Dispatches from the 2015 Pan American Games Equestrian Events – Day One

A look at scenes from the first horse inspection for dressage at the 2015 Pan-American Games.


Greetings from Toronto! Our MacMillan Photography crew is covering the 2015 Pan American Games equestrian events this month for Horse Illustrated. My husband Allen, photographer extraordinaire, and our three great associate photographers: Jen Emig from Mascoutah, Illinois; Shelley Higgins, from Orangeville, Ontario, and Sarah E. Miller from Indianapolis, Indiana, are here covering the action.

Caledon Equestrian Park
The main outdoor arena at Caledon Equestrian Park. Over the last few years 11.4 million Canadian dollars were spent on improvements to the grounds according to Craig Collins, the facilities manager at Caledon. Upgrades included: new footing; a large indoor arena with huge sliding windows to allow light in and for great air flow in summer months; landscaping, facility wide wifi; a new clubhouse overlooking the main outdoor stadium, and more. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Shelley lives at her Shellcrest Farm just outside of Orangeville, Ontario. The rest of us are very lucky to be staying with wonderful hosts Deb and John Lowcock in the rolling hill country of Mono, Ontario, about half an hour from the main Pan Am horse show park at Caledon Equestrian Center. The Pan Am cross-country course is located at Will O’Wind Farm about five minutes from our host home.

The Pan American Games include all of the North, Central and South American countries as well as the Caribbean Islands. They are held every four years one year before the Olympic Games and are operated under Olympic rules by the International Olympic Committee. In many cases they can be the qualifying competition for countries to go on to the next Olympic Games. This year is critical for the U.S. and Canadian dressage teams as only one of the two will qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics assuming that one of them wins gold and the other team will stay home (unless they can qualify enough individual competitors to make a team).

Since there’s no live streaming or TV coverage available in the U.S., we’ll do our best to give you a few snippets of news and some photos from each day.

July 9 – First Horse Inspection for Dressage

First up on the Pan Am equestrian schedule is dressage. At the FEI level, the horses all have to pass a horse inspection for soundness and well being. Two days before going down centerline for their first tests, the 43 dressage horses strutted their stuff in front of the veterinary committee. Thanks to Shelley Higgins who photographed the horse inspection for us and who also bravely caught up a loose horse who got away from his handler at the jog. Way to go Shelley!

Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo at the 2015 Pan-American Games
First-time U.S. Equestrian Team member Sabine Schut-Kery, 47, from Thousand Oaks, California, and Alice Womble’s nine-year-old Hanoverian stallion Sanceo (San Remo – Ramiro’s Son II). Both Sanceo and Sabine were born in Germany. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography


Kimberly Herslow and Rosmarin
Another U.S. Equestrian Team rookie, Kimberly Herslow, 44, Stockton, New Jersey, and Rosmarin, a 2005 Hanoverian gelding (Rosentanz – Weltmeyer) owned by Kiroli Enterprises L.L.C. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography


Laura Graves and Verdades
2014 U.S. Alltech World Equestrian Games Dressage Team member Laura Graves, 28, Plymouth, Florida, with her 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Verdades. They have only a year of U.S. Team experience under their belt, but what a year it was! They did the U.S. proud at the Games in France last year producing consistently great tests to help the team to a fourth-place finish, then finish fourth overall at the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas in April of this year. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography
Steffen Peters and Legolas
U.S. Equestrian Team veteran and all-around nice guy Steffen Peters, 52, San Diego, California, and Four Wind Farm’s Legolas 92 (2002 Westfalen gelding (Laomedan – Florestan II) during their jog. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography


Megan Lane and Caravella
Canadian Dressage Team member Megan Lane is all business as she presents her mare 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Caravella by Contango to the inspectors during the jog. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography
Karen Atala Zablah and Weissenfells at the 2015 Pan American Games
The loose horse from Honduras that our photographer Shelley caught during the dressage horse inspection: Karen Atala Zablah’s Weissenfells. Weissenfells eventually was caught and settled down enough to pass his inspection. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography


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