Toronto 2015 Pan American Games Equestrian News

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PanAm Games

Show Jumping Team Medals
The last two weeks have flown by here at the Pan American Games in Toronto! Saturday was the final day of the equestrian events – the show jumping individual finals – at the Caledon Equestrian Center about an hour and fifteen minutes north of Toronto. The day dawned partly cloudy and a bit warmer and more humid than the last few days. A 70% chance of rain was forecast by mid-afternoon, and though the skies did look threatening several times, happily it remained dry.
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PanAm Games

Show Jumping Team Medals
Yesterday was all about the home team, Team Canada. The format for the show jumping medal rounds was, as always, Nations Cup; every horse and rider pair did two rounds over identical courses to determine the medals. Canada and several other countries were also looking to qualify for the Rio Olympics next year. With the United States and Brazil already slated to make the trip to Rio (through qualifying elsewhere), Canada and the other hopefuls for next year just had to finish at the top of the nations not yet qualified. But perhaps more than that, Canada really wanted to win gold at their Pan Am Games.
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PanAm Games

Show Jumping Day One
After the successful completion of their horse inspection held on Sunday, July 19, the show jumpers began competition on Tuesday July 21. The weather could not have been more perfect with sunny skies and highs in the low 70s and a good breeze to keep everyone cool. Fifty jumpers from 16 different nations took a turn around designer Michel Viallancourt’s initial course. Thirty put in clean rounds with no rails down and within the time.
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PanAm Games

Eventing Final Day:
Stadium Jumping and Medals

On Sunday, the 2015 Pan American Games eventing came to a close with the second horse inspection, then stadium jumping and medal ceremonies. The second horse inspection was held at 10:30 a.m. on a stone lane just behind the media center. Amazingly after the hot humid conditions on Saturday for cross-country and the two-star championship course that the horses had tackled that day, all 32 horses who finished cross-country were presented for the second inspection and all passed without any holds.
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PanAm Games

Eventing Cross-Country
Saturday was the day every eventing fan eagerly awaits – cross-country. Forty-two horses started Wayne Copping’s new Pan Am cross-country course at Will O’ Wind Farm. There had been 43 in the dressage phase, but Guatemala’s Alvaro del Valle withdrew his horse Nahual before cross-country to narrow the field by one. No word so far as to why he withdrew Nahual.
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PanAm Games

Eventing Dressage
The weather today at the Caldedon Equestrian Park was damp and dreary for the dressage phase of the eventing, but the competition was heated with a lot on the line, especially for the U.S. team. Since they are not yet qualified for the Rio Olympics next year, they need to win gold or at least place as the top unqualified team. With the disqualification of the French eventing team from last year’s Alltech World Equestrian Games, the Canadian Team moved up and are now already qualified.
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PanAm Games

Eventing Jog & Cross-Country Course Walk
On the morning of Thursday, July 16, we were out on the new CCI2* course at Will O’ Wind Farm, Mono, Ontario, the host of the Pan American Games cross-country for the eventing. We were escorted by Graeme Thom, course supervisor and a member of the Pan Am Eventing Committee, and former chef d’equipe for the Canadian Eventing Team.
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PanAm Games

Dressage Individual Final
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.
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PanAm Games

Dressage Day Two
Sunday, July 12 was the Pan Am team dressage finals and the pressure was turned as high as possible with not only medals, but also an invitation to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, on the line. Home team Canada and neighboring team U.S.A. were neck in neck in the race for gold with Team Mexico and Team Brazil duking it out for bragging rights and bronze.
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PanAm Games

Dressage Day One
In past years Pan American Games dressage competition has been contested at the international Prix St. Georges/Intermediaire level (also called the “small tour”); the idea being that more Pan American countries would be able to participate that way. This year for the first time the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) decided to try allowing countries to send a mix of small and “large tour” (Grand Prix level) horses if they chose to do so.
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PanAm Games

Initial Dressage Horse Inspection
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.
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