Dispatches from the 2015 Pan American Games Equestrian Events – Dressage Individual Final

1
231

PanAm Dressage Individual Final
Steffen Peters acknowledges the crowd after the finish of his freestyle ride. Photo by Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography

Tuesday’s dressage freestyle competition to determine the individual dressage medals was an absolutely super day! The weather early in the day before competition started was rainy and it looked to be settling in for the entire day. But, by the time the first horse went down centerline it had cleared up and except for a few sprinkles during the third ride the day was rain free with a light breeze and even turned partly sunny by late afternoon.

Twenty-one of the original 43 starters qualified to contest the freestyle. There was quite a bit of controversy the day before when discussion ensued between the ground jury (judges) and the teams from each nation as to whether or not the fourth rider for each of the U.S. and Canadian Teams could compete in the freestyle. All eight riders had scored well over the normal required percentage to return for the freestyle, but the Pan Am Games have a rule that prohibited it. However, the Pan Am Sports Organization (PASO) has the right to change their own rules and agreed to do so if all of the nations participating in dressage agreed. All of the nations did agree initially, but then two changed their minds, so the fourth American (Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo) and Canadian (Megan Lane and Caravella) riders had to settle for doing test rides before the Intermediaire and Grand Prix sections of the freestyle competition. Click here to read the full explanation of the ruling here.

PanAm Dressage Individual Final
Sabine Schut-Kery and the stallion Sanceo performed the Intermediaire freestyle test ride first thing in the morning after it was decided that the fourth riders for the U.S. and Canada would not be allowed to compete for medals. Photo by Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography

Despite the disappointment over the fourth riders not being allowed to compete, the 21 freestyle rides were very enjoyable and the crowds enthusiastically showed their appreciation for each and every ride. There was some great music and fun choreography. Riders from a dozen nations participated: Argentina; Brazil; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; Guatemala; Mexico; Puerto Rico, and the United States of America.

After problems in their Grand Prix Special ride on Sunday, Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 of the U.S.A., who performed third from last today, had a nearly flawless ride in the freestyle and took the gold with an 80.075%. Peters was over the moon with the results and said he and Legolas’ owners Jerry Yang and his wife Akiko Yamazaki and their daughters planned to celebrate this evening. He also said that Legolas would get a well deserved vacation and that they may or may not participate in the National Championships to be held in Florida in December.

PanAm Dressage Individual Final
Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 owned by Four Winds Farm displaying outstanding lateral work during the Grand Prix freestyle ride. Photo by Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography

Laura Graves and Verdades from the U.S. were the final ride of the day. They had the top score in the Grand Prix Special on Sunday, and put in a lovely, but a bit subdued, freestyle ride to take second with a 79.825%. Graves commented afterward that Verdades was tired and she had never been put in the situation to have to “rev up” him up before going into the ring.

PanAm Dressage Individual Final
Laura Graves and Verdades of the U.S.A. are known for their lovely freestyle. Photo by Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography

The home crowd was delighted with the absolutely spot-on freestyle produced by Christopher von Martels and Zilverstar. The very promising young combination produced a personal best score of 79.500% to take the bronze. Canadian riders also took fourth (Belinda Trussell and Anton and fifth (Brittany Fraser and All In) with equal scores of 76.800%. For a full set of results from dressage, visit results.toronto2015.org.

Next up are the eventers. Thursday is their first horse inspection and a tour of the cross-country course for the media, so I’ll have more news and photos then.

PanAm Dressage Individual Final
Kimberly Herslow’s and Rosmarin’s trot work was superb in their Intermediaire freestyle. After the Games Herslow plans to more Rosmarin up to Grand Prix and hopes for a spot on the U.S.A.’s team for the Rio Olympics next year. Photo by Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography
PanAm Dressage Individual Final
Steffen Peters and U.S. dressage team chef d’equipe Robert Dover congratulate Sabine Schut-Kery on the great job she did riding Sanceo at her first major games. Photo by Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography
PanAm Dressage Individual Final
Joao Paulo Dos Santos from Brazil wowed the crowd with his one-handed ride on Veleiro Do Top. They finished ninth in the freestyle. Photo by Jen Emig/MacMillan Photography
PanAm Dressage Individual Final
Julio Mendoza Loor of Ecuador had only been riding his horse Chardonnay for 10 months prior to the Games. He was thrilled with the 69.800% they achieved in their Intermediaire I freestyle test. Photo by Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography
PanAm Dressage Individual Final
Canadian Olympic rider Jacquelyn Brooks was named alternate to this year’s Canadian Pan Am Team, so she decided to volunteer when she didn’t get to ride. She gave all of the riders high fives as they came out of the ring and lead the crowd in doing the wave during the breaks. Photo by Jen Emig/MacMillan Photography
PanAm Dressage Individual Final
The 2015 Pan American Games individual medalists in dressage (left to right): Laura Graves, U.S.A., silver; Steffen Peters, U.S.A., gold, and Christopher von Martels, Canada, bronze. Photo by Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography
PanAm Dressage Individual Final
Chris von Martels was so happy to represent his country on the medal podium in his first major games. Photo by Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography
PanAm Dressage Individual Final
With her first individual games medal tucked safely in her jacket, Laura Graves concentrated on keeping an exuberant Verdades under wraps during the victory gallop. Photo by Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography
PanAm Dressage Individual Final
No stranger to winning medals, Steffen Peters says he enjoys each victory like it was the first. Photo by Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography

See more photos from the 2015 Toronto Pan-Am Games:
Initial Dressage Horse Inspection
Dressage Team Competition Day One
Dressage Team Final

1 COMMENT

  1. I loved the news from the Pan Am games since they are not broadcasting it,thank you Kim.And the photos were awesome, thank you Allen, absolutely gorgeous and your timing is spot on perfection! Great job MacMillan Photography!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here