Tag Archives: Pan American Games

Brazil’s Hot Streak Continues as Modolo Zanotelli Claims Gold in Individual Jumping

Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (BRA) celebrates after winning individual gold at the Pan American Games 2019 (FEI/Raul Sifuentes, Getty Images)

Silver for Larocca, Jr. means individual Olympic quota place for Argentina, while USA’s Madden claims bronze in thrilling four-horse jump-off

Brazil was atop the podium yet again, as Marlon Modolo Zanotelli jumped to gold in the Individual Jumping Final at the Pan American Games 2019, taking place at the Army Equitation School at La Molina in Lima, Peru.

Modolo Zanotelli and the brilliant 13-year-old Selle Francais mare Sirene de la Motte, part of Brazil’s gold medal winning squad in Friday’s team final, produced the only double-clear performance on the day, finishing on a perfect 0 score. The duo navigated course designer Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) tracks with ease despite their apparent difficultly, with only five total clear rounds recorded over the course of the two rounds.

“[Going into] the second round, I just tried to keep myself calm, because I knew if I gave my mare a good chance, she was going to jump a clear round,” Modolo Zanotelli said. “I had to keep my nerves in place. For me, I was in a good position. I was first to go of the clears, and I knew if I was clear, it would put the pressure on the others.”

Out of the 32 riders to make it to the final day of the competition and the 22 to advance to the final round of jumping, Argentina’s José María Larocca, Jr. (Finn Lente) came closest to matching the victor. A single time fault in the second round aboard the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding left him on a score of 1. The result also clinched an individual quota place for Argentina at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

“I wanted a medal. That was the objective, and incredibly, it happened!” Larocca, Jr. said. “Miracles do happen. I have 20 to 25 family members here. I’m very lucky to have the support!”

Larocca, Jr. is an amateur rider who works in commodities trading. He juggles his time between his work, his family, and his horses.

“It was the dream, and this dream started four years ago, when [Argentina] took the silver medal as a team [at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada],” he said. “This time, unfortunately, we couldn’t make it to the podium as a team, but I had the opportunity to make it as an individual. I’m very happy. I’m proud of my horse and my team. I’m living my dream today.”

With three other quota places available to nations without teams already qualified, Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Chile also kept dreams alive by securing representation in Tokyo, thanks to the performances of Juan Manuel Gallego (Fee des Sequoias Z, 10th), Hector Florentino Roca (Carnaval, 11th), and Ignacio Montesinos (Cornetboy, 14th), respectively.

It was also a thrilling finish for the bronze medal, as four riders finished on 4 faults, leading to a jump-off. The USA’s Beezie Madden (Breitling LS), already bringing home a bronze medal from Friday’s team competition, earned a second, crossing the timers of the shortened course with a clear round in 42.47 seconds. Canadian Nicole Walker (Falco van Spieveld) was next-best to finish fourth (4/44.18), followed by American Eve Jobs (Venue d’Fees des Hazalles, 8/46.06) and Eugenio Garza Perez (Armani Sl Z) of Mexico, who elected to retire following a refusal.

“It’s always a little tough going first, but it was winner-take all — medal or no medal,” Madden said. “I had to lay it out there and do it as fast as I could and still leave the jumps up. I have to give credit to my horse. He’s a naturally fast horse, and I’ve done quite a few jump-offs with him. It felt good to have that experience going into that pressure round.”

Modolo Zanotelli also has a well-established partnership with Sirene de la Motte, having ridden the mare for more than two years. He described his relationship with the chestnut as one that “matched straight away” and identified the Pan American Games as a goal for which he’d been aiming her since sitting out the last Olympic Games (BRA) in 2016. His two golds mark his first medals of any kind in a major championship.

“She’s a fantastic horse. She gives everything she can in the ring,” he said. “We like to say, ‘When you have a chestnut mare on your side, they are amazing. They really fight for you.’ She’s one of [those]. She really believes in me, and I believe so much in her.

