Eventing Begins at Santiago 2023 Pan American Games

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Liz Halliday jogging for eventing at the Pan American Games
Elisabeth Halliday and Miks Master C, USA. Photo by Kim MacMillan/MacMillan Photography

As the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games dressage competition ended, event horses grazing alongside their grooms starting dotting the landscape around the Grenadier Regiment Riding School here in Quillota. It is their turn to mix it up for medals and their country’s honor in eventing at the Pan American Games.

Having safely qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at last year’s World Championships in Italy, the United States has the luxury of giving Pan American Games experience to several riders who have not yet participated in a major games representing the stars and stripes. But for Canada it is do or die time; they have to qualify for Paris 2024 with a good performance here.

There are two Paris 2024 Olympic qualifying spots up for grabs at this Santiago 2023 Games. Teams seeking to claim one of these two Olympic qualifying spots are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay.

Today, 38 horses representing nine different countries (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay, and the USA) were presented to the ground jury in the first horse inspection for eventing. All 38 horses were accepted for competition, although two were asked to jog the lane a second time, then ultimately were cleared to start and never sent to the hold box. Of those 38 horses jogged for the ground jury, four are traveling reserves (one each from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and the USA) which leaves a starting list of 34 horse and rider combinations competing here in Chile.

The USA’s team is: Sydney Elliott (Benton, Louisiana) and QC Diamantaire, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Carol Stephens; Liz Halliday (Ocala, Florida) and Miks Master C, an 11-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Debby Palmer and the Ocala Horse Properties, LLC; Caroline Pamukcu (Miami Beach, Florida) and HSH Blake, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Mollie Hoff, Sherrie Martin and Caroline Pamukcu; Sharon White (Summit Point, West Virginia) and Claus 63, her own 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, and the traveling reserve is Alyssa Phillips (Fort Worth, Texas) and Oskar, a 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Julie Phillips.

Canada sent a team of four horse and rider combinations, but no traveling reserve: Colleen Loach on FE Golden Eye; Karl Slezak on Hot Bobo (this pair won the CCI4*-S at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in April); Lindsay Traisnel on Bacyrouge, and Michael Winter on El Mundo.

Here are some fun facts about the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games equestrian eventing competition from the Fédération Equestre Internationale:

8 teams: ARG; BRA; CAN; CHI; COL; MEX; URU; USA (all these nations―except USA who is already qualified in Eventing for Paris 2024―will be in the running for the two Paris 2024 eventing team slots on offer; see Olympic Qualification overview below)

1 nation with Individuals: ECU (2)

First timers (no previous participation in Pan American Games): 19 athletes; 34 horses

Youngest athlete: Andres Felipe Gomez Sanabria (COL) – 22 years old (born November 8, 2001) (Reserve: Mateo Garin (CHI) – 18 years old (born May 31, 2005)

Oldest athlete: Juan Carlos Tafur Eisenmayer (COL) – 69 years old (born December 20, 1953) (Reserve: Tamra Smith (USA) – 49 years old (born July 23, 1974)

Athletes with most Pan Am participations:

Ruy Fonseca (BRA) – 4 (1995 Buenos Aires ARG; 2011 Guadalajara MEX; 2015 Toronto CAN; 2019 Lima PER)
Edison Alejandro Quintana Valerio (URU) – 3 (2007 Rio de Janeiro BRA; 2015 Toronto CAN; 2019 Lima PER)
Carlos Parro (BRA)– 3 (2007 Rio de Janeiro BRA; 2015 Toronto CAN; 2019 Lima PER)
Marcelo Javier (ARG) – 3 (2011 Guadalajara MEX; 2015 Toronto CAN; 2019 Lima PER)
Juan Carlos Tafur Eisenmayer (COL) – 3 (2011 Guadalajara MEX; 2015 Toronto CAN; 2019 Lima PER)

Most medals: The athlete with most eventing medals at the Pan American Games is Michael Page, a legendary athlete from the USA, who has won three Olympic and six Pan American medals (3 team and 3 individual).

Athletes with most medals participating in Santiago 2023: Ruy Fonseca (BRA) – 5 (4 team and 1 individual) and Carlos Parro (BRA) – 4 (3 team and 1 individual)

Nations with the most medals:

USA – 39 (27 individual; 12 team)
CAN – 16 (6 individual; 10 team)
BRA – 10 (3 individual; 7 team)
MEX – 7 (4 individual; 3 team)
ARG – 5 (4 individual; 1 team)
BER – 3 (2 individual; 1 team)
CHI – 3 (1 individual; 2 team)
COL – 1 (1 individual)

Reigning champions from Lima (PER) 2019:

Individual:
Gold – Boyd Martin (USA)/Tsetserleg TSF
Silver – Lynn Symansky (USA)/RF Cool Play
Bronze – Carlos Parro (BRA)/Quaikin Qurious

Team:
Gold – USA
Silver – BRA
Bronze – CAN

The dressage phase of eventing starts this morning at 11 a.m. Chile time, which is 10 a.m. Eastern US time (9 a.m. Central, 8 a.m. Mountain, 7 a.m. Pacific, and 4 a.m. Hawaii.) The competition may be viewed live or watched later on demand on FEI TV via ClipMyHorse.com.

A membership is required for viewing, but ClipMyHorse is currently offering a discount of 10% on their premium memberships for USEF members and fans (use promotion code USEFCMHTV.) A limited-time free trial membership is also offered. All sessions of the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games equestrian competition for dressage, eventing and show jumping will be broadcast on ClipMyHorse.

For more information on the US Equestrian Team competing in Chile, click here.

Find schedules, start lists and results on the official games website here and click on “equestrian dressage,” “equestrian eventing” or “equestrian jumping.”

This coverage of eventing at the 2023 Pan American Games is a web exclusive for Horse Illustrated magazine. Click here to subscribe!

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