HISTORY OF BERMUDA EQUESTRIAN FEDERATION
The Bermuda Equestrian Federation (BEF) was formed to enable local riders to compete for their country
internationally. In 1975, Reggie Cooper, then President of the Bermuda Olympic Association, invited Joan
Taplin, Harriet Richold, Mary Frances Gaglio and Ann Lindroth to the 1975 Pan Am Games in Mexico as
observers. They decided that Bermuda could hope to compete in the Three-Day Event and could also hope to compete in Dressage and Show Jumping in the future. In 1976, they formed the Bermuda Equestrian Federation (BEF) and secured membership with the International Equestrian Federation. The BEF went on to be incorporated in 1999.
In 1980 Peter Gray became the first Bermudian rider to compete internationally. Riding his horse Gunnar, Peter took part in the three-day eventing competition at the ‘alternate Olympics’ at Fontainebleau. Colonel Michael Guowski coached Peter and also provided support and coaching to other Bermuda riders for many years.
During this period, junior riders were encouraged to set their sights on the North American Young Riders Championships (NAYRC). Under the guidance of trainer Carol Blackman, Katie Cook and Garry Roque became the first Bermudians to compete at NAYRC in the discipline of eventing. Subsequently, Nicola DeSousa, Dennis Cherry, Heather Cowen, MJ Tumbridge, Carla Stempel (nee Simmons) Louise Wakefield, Joanne Rayner, Gina Flood & Peter Hind competed in NAYRC’s eventing competitions. Jill Terceira, Melissa Flood (nee Pereech) and Rayman Butterfield also competed at NAYRC in show jumping. In 1993, dressage rider Michelle Ingham competed at NYRC and successfully achieved a bronze medal.
In 1999, at the three-day event in Winnipeg, MJ Tumbridge placed first, winning Bermuda’s only Pan Am Gold medal in any sport!
Suzie Dunkley was the first dressage rider to represent Bermuda. Suzie went on to compete in the 1992 & 1996 Olympics and the 1994 & 1998 World Championships. The Bermuda dressage team comprising of Chris Taylor, Cathy Fox and Kevin Edwards compete at the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg.
Bermuda Equestrians at the Olympic Games
1984 Peter Gray – Los Angeles
1988 Peter Gray & Carol Ann Blackman – Seoul
1992 Nicola DeSousa, MJ Tumbridge & Suzie Dunkley – Barcelona
1996 Suzie Dunkley – Atlanta
2000 Mary Jane Tumbridge – Sydney
2004 Tim Collins – Athens
2012 Jillian Terceira – London
Bermuda Equestrians at the Pan American Games
1999 MJ Tumbridge – Gold Medal in Eventing – Winnipeg Canada
2007 Patrick Nisbett & Jillian Terceira (show jumping) Annabelle Collins (dressage) – Rio de Janeiro
2011 Patrick Nisbett & Jillian Terceira (show jumping)
2016 Patrick Nisbett & Jillian Terceira (show jumping) Virginia McKey (dressage)
Under the umbrella of the Federation Equestre Internationale, as well as the Caribbean Equestrian Federation, the BEF organizes international dressage and show jumping competitions in Bermuda. These competitions enable Bermuda riders to compete against other countries without having travel aboard.
The BEF also manages the National Equestrian Centre (NEC) located on Vesey Street, Devonshire. The NEC is extremely busy during the season from September through to May with harness pony racing, horse shows held on most weekends and holidays.
The BEF is a registered charity (No. 214) and is managed and organized by volunteers.