“What I really wanted here was a medal — [whether] it was silver, gold, or bronze,” he added. “Luckily, it was the gold one today — another gold one!”

Results here.

by Catie Staszak

Brazil Punches Ticket to Tokyo with Team Gold

Pedro Veniss (BRA) riding Quabri de L Isle (FEI/Raul Sifuentes, Getty Images)

Brazil capped an unforgettable two weeks at the Pan American Games 2019 with a convincing gold medal for its jumping squad at the Army Equitation School at La Molina in Lima, Peru, qualifying them for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

The medal marked the third in as many equestrian events in Lima, after bronze medals in both dressage and eventing assured Brazil’s Olympic qualification in those respective disciplines last week.

The four-rider squad of Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (Sirene de la Motte), Eduardo Menezes (H5 Chaganus), Rodrigo Lambre (Chacciama), and Pedro Veniss (Quabri de L Isle) finished on a team total score of 12.39 points. It was a tight battle for silver, with Mexico ultimately claiming runner-up honors and the second of three available Olympic qualification slots on a 22.97-point score. The Americans, already qualified for Tokyo due to their gold medal at the 2018 World Equestrian Games (USA) last September, finished with the bronze medal on a team total of 23.09 points, while fourth-placed Canada secured the final Olympic qualification on a 30.21-point team total.

“We came here to qualify for Tokyo; that was the main goal and, of course, to chase this gold medal,” Menezes said. “It was a long journey to get here. It was an amazing journey together with these guys. This medal just gives the perfect end to it.”

Course designer Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) track saw rails fall throughout, with the ever-crucial anchor riders proving to be the deciding scores. Veniss delivered on all fronts, jumping clear in the first round and recording just a single time fault as the final rider to compete. As Veniss rode his mount back toward the ingate, he repeatedly punched his fist in the air with elation, waving his arms at the crowd, who erupted and waved their Brazilian flags proudly in response.

“It was a really special day,” he said. “I think we have an amazing team. It’s really, really nice to have that medal with these guys.”

Teams entered Wednesday’s competition carrying scores from Tuesday’s faults-converted speed competition, which also served as the first individual qualifier and determined the order of go for the first round of the team final. The U.S. squad took over an early lead following clear rounds from each of its riders on Tuesday, but Brazil entered the day hot on their heels. After Wednesday’s first round, Brazil emerged as the clear leaders, and it was down to the U.S. and Mexico to battle it out for the remaining podium placings. While Mexico’s anchor Patricio Pasquel (Babel) rebounded from an 8-fault first round to produce a crucial clear for his team, the U.S.’s Beezie Madden (Breitling LS) fared oppositely, pulling two rails for an 8-fault score after jumping cleanly in the first round.

“This medal is very important to Mexico. I think it’s a culmination of three years of trying to take the sport in Mexico to a new level,” said Eugenio Garza Perez, who also delivered a second-round career for Mexico aboard Armani Sl Z. “We’ve really done everything together, and I think that showed in the ring. When one had to pull for the other or the other had to pull for that one, we really pulled it off together. I’m just honored to be a part of this team with such amazing teammates. We’ve dreamed about this a long time.”

The margin between silver and bronze was just 0.12 points.

“We came here for a medal. That’s what you always do in a championship,” said U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland. “We went away with a medal. We’re a little disappointed. We were in the fight for the gold until the end, and then the silver, and it slipped away. What I’m most proud of is that all four of them were an essential part of the team yesterday and today as well.”

Veniss and the 15-year-old Selle Francais stallion Quabri de L Isle have skyrocketed to the top of the leaderboard heading into Friday’s individual final. Brazilian riders, in fact, currently hold two of the top three individual placings, as Lambre sits third. Both gave credit to their chef d’equipe, Philippe Guerdat, for their team’s cumulative success.

“He was the key to the gold medal,” the Brazilian teammates chimed in together. “He’s the one that brought all the techniques and also the spirit of the team. We have everything to thank him [for]. The details in right moments, and the experience he has, [were the keys] to this. We can say he’s the gold trainer!”

