Welcome to cross-country day of the Pan American Games! We will do our best to provide you with live updates of the action, starting at 11 a.m. local time, despite some communication issues going on here.
When Steffen Peters finished his Pan American Games freestyle, he pumped his fist in the air. He put his arms around Legolas 92’s neck and gave the gelding a big hug. Once dismounted, he raced around a turn, through part of the VIP area, and he landed squarely into the arms of his wife, Shannon Peters, before turning to hug his horse’s owner, Akiko Yamazaki. Once he heard he’d won the individual gold medal, he jumped in the air and cheered.
A first draw held for the individual freestyle—which included four riders from Canada and four from the United States—at the Pan American Games was later ruled illegal after further examination of the rules regarding these championships.
The Fédération Equestre International released a statement on that this morning, July 14. The statement is as follows:
The U.S. team came to these Pan American Games with a mission in two parts. The first was scoring an Olympic qualifying spot for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, but the way there was a team gold. The four riders—Steffen Peters, Kimberly Herslow, Laura Graves and Sabine Schut-Kery—completed that mission today by winning the team competition on a combined score of 460.50. Canada took silver with 454.93 points, and Brazil earned bronze (414.89).
As riders came out of the dressage ring yesterday at the Pan American Games, several of them exchanged high fives with a very enthusiastic volunteer who was helping open and close the gate at A. Closer examination under her baseball cap revealed just who that volunteer was—Canadian team alternate Jacqueline Brooks.
If you had to sum up the first day of dressage here at the Pan American Games—at least for the U.S. and Canadian riders—with one word, that’d be it. The two teams are battling for an Olympic Games qualifying spot, and so riders on both squads were feeling the need to step up for their countries today.
In the end, the United States slipped ahead with a team score of 230.50. But Canada's not too far behind with 226.07 points.
When? The first day of the team dressage competition (small tour contestants do the Prix St. Georges and large tour the Grand Prix) will take place on July 11. The next day, July 12, riders will complete their quest for team medals with the Intermediaire I and Grand Prix Special, and that’s also the second individual qualifier. The top 50 percent from the small tour and big tour go forward to the final day of dressage competition, the individual freestyle tests, on July 14.
New Zealand’s top eventer Andrew Nicholson remains excluded from the country’s high performance list as of July 1. Nicholson removed himself from consideration for the team last October, after a physical altercation with a veterinarian at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in France.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation Board of Directors met Tuesday, June 30, for its mid-year meeting. Several of the proposed rule changes up for vote were put forth by the mileage rule revision task force, co-chaired by Bill Moroney and Elisabeth Goth. Those changes all passed without comment during the open section of the meeting after discussion during a closed portion of the meeting.
She’s an elegant grey mare who represented Great Britain at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France) with Michael Eilberg, finishing eighth in the Grand Prix freestyle and helping her team to silver. And, as of a few weeks ago, Half Moon Delphi is considered a U.S. horse, as Bob Price purchased her for Sarah Daehnert to compete at the Grand Prix level.