Friday, May. 24, 2024

Team USA Leads The Way After An Influential Cross-Country Day



Lima, Peru—Aug. 3

The United States sits on top of the eventing leaderboard after cross-country day at the Pan American Games. Bookended by double-clear performances by Lynn Symansky on RF Cool Play and Boyd Martin on Tsetserleg, the United States has three riders in the top four, with Martin on top, Symansky in second and Doug Payne sitting fourth on Starr Witness behind Brazilian Carlos Parro on Quaikin Qurious.

“The time was a lot harder to get than I thought it would be,” said Martin. “My horse is quite fast, but he’s not very good at turning or slowing down. My plan was to set out a little steady and build up. I set up a little too steady, and [I was down on my minute markers], but luckily he’s got speed. There’s a couple good gallops out the back there that picked him up. He’s very fit, just a little bit hard to control sometimes.”


Last to go for the United States, Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg laid down a double-clear cross-country round to finish the day on top. Erin Gilmore for Shannon Brinkman Photo

Catch up on the day with a play-by-play of all the competition with videos and interviews with riders.

Symansky was thrilled with RF Cool Play’s performance.

“Everything went very according to my plan,” said Symansky. “The first water jump did not go according to plan, but we fought hard, and he jumped it well. But everything else was very good. He’s a very good cross-country horse [with a] strong gallop and finished easy within the time.”



Lynn Symansky put one of only two double clear rounds to move up to second. Shannon Brinkman Photo


Doug Payne and Starr Witness added just 8.4 time penalties to their score to sit fourth individually. Shannon Brinkman Photo

Overnight leader and U.S. rider Tamie Smith had a disappointing day when Mai Baum ran out at a corner midcourse. She also crossed her track at fence 23. Coupled with time faults, she finished with 54 penalties to drop down to 19th.

“Obviously I’m disappointed because I had a run-out at the corner, [Fence 16],” she said. “It all rode a bit rough and scrappy. I just tried to give him as a strong of a ride as possible; he’s a good horse. The flag [at 16] was pointed kind of the wrong direction, I don’t know if it like blocked his vision, it was almost like he didn’t really read it until the last second. We were all worried about that, wondering what they were going to do about it.”

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Tamie Smith and Mai Baum dropped down to 19th after a disappointing cross-country round. Shannon Brinkman Photo

Brazil sits second in the standings, despite their pathfinder, Ruy Fonseca, suffering a rotational fall off Ballypatrick SRS at Fence 7. Ballypatrick SRS walked away unhurt, and Fonseca incurred a broken left humerus and three broken ribs.

“We were just unlucky,” Fonseca said from the hospital. “I have fractured my left shoulder and a couple of ribs. The horse is OK, and I’m OK; everything is fine. All the medical team, the organizers and the Brazilian Olympic Committee doctor did a really great job. The [Brazilian] team did a really great job, and I wish I could be with them tomorrow.”

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Marcelo Tosi jumped to seventh for Brazil with Starbucks. Shannon Brinkman Photo

Canada lies third, led by Jessica Phoenix on her three-time Pan Am partner Pavarotti, who added just a few time penalties to hold on to her fifth-placed ranking after dressage.

“That was his best cross-country ever. I am so incredibly proud of that horse,” she said. “He was smooth; he stayed rideable the whole way around; he was confident the whole way around. Just everything about it—I couldn’t be more proud of that horse today.”



Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti added just a few time penalties to hold onto fifth place. Shannon Brinkman Photo


Colleen Loach sits 20th for Canada aboard FE Golden Eye. Shannon Brinkman Photo

But perhaps the biggest winner of the day was José Ortelli’s testing track. Only six of the 10 teams finished at least three riders. Of the three individuals in the competition, only Honduran Pedro José Espinosa on Hipolita finished. All in all, 25 out of the 42 riders completed the track, with one rider retiring and the rest eliminated on course, a 59.5 percent completion rate.

Tomorrow’s horse inspection starts at 8 a.m. Central, and show jumping to determine team and individual medals starts at 10 a.m.

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Crowd favorite Carlos Lobos Muñoz and Ranco sit ninth for Chile. Erin Gilmore for Shannon Brinkman Photo

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Jose Enrique Mercado Suarez and Tehuacan added just time penalties to move into 10th for Mexico. Shannon Brinkman Photo

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Honduras’s Pedro José Espinosa was thrilled with his ride on Hipolita. Erin Gilmore for Shannon Brinkman Photo


Brazil’s anchor rider Carlos Parro on Quaikin Qurious put in a clear round with just 6.8 penalties on the clock. Shannon Brinkman Photo

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Brazil’s Rafael Mamprin Losano and Fuiloda G moved up to sixth place. Erin Gilmore for Shannon Brinkman photo

Check out our live blog of all the action with videos and interviews with riders.


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Check out our July 22 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine, our Pan Am preview issue, for more information about the competitors, and be sure to read the September 2 issue to get full analysis from the Games. What are you missing if you don’t subscribe?




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