Friday, May. 24, 2024

Phoenix On Top After Dressage Day But U.S. Leads The Team Competition

Oct. 21—Guadalajara, Mexico

Jessica Phoenix topped the leaderboard after dressage at the Pan American Games. The Canadian rode a fluid test on Pavarotti to earn a mark of 43.9 midmorning, which none of the 48 other riders could catch.

PUBLISHED

ADVERTISEMENT

Oct. 21—Guadalajara, Mexico

Jessica Phoenix topped the leaderboard after dressage at the Pan American Games. The Canadian rode a fluid test on Pavarotti to earn a mark of 43.9 midmorning, which none of the 48 other riders could catch.

“It wasn’t that hard to wait [after scoring the high score],” said Phoenix. “You’re so enthralled by the team aspect, so you’re cheering on your teammates. Lots of [Canadian] horses put in fantastic tests, so it was exciting to watch that.”        

But four U.S. riders lay in wait just behind Phoenix to take an early lead in the team competition on a mark of 138.6, 9 points ahead of second-placed Canada. Brazil lays in third on a mark of 162.7.

Five U.S. riders are competing in Guadalajara, with the top three scores counting toward the team mark. Michael Pollard and Schoensgreen Hanni sit overall second, followed by Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot, Buck Davidson and Absolute Liberty and Shannon Lilley and Ballingowan Pizazz. Last-minute subsitute Lynn Symansky lays within striking distance on Donner in 10th.

“I was really pleased,” said Pollard, who earned a 44.5. “She presented exactly what we’ve been working on with no major mistakes—maybe a couple of things I would like to do a little bit better, but I thought all in all she did a good test today. She’s a horse that can do the other phases as well, so it should be a good weekend.”

Davidson set the tone for the U.S. riders today. Second in the ring today, he and 8-year-old “Libby” had one mistake in the first counter-canter in an otherwise clean test.

“She did as well as she can do,” said Davidson, Ocala, Fla. “I obviously made a mistake in the counter-canter, which is disappointing. I’ll have to see what I did wrong—she hasn’t been doing that. I was really proud of her.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Burnett, The Plains, Va., was thrilled with her mount’s test. She and Harbour Pilot looked beautiful and balanced throughout, especially through the walk pirouettes.

“He was pretty good; he was really rideable in there,” she said. “After my first turn on the haunches he got a little wiggly and then in the medium canter coming back he switched leads behind, but otherwise he was really steady. I could ride him forward, and he was really responsive and really good. He’s the best horse ever to do the turn on the haunches, so I was really happy to be able to show those off.”

Tomorrow morning the horses will ship from La Hípica to the Santa Sofia Golf Club, where John Williams has built a championship two-star course. The 9:30 minute track has plenty of terrain to negotiate, and at 5,000 feet above sea level, it will be a true test of the horses’ fitness.

“From the first fence to the last fence you have to be on it,” said Phoenix, Uxbridge, Ontario. “There’s no time to let your mind fall asleep. There are a lot of tests out there and a lot of combinations. You’re not going to know when you’re out there on your horse how technically difficult or easy the course will ride until you see how the horse handles the terrain and the complexities out of there. The bounce, drop down to the corner (fence 10ABC) is one that looks especially fun.”

See photos from the jog and cross-country courses here. Cross-country kicks off at 11 a.m. Central Time.

The official Pan American Games website has team and individual standings.

 

Categories:

ADVERTISEMENT

EXPLORE MORE

Follow us on

Sections

Copyright © 2024 The Chronicle of the Horse