Katie_Macoun_copy.jpgOttawa, Ontario — Kati Macoun, 14, of Calgary, AB, finished 12th at the 2008 FEI International Jumping Children’s Final held December 9–14 in Bogota, Colombia.

Riding a borrowed horse, Miel, a 12-year-old chestnut mare, for the entire competition, Macoun competed in the First Qualifying Round and was clear to place third out of 32 starters.  In Second Qualifying Round, Macoun finished sixth.  As the top 16 riders advance to the Final, Macoun easily made the cut.  In the Final Competition, Macoun had two rails to finish in 12th place overall.

Chloe Aston of Great Britain won the competition with a clear jump-off round in a time of 36.17 seconds.  Shannon Smith of Russia placed second with four faults in a time of 41.08 while Andresa Quadros of Colombia was third after posting the fastest time, 35.72 seconds, but incurring eight faults.

“I thought my trip to Bogota was an experience of a lifetime,” said Macoun, who trains with 1986 World Show Jumping Champion, Gail Greenough.  “The people were so friendly and helpful.  The horses were good and the competition was tough.  I met so many kids that I would like to visit again, both from Colombia and other countries.”

Greenough, who accompanied Macoun to the FEI Children’s Final in Bogota, noted, “Kati was an absolute pro in Colombia, both in and out of the ring.  Her composure in foreign surroundings was rock solid, and her focus in the ring was perfect.  Not only was Katie on an unfamiliar horse, but she was also bombarded by the media and some quick communication lessons had to be learned.  With riders like Katie coming up, our future in show jumping sport in Canada is well protected.  I am very proud of her.”

Macoun earned the right to represent Canada through her placing at the FEI Children’s Final Qualifier held at the Thunderbird Summer Festival in Langley, BC, which was one of two qualifying competitions held in Canada in 2008.

The FEI International Jumping Children’s Final is for show jumping competitors aged 12 to 14.  Each country is represented by a maximum of two riders with the exception of the host country, who is entitled to have a number of competitors equal to the number of foreign entries.  Foreign riders compete on borrowed horses, supplied by the host country.  The competition was created to promote and encourage talented young riders by giving them the opportunity to experience international competition with support from the FEI.