Teenager Amber Thomson continued to represent T&T with success, with her latest achievement recorded at the Winter Equestrian Festival held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida, last month, where she was awarded several prestigious ribbons.

Mounted on 16-year-old Argentine  thoroughbred, Vertigo, who is the same age as her, Thomson collected ribbons in almost every appearance at the arena, where they jumped the course with obstacles up to 1.2m high.

Thompson and Vertigo secured an eighth place finish in the opening speed class, but followed up well with a fourth place finish in the Classic Show jumping class, the next day when they jumped two clear rounds, but were beaten by time in the jump off.

In the “Clear Round gets a Ribbon” leg of the competition, held several days later, Thompson rode two clear rounds, following which she was awarded the celebrated ribbons.

On the following Saturday, in another Classic Show jumping class, Thompson and Vertigo conceded four faults in the jump off, but cleared the first the first round.

The, in the Children’s Modified jumper class, both rider and horse performed two outstanding clear rounds. The time in the jump off was 38.307 seconds, placing the pair third in a class of 40 entrants. The winner's clocked 37.674 seconds.

In the final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival, Thompson claimed another ribbon for riding a clear round. She and Vertigo went further to place second in yet another Classic Show jumping class with clear rounds in the first and jump off rounds and in a very good time on this occasion.

They were beaten by half a second by one of the last riders. On the last day of the competition, on March 29, the twosome placed fifth in the final Classic Show jumping class.

Once again the first round was a clear, but Thompson had a rail down in the jump off which unfortunately amounted to four faults.

Canadian equestrian and eight-time Olympiad, Ian Millar, congratulated Thompson on being awarded ribbons almost each time in the Classic Show jumping class.

Thompson has temporarily returned to T&T. She and 14-year-old Jordanne Brown will represent this country at the Caribbean Equestrian Association’s (CEA) Junior Jumping competition to be held in the Cayman Islands on both days next weekend.

Earlier in February, whereby part of the competition was held in Barbados, T&T placed first, represented by Hadley Rahael and Jordanne Brown. After competing in the Cayman Islands, Thompson will return to the Millar Brooke Farm in Canada where she will continue to ride and compete.


AMBER THOMPSON again flew the Trinidad and Tobago flag with distinction in the United States during the recently-held Winter Equestrian Festival events at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Centre in Wellington, Florida.

The 16-year-old, who is the same age as her Argentine thoroughbred Vertigo, was awarded ribbons almost every time she competed during the month, jumping courses with obstacles up to 1.2 metres high.

Thompson’s very best performance was delivered in the penultimate competition when she placed second in the Classic Show Jumping Class. One of the final riders in the event edged her by half-second to claim the top prize.

Earlier in the competition, Thompson had been beaten by less than a second again when she placed third from a field of 40 in the Children’s Modified Jumper Class.

Thompson and Vertigo placed eighth in the speed class, before subsequently finishing fourth in the Classic Show Jumping Class. The duo participated in the “Clear Round gets a Ribbon” leg of the competition and were awarded blue ribbons for producing two clear rounds.

{jcomments off}Soon after competing at the Hong Kong Sevens qualifiers last month, and graced with a full strength team, Guyana’s rugby team arrived in T&T confident and ready to move into its second successive Nacra Championship final, with an easy win over the host team in sight.

But, despite a valiant effort in the end, Guyana fell short by three points (needing a win to advance), while T&T celebrated among many things, a revenge win as well as a spot in the Nacra Championship final against North Zone winner, Mexico. The match ended 22-20 in T&T’s favour, but perhaps a bit too close for comfort considering the host team held a 12-0 lead at the half.

T&T will now prepare to challenge for a third Nacra Championship title (previous winner in 2001 and 2008) against final debutant, Mexico, on April 25 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

“Guyana would have been clear favourites as the defending champs,” said T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) president and avid rugby supporter, Brian Lewis, who missed the match and returned home from a work related trip in Miami, Florida. Lewis, however, kept pace of the match via social media, celebrated the important win, albeit by himself. “Winning a close, tough game versus our archrivals Guyana is great.”

The Guyana “Green Machine” won the three-team South Zone title last year after hosting and defeating T&T’s “Calypso Warriors” 15-8 in Providence.

There was an air of anticipation from both camps heading into the match. Based on comments from its local rugby union president, the Guyanese expected nothing less than a win.

T&T, on the other hand, prepared for battle with intense training sessions in the weeks prior, and given its 34-5 win over Barbados in the first round-robin match, and with an almost fully-fit team (excluding Jonathan O’Connor) there was little reason to believe that the “Calypso Warriors” couldn’t dethrone Guyana.

“The win showed the T&T team is maturing into a determine fighting unit. Guyana is not an easy outfit to beat when they have their best team available, and Guyana came with their best players,” Lewis said, adding that “it is now up to the T&T players and coaches to get back to the drawing board and improve. The final will be another hard battle.”

Meanwhile, T&T Rugby Football Union president, Leslie Figaro, who was at Fatima College Ground on Saturday, said, “(It was a) well spirited game by T&T. We held our nerve... The win is huge for me and our national programme given that Guyana has beaten T&T over the past few years. We have redefined our national programme and now (we’re) seeing the results.”

Figaro praised the team for its dedication to improvement. “Playing in front of your home crowd is always pressure. I commend the dedication and focus of the team’s training. (After more training) we are coming all out for Mexico.”

“(Against Guyana) our defence at times was excellent. Guyana has always been a true opponent.”

