Cheng places third in dressage event


Courtesy Isabel Cheng

Sophomore Isabel Cheng leads the school’s Dressage Club.

Freshman Isabel Cheng, a member of the Wildcat Dressage club, took home a second and third place win last week at Dancing Horse Dressage & CT competition at Wickham Park.

Dressage is a highly skilled form of riding; the horse and rider perform a series of movement with precision, balance and suppleness. At competition, a group of judges scores each movement separately.

Cheng competed in two different categories, Training Level Test 1, Novice Horse or Rider and Training Lew Test 1 Open.

“I received 65s on both tests, and 70s are high scores,” Cheng said. “So I’m really happy with my results.”

Cheng hopes to improve as she becomes more experienced in dressage.

“I only started dressage this year, with the Dressage Club,” she said, “I’m more experienced in jumping and equitation riding.”

Cheng rides her horse Mila, and the interaction between her and her horse is her favorite part of dressage.

“I enjoy the partnership between you and an animal,” she said. “It requires teamwork. And it puts you in a family of horseback riding.”

Cheng participates in the equitation sport to support her ambitions of becoming a veterinarian.

“It’s preparing me to become a veterinarian,” she said. “It helps me get experience with working with large animals, which is the branch I want to go into. Being in Dressage Club teaches me different ways to work with them.”

Senior Megan Lee started the school organization in December 2014.

“It’s really special we have a Dressage Club here,” Lee said. “It is the first high-school Dressage Club in Brevard County.”

Lee wanted to make Dressage Club appealing even for non-riders.

“My club also gives them a chance to learn more about the sport,” she said. “For riders, West Shore Dressage club offers students the opportunity to train year-round and represent their school in Dressage competitions.”

Currently, Dressage Club has five members: Isabel Cheng, sophomore Kaitlyn Hagopian, freshman MacKenzy Kologulu, junior Smriti Sanjay-Gopal, and Megan Lee. This is Cheng’s first year in Dressage club.

“Isabel has been a great addition to the club,” Lee said. “She’s an experienced rider with a lot of passion.”

Members compete in Dancing Horse Dressage competitions held at the Wickham Park Equestrian facility. Their next competition will be held March 10.

By Haley Alvarez-Lauto