Results here.

by Catie Staszak

USA and Brazil Take Eventing Team Tickets for Tokyo

L to R – Team Brazil (silver), Team USA (gold), and Team Canada (bronze). (FEI/Daniel Apuy/Getty Images)

USA and Brazil booked their tickets to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics when taking gold and silver respectively in Eventing at the Pan American Games 2019, which is taking place at the Army Equitation School at La Molina in Lima, Peru.

America’s Boyd Martin riding Tsetserleg and Lynn Symansky partnering RF Cool Play claimed individual gold and silver when finishing on their Dressage marks, while Brazil’s Carlos Parro added just 6.8 cross-country time penalties to his first-phase scoreline with Qualkin Qurious to bag the bronze. But none of these medals were easily won.

The Americans snatched the lead in the opening Dressage phase when Tamra Smith and Mai Baum topped the leaderboard ahead of Martin in second, Doug Payne and Starr Witness in seventh, and Symansky in ninth. But they were only 4.9 penalty points ahead of Canada’s Karl Slezak (Fernhill Wishes), Dana Cooke (Mississippi), Colleen Loach (Fe Golden Eye), and Jessica Phoenix (Pavarotti), while Carlos Parro and his Brazilian team-mates Ruy Fonseca (Ballypatrick SRS), Rafael Mamprin Losano (Fuiloda G), Marcelo Tosi (Starbucks) were fewer than four penalty points further adrift.

Brazil’s chances were shaken by a nasty fall for Fonseca in Saturday’s cross-country test, however. From a start-list of 42 horse-and-rider combinations from 12 nations, only 25 finished the difficult course designed by Argentina’s Jose Ortelli. But despite the loss of their most experienced team-member, the Brazilians dug deep to produce brilliant performances and move up to silver medal spot ahead of the Canadians going into the final Jumping phase.

Talking about his dramatic fall at the seventh fence, the Lake Titicaca combination, Fonseca said from his hospital bed, “We were just unlucky. I’ve 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 organisers, 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!”

And they did him proud, anchoring their final score on 122.1 to take the silver while the Canadians, also reduced to a three-member side in the final Jumping test after the withdrawal of Dana Cooke’s Mississippi who scraped an elbow on a fence, completed on 183.7 for the bronze.

The Americans were the clear winners on a score of 91.2. Despite a big score for Smith who plummeted down the leaderboard after a glance-off at fence 16 and an additional 20 penalties for crossing their own track at fence 23, the US went into the final day with a commanding lead after Martin and Symansky produced the only two double-clear cross-country rounds and Payne added just 8.4 time faults to his tally. And when all three stayed clean and clear the gold was in the bag. But no-one was saying it was easy; it was quite the opposite.

This was America’s 10th victory in Eventing at the Pan Ams, the first posted in Sao Paolo (BRA) back in 1963. “It was much harder than I expected,” said 39-year-old double-Olympian Martin. “We came here and we were under the gun a bit, but we all stepped up and tried our hardest and like Eric (Duvander, team coach) said we’ve got good horses, great riders, the best coach in the world, great farriers, brilliant vets… there was no stone left unturned. Now we have to keep up the momentum, using every day we’ve got until Tokyo to keep improving… and then we’ll find out on the day, because competition is competition!”

Symansky described the result as “redemption, especially from last year at WEG when we came just a little bit short of taking our Tokyo qualification. Boyd and I were both there, and we’re much happier with our performances here this weekend,” said the 36-year-old who was also a team gold medallist at the 2011 Pan-American Games in Guadalajara (MEX).

Despite the disappointment of not bringing home one of the coveted Olympic qualifying spots, Canada’s Jessica Phoenix expressed her delight with the last week of sport. “I think Peru put on an incredible competition – the hospitality was insane! This is an incredible country and they made us feel so welcome. The venue is beautiful and it was a super, super Pan Am Games,” she said.

