Saturday, May. 25, 2024

Hickey Heads Toward Individual Gold

Chris Hickey warned competitors yesterday that the gloves were coming off for the individual competition at the Pan American Games, and he delivered on his promise. He and Regent topped the field of 25 competitors from 13 countries who traveled to Rio de Janeiro from across the Americas for a chance to take home the individual dressage gold medal. 

PUBLISHED

ADVERTISEMENT

Chris Hickey warned competitors yesterday that the gloves were coming off for the individual competition at the Pan American Games, and he delivered on his promise. He and Regent topped the field of 25 competitors from 13 countries who traveled to Rio de Janeiro from across the Americas for a chance to take home the individual dressage gold medal. 

Hickey performed his second great test of the Games today, having earned the second highest score of the team competition yesterday. “Today I felt a little bit more secure in the collection–therefore he was little bit more balanced and had a little more self-carriage,” said Hickey. “So I was able to ride boldly, but he was also able to stay a little more underneath himself today, which allowed me to be a little bit more expressive in the extensions.”

The improvement was evident in Regent´s floating extended trot and his flawless transitions.  The judges rewarded the pair´s consistent ride with the highest score of the day (69.35%).

Standing in second after today’s competition was Yvonne Losos de Muñiz aboard Bernstein Las Marismas.  Berstein and Losos de Muñiz performed a fluid, seamless test, with flowing canter work and expressive canter pirouettes. She finished the day with a score of 69.30 percent.  Losos de Muñiz is the sole dressage competitor from the Dominican Republic. She is looking for her second Pan American medal, having won individual bronze at the 2003 Pan American Games.

When U.S. rider Lauren Sammis entered the ring aboard Sagacious, conversation stopped at the National Equestrian Center as all eyes turned to watch the high scorer from the team competition perform. Even the staff manning the food service in the VIP area stopped serving as the elegant pair entered the ring. Most of their test was beautiful, with flowing canter half-passes and an extended trot with suspension to spare. But unfortunately the pair had a few mistakes that cost them precious points in a close competition. They only executed five of the required seven two-tempi changes and suffered a small bobble in the extended canter-collected canter transition.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Sagacious was pretty fresh today,” said Sammis. “You never quite know when you get on exactly how long the warm-up should be, if you need 40 minutes or half an hour before you get on, and you don’t really know that until it’s too late. He’s getting fresher as the time goes on instead of more tired, the horse hasn’t had a day off since we’ve been here.” 

These few errors dropped the score down to a 68.54 percent, good enough for third place halfway through the individual competition. 

The final U.S. rider, Katherine Poulin-Neff, battled nerves during her Prix St. Georges test yesterday, but today she marched into the ring appearing cool and collected. Unfortunately, her mount Brilliant Too didn’t feel quite as relaxed.

 “My horse was really nervous in there today,” she said matter-of-factly. “When we tracked left and did extended trot across the diagonal, and I also did my extended canter in that direction, there was just something that he saw in the stands, and he just did not want to go that way. Even trying to get into the stadium he just didn’t want to go. So it was a different horse for me to ride today.  He’s never been like that before.” 

Although “Zeul’s” trepidation definitely marred his usually flamboyant extensions, the pair performed a solid test overall, with especially lovely canter pirouettes. Their score of 66.35 percent leaves her in sixth place going into the final day of competition.

ADVERTISEMENT

The top 15 riders will return to the National Equestrian Center on Wednesday July 18 to compete in the second half of the individual competition, the Intermediaire freestyle. With only 1.4 points separating the top four riders, the gold medal is hardly secure.

As far as U.S. riders Sammis and Hickey are concerned, their biggest competitors will be each other. A friendly rivalry has cropped up between the teammates as they duke it out for the top spot. “Every day doesn’t turn out the way you want it, but today wasn’t the awards day,” said Sammis.

“It was half of it,” Hickey responded with a grin.

Individual Standings

After day one of competition: 

  1. USA Regent, Christopher Hickey 69.35%
  2. DOM Bernstein Las Maris, Yvonne Losos de Muñiz 69.30
  3. USA Sagacious HF, Lauren Sammis 68.50
  4. CAN Beaumarchais, Tom Dvorak 67.90
  5. ARG Kadirmo, Vera Protzen 66.90
  6. USA Brilliant Too, Katherine Poulin-Neff 66.35
  7. CAN Wiona, Diane Creech 65.80
  8. MEX Jose Luis Padilla, Lohengrin 64.50
  9. CAN Raffles, Andrea Bresee 64.45
  10.  GUA Serafino, Chris Dauber 64.05
  11.  BRA Monty, Renata Costa 63.90
  12.  BER Medici, Annabelle Collins 63.75
  13.  ARG Euclid, Gabriel Armando 62.35
  14.  BRA Nilo Vo, Rogeiro Clementino 62.20
  15.  BRA Samba, Luiza Almeida 62.10
  16.  MEX Dark Secret, Patrick Burssens 61.85
  17.  PUR Nalando, Luis Reteguiz Denizard 61.10
  18.  GUA Perla, Silva Regina Roesch 60.00
  19.  ARG Oceano de Top, Sandra Smith 59.85
  20.  CHI Bridge, Oscar Coddou 59.30
  21.  MEX Ferro, Cristobal Egerstrom 58.80
  22.  CHI Tejas Verdes Montse, Mario Vargas 58.45
  23.  GUA Westerberg, Sylvia Luna 56.20
  24.  CHI Tiziano, Roberto Gomez 56.00
  25.  URU Etalon, Ricardo Monge 53.00

 

Categories:

ADVERTISEMENT

EXPLORE MORE

Follow us on

Sections

Copyright © 2024 The Chronicle of the Horse