Looking forward to upcoming events, Figaro shared his confidence in each T&T rugby team saying, “We are going full out for the Caribbean Championship. The U-19 national team battle for King of the Caribbean in July in Miami, and both men and women’s national teams, the sevens team (are all getting better), the Olympic qualifiers in June. Rugby is here to stay.”


T&T’s chances of claiming a first ever Caribbean Netball Association Jean Pierre Youth (Under-16) Championship title suffered a heavy setback after they fell to a 0-3 mark in Castries, St Lucia, yeterday. Following a 17-234 loss in its tournament opener on Saturday night, the  Jayde Montoute-captained squad then suffered losses to St Vincent and The Grenadines, 14-21 on Sunday night, and in yesterday’s first session, at the Vigie Multi-Purpose Sports Complex, they went under to Dominica, 18-21.

On Sunday,  host and 2011 champions St Lucia followed up its win over Bermuda in the  15th edition of the competition with victory  over Dominica, and Bermuda upstaged Grenada. And in yesterday other early matches, Grenada got the better of St Vincent and The Grenadines while Barbados, winners in 2005 and 2012 overcame Bermuda.

Last night, T&T, which had its best finish of runner-up in 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2008, all to Jamaica and was fifth last year came up against Bermuda while it meets Barbados (Wednesday April 15) and St Lucia, a day later. The tournament was originally carded to be an eight-team event, but St Kitts/Nevis opted out earlier this week while defending champions and ten-time winners overall, Jamaica decided against defending its title.


Venue: Vigie Multi-Purpose Sports Complex, St Lucia

Shooting Competition, 4.15 pm
Dominica vs Grenada, 6.15 pm
St Vincent & Grenadines vs Bermuda, 6.30 pm
Barbados vs St Lucia, 7 pm

T&T vs Barbados, 6.15 pm
St Vincent & Grenadines vs Dominica, 6.30 pm
Grenada vs St Lucia, 7 pm

Dominica vs Bermuda, 6 pm
T&T vs St Lucia, 6.15 pm
St Vincent & Grenadines vs Barbados, 7 pm
Closing Ceremony, 8 pm


On Fatima College Ground on Saturday evening, the crowd held its collective breath in the final minutes of the North America and Caribbean Rugby Association’s (NACRA) South Zone Championship match.

Guyana had the home team Trinidad and Tobago pinned right back in defense of its slim lead. One try more and last year’s Champion would have a successful title defense and an upset of the hosts.

Both captains agreed that it was a battle befitting of the South Championship match, with Guyana’s Ryan Gonsalves putting it like this, “It’s always a battle between us and Trinidad where the scoreline between us is never too big. It’s good for rugby in the Caribbean where no one team can dominate all the time. Once we keep this competitiveness we can show all the rest of countries that rugby in the Caribbean is on the rise.”

Ironically, it was Gonsalves himself that made the difference, or rather, failed to make the difference for his team because of what he explained was a “poor kicking day”.

Gonsalves missed two penalty kicks in the first half and overall Guyana missed all four conversion attempts which totaled eight valuable points down the drain.

“We just had a poor first half and didn’t have enough time in the second half to get one more try. We just have to learn to suck up the ones that we lost. Well done to Trinidad and Tobago.” said the disappointed Guyana leader.

On the other side of things, T&T’s captain Adam Frederick was a bit more willing to give credit to his opposite number, perhaps because he knew that things could have gone very differently in the end.

When T&T took a 22-10 lead on an Andre Cabrera try, followed up by a successful conversion with 20 minutes left in the match, the result seemed to be a foregone conclusion. However, T&T’s twelve point advantage came under siege for those final 20 minutes and Guyana found success in getting over the line twice to cut their deficit to just 2. Thankfully for Gonsalves’ “poor kicking day” they could not add on the conversions which would have put them ahead.

“Guyana is always a difficult team at the end of the game and they always have a little extra. They just keep coming.” says Frederick. “It was a good fight by our boys. We needed to finish and we did that.”

T&T will aim to reclaim the overall NACRA title they last won in 2008 when they take on Mexico in two weeks, possibly right here at home.


Minister of Sport and Senator Brent Sancho made an early morning visit yesterday to the Mt D’Or Recreation Ground to meet with community representatives to discuss their immediate needs and plans for the space.

Sancho was accompanied by his Cabinet colleagues Surujrattan Rambachan, Minister of Works and Infrastructure and Christine Newallo, Minister of the People and Social Development.

According to Sancho, the tight-knit community’s recreational options are severely limited but he pledged to provide the necessary upgrade to the facility, which will have significant input from the Ministry of Works.

Among the short-term solutions identified were temporary bleachers to provide additional seating for the spectators from the community who rightly support their team in competitive games.

With support from the Ministry of Social Development in identifying the needs of sport organisations in the community, the Ministry of Sport will also provide football equipment such as goal posts to improve the standards of the competitive game. Sancho expressed hope that the infrastructure would be in place in time for upcoming football tournaments in the community.

He also noted the importance of grassroots sport and its contribution to national representation, and highlighted the community of Mt D’Or as one that can also boast of nurturing many young persons who developed into national athletes, proudly representing the red, white and black.

On Saturday, Sancho made an unexpected stop at the Beetham Gardens after noticing youths playing football on a small field while driving by.

The former Soca Warriors defender showed he has not lost his touch though, displaying his “keep-up” skills with the aspiring footballers.