The door is not completely closed to Canadian qualification, but for now it’s the USA and Brazil who will join the host nation of Japan, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, China, and Thailand in Eventing at Tokyo in 12 months’ time.

The Brazilians are not quite ready to celebrate their success just yet, because Ruy Fonseca is still in hospital – “We’re waiting for him to get out to come drinking with us!” said Carlos Parro.

America’s Boyd Martin described the outcome of these Pan Ams as “a relief, for coach Eric who moved country to help us, relief for the owners, the grooms that work so hard, the wives that put up with us, just the whole thing. It’s so much work – we get to wear the fancy medal, but really it’s a massive effort from a lot of people,” he pointed out with gratitude.

Results here.

by Louise Parkes

Americans Turn the Tables to Take Dressage Individual Gold and Bronze

(L to R) – silver medallist Tina Irwin (CAN), gold medallist Sarah Lockman (USA), and bronze medallist Jennifer Baumert (USA). (FEI/Daniel Apuy, Getty images)

It was Team USA on the top step of the podium when Sarah Lockman steered the lovely chestnut stallion, First Apple, to clinch Individual Dressage gold at the Pan American Games 2019 taking place at the Army Equitation School at La Molina in Lima, Peru. A superb score of 78.980 in the Intermediate l Freestyle clinched it for the 30-year-old who pipped Canada’s Tina Irwin and Laurencio by just over a single percentage point, while Lockman’s team-mate, Jennifer Baumert, claimed the bronze with her gelding Handsome.

This was America’s ninth individual Dressage title in the history of equestrian sport at the Pan American Games, which dates back to Buenos Aires (ARG) in 1951. And Lockman made it a US three-in-a-row as compatriot, Steffen Peters, posted a consecutive double at Guadalajara (MEX) in 2011 and Toronto (CAN) in 2015.

Both Small Tour and Big Tour combinations compete at the Pan Ams, and the Small Tour riders were first to battle it out in the Intermediate l Freestyle. Just four horse-and-rider partnerships contested the higher-level Big Tour class that followed, but the medals were decided by the biggest scores on the day, regardless of the category, and it was Small Tour contenders Lockman, Irwin, and Baumert who posted those to claim the top three steps of the podium.

The USA was never eligible for one of the two Olympic team qualifying spots on offer because they sent just three Small Tour riders to Lima. They already had their Tokyo ticket in the bag after claiming silver at last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ on home soil in Tryon (USA) and were quite happy to settle for silver in the team competition won by Canada on Monday.

But they were gunning for the gold and they got it, thanks to a stunning performance from team debutante Lockman and her sensational nine-year-old Dutch stallion which is owned by Gerry Ibanez. Judges Thomas Kessler (GER), Mary Seefried (AUS), Eduard De Wolff Van Westerrode (NED), and Janet Lee Foy (USA) all put the American first, while Canada’s Brenda Minor placed her second, and the winner achieved high marks for Degree of Difficulty from all five judges, including a nine from Kessler.

“I’m over the moon excited about it!” Lockman said. “It’s everything I ever dreamed of and wanted, and I’m so proud of my horse and grateful to everybody who helped me get here and the whole support staff that have been here helping me at my first ever Games experience – it’s been truly unforgettable!”

Irwin and Laurencio, members of Canada’s gold-medal-winning team on Monday, put a strong 77.780 on the board to hold second spot, and when Baumert and Handsome slotted into third on 75.755 then all three medal contenders had an anxious wait while the Big Tour foursome strutted their stuff in the Grand Prix Freestyle. And Dominican Republic’s Yvonne Losos De Muñiz put in a strong challenge here with her 14-year-old mare, Aquamarijn, but when the scoreboard showed 75.430 then she just missed out on the podium and the top three wouldn’t change.

US Chef d’Equipe, Debbie McDonald, who with the great mare Brentina was double-gold medallist at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg (CAN) in 1999, couldn’t hold back her tears of delight. Lockman described the motivation her team leader has been providing throughout these Games.

