on Serena in the crossbar class | Photo by Juan Carlo Medina, courtesy of EquestrianPH
Nicole Camcam receiving her awards from German course designer Dieter Heinz | Photo by Juan Carlo Medina, courtesy of EquestrianPH
Paola Lorenzo takes top honors, awarded by Nina Herrera Huang, Carissa Coscolluela, and Dieter Heinz | Photo by Juan Carlo Medina, courtesy of EquestrianPH
From left: Nina Huang, Carissa Coscolluela, Paola Lorenzo, Nicole Camcam, and Dieter Henz | Photo by Daniel Soriano
Costume contest winners: Lara Zobel, Nicole Camcam, and Nikki Aboitiz receive their prizes. | Photo by Daniel Soriano

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The next competition dubbed “Ride for Life” will be held on November 16 for the benefit of the Philippine Red Cross. Carissa shares, “We’re asking riders to find sponsors for themselves. A rider finds a sponsor, if you win first place, the sponsor’s going to donate a pre-committed amount to the Red Cross so that the riders are not just riding for themselves—for the victory in the sport—but also riding for a cause."


This first leg of the series encouraged riders to compete in costume, with prizes awarded for best costumes as well as for the usual competition placings. Riders placed first in their respective height classes earned 10 points, those placed second earned 6 points, and those placed third earned 2 points. The same points system will be applied at "Ride for Life." The final leg, "Oh What Fun It Is to Ride," will be on December 7, where points will carry a double coefficient. The riders with the highest cumulative number of points per category at the end of the series will be named category champions, and a coefficient system which gives weight to classes with higher obstacle heights will determine the overall series champion.


Photographs by Daniel Soriano