The U.S. and Canadian dressage horses all arrived safely at the Guadalajara Country Club in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Tuesday, Oct. 11. The horses came with their support crew: their grooms, team veterinarian Dr. Rick Mitchell and vet tech Julie Mitchell. The horses and the riders, who arrived on Wednesday, made it through the downpour accompanying the landfall of Hurricane Jova.
The U.S. horses—Big Tyme, Grandioso, Paragon and Weltino’s Magic—traveled with the Canadian horses and one Ecuadorian horse.
The Canadians had a kink thrown into their plans when Diane Creech withdrew her mount, Robbie W, on Monday. Team alternate Roberta Byng-Morris replaced her with Reiki Tyme. The remaining Canadian pairs included Viva’s Salieri W and Tom Dvorak, Winston and Tina Irwin, and Lymrix and Crystal Kroetch.
The U.S. riders—Marisa Festerling, Cesar Parra, Heather Blitz and Steffen Peters—arrived Wednesday afternoon aboard the same plane as the U.S. cycling and swimming teams. Accompanying them were Chef d’Equipe Eva Salomon, team leader Jenny van Wieren, and Technical Advisor Anne Gribbons. The riders arrived in good spirits after going through team processing in Houston.
They had their first look at the venue that will host the Pan American Dressage competition during a wet schooling session.
“It’s amazing. I’ve only been here one day, and it’s an incredible experience,” Festerling said. “Each new thing we do is new to me, and that makes it, of course, even more exciting.” To read more about Festerling’s road to the Pan Am’s, click here.
The Pan American dressage competition gets underway with the first jog on Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. Follow all of the Chronicle’s coverage of the Pan American Games at www.chronofhorse.com.