“Debbie has been sending us some really amazing quotes and I think I’m going to have to have one put up in my barn and on my mirror…. she told us ‘you are what you believe, and preparation is everything and you can really do it, and to work to the very last moment for it.’ I’m so thankful to her for the leadership, and to my coach Scott Hassler for his encouraging words leading up to this which have helped me handle the pressure and figure my way through my first Games!” said the new Pan-American individual Dressage champion.

Results https://online.equipe.com/en/competitions/32361.

by Louise Parkes

Join US Equestrian Teams on the Podium at 2019 Pan American Games

Photo: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian.

Gladstone, N.J. – July 30, 2019 – The prestigious Pan American Games, held among athletes from nations of the Americas every four years in the year before the summer Olympic Games as part of the qualifying process, are currently underway in Lima, Peru and our U.S. dressage athletes are already on the podium winning the silver medal in the team competition.

The 18th edition of the Pan American Games will gather approximately 6,700 athletes participating in 39 sports and 61 disciplines, of which 22 disciplines are qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Both the U.S. Dressage and Jumping Teams secured qualification for Tokyo as a result of their team silver and gold medal finishes, respectively, at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon, North Carolina. However, the U.S. Eventing Team will be competing in Lima with a bit more pressure as they seek to earn their qualification for Tokyo at this year’s Pan American Games and must secure a team gold or silver medal to do so.

The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation invites you to show your support for our U.S. equestrian teams as they compete at the 2019 Pan American Games by joining the Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge. The Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge is one that rallies support from all members of the USET Foundation community from the $10 first-time donor to the invested and dedicated trustee. From now through Aug. 11, the more people who participate by making a gift, of any amount, the closer we get to unlocking $100,000 of additional support, which will help elevate athletes and provide valuable opportunities on their journey to equestrian excellence.

“The USET Foundation is always looking for innovative ways to get people involved and feel like part of the team,” said two-time Olympic team gold medalist and 2015 Pan American Games individual gold medalist McLain Ward. “Support is the key to future success. Without people behind you at every level, we’re not going to continue to win on the world stage.”

The U.S. Dressage Team is a three-member squad and consists of Nora Batchelder and her own and Andrea Whitcomb’s Faro SQF, Jennifer Baumert and Betsy Juliano LLC’s Handsome, and Sarah Lockman and Gerry Ibanez’s First Apple.

The U.S. Eventing Team includes Tamie Smith and Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell’s Mai Baum; Boyd Martin and Christine Turner’s Tsetserleg; Doug Payne and his own and Laurie McRee and Catherine Winter’s Starr Witness; and Lynn Symansky and The Donner Syndicate LLC’s RF Cool Play.

Finally, the members of the U.S. Jumping Team will consist of Lucy Deslauriers and Lisa Deslauriers’ Hester, Alex Granato and Paige Tredennick’s Carlchen W, Eve Jobs and her own Venue D’Fees Des Hazalles, and Beezie Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Breitling LS, Coach or Darry Lou.

Be a part of history and show support for Team USA during these pivotal weeks and beyond. Participate in the Pathway to the Podium Participation Challenge at USET.org and spread the word on social media. Current supporters of the Foundation can participate in the challenge and move the USET Foundation one donor closer by giving again now.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.

It’s Dressage Team Gold and a Tokyo Ticket for Canada

Canada’s Dressage team. (FEI/Raul Sifuentes/Getty Images)

USA clinches silver while Brazil bags bronze and the second Olympic team qualifying spot

Canada came out on top in a tight battle with the USA when the Team Dressage medals were decided at the Pan American Games 2019 taking place at the Army Equitation School at La Molina in Lima, Peru. The three-member US side had a fractional advantage after opening competitions, but consistently strong performances from the Canadian crew saw the defending champions having to settle for silver in the final analysis, while Brazil stood on the third step of the medal podium.

This was Canada’s third time to take the team title in the 68-year history of equestrian sport at the Pan Americans, their first victory posted in Cali, Colombia in 1971 and their second in Havana, Cuba in 1991.

The Pan Am format sees team members compete at both Small Tour and Big Tour level, and Team USA, already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games following their silver-medal-winning performance at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 on home ground in Tryon, sent an all-Small-Tour side of just three horse-and-rider combinations. Canada fielded two Small Tour and two Big Tour partnerships, and when Lindsay Kellock (Floratina), Tina Irwin (Laurencio), and Naima Moreira Laliberté (Statesman) all posted scores of 73 percent, their final tally of 440.111 left them 2.32 points ahead of USA in silver and over 31 points clear of the Brazilians in bronze. Fourth team member Jill Irving (Degas 12) provided Canada’s discard score when the top three results for each team were counted.

Canada’s star performer was 22-year-old Moreira Laliberté, daughter of Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, who won both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special with her 12-year-old Sandro Hit gelding, Statesman. “This is my first year of Grand Prix, my sixth competition at this level, and my first major Games,” said the talented rider. Irving is also a Big Tour contender, and the 56-year-old steered her WEG 2018 ride, the 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding Degas 12, into third behind her team-mate.

In the Small Tour Intermediate 1, Irwin and Kellock finished second and third. This is Irwin’s second Pan Am Games, having helped her country to team silver in Guadalajara (MEX) in 2011. The 38-year-old rider and her 12-year-old gelding Laurencio are Small Tour stars, setting a world record at that level in 2017 before moving up to Big Tour. However, they moved back down to Small Tour this year with the specific goal of helping Canada earn their spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and it has worked a treat. “The whole team gave it our all today. Yesterday it was close behind the Americans, and today we were on our ‘A’ game!” Irwin said.

Kellock and her 11-year-old Hanoverian, Floratina, are a relatively new combination who clicked from the moment they came together. The mare was bought as a schoolmaster for a friend who couldn’t find the time to ride her as much as she would like, so loaned her to Kellock who got a really high score with her on their first outing and they have blossomed from there. “The next goal in our minds is Tokyo; we all three have horses that are aimed at that!” said the ambitious 29-year-old.

Irwin and Kellock finished second and third on the Individual leaderboard ahead of Wednesday’s Individual Final in which the top 50% in the rankings from both the Big and Small Tour competitions will battle it out in the Grand Prix Freestyle and Intermediate 1 Freestyle for the Individual Pan American Dressage title, and in which everyone starts from scratch.

Team USA’s Sarah Lockman topped the individual leaderboard with her lovely nine-year-old Dutch-bred stallion, First Apple, who won both the Prix St Georges and Intermediate 1. After accepting her team silver medal alongside compatriots Nora Batchelder (Faro SQF) and Jennifer Baumert (Handsome), Lockman said her Pan Am experience so far has given her “a feeling like no other! It’s my first time to represent the US and it’s such a different feeling for us, as sport is for the most part an individual sport. This (the team competition) has brought a different element and I love it; it’s amazing seeing our flag raised; it’s definitely a rush and something I will never forget!” she added proudly.

And the experienced bronze-medal-winning Brazilian side of Joao Paulo Dos Santos (Carthago Comando SN), Joao Victor Marcari Oliva (Biso das Lezirias), Leandro Aparecide Da Silva (Dicaprio), and Pedro Manuel Tavares de Almeida (Aoleo) also have every reason to be pleased as they, like the winning Canadians, are now Tokyo-bound. Marcari Oliva said, “We are very happy with this qualification; we came here for this, we trained for this, so thank you to my team mates and to everybody who is behind us. Now we have to celebrate!”

All results here.

by Louise Parkes

Bromont Rider Going to Pan American Games in Lima

Lucy Deslauriers & Hester at the International Bromont.

Bromont, June 21, 2019 – Bromont rider Mario Deslauriers will represent Canada in the Jumper discipline at the Pan American Games which will be held in Lima, Peru starting on July 26.

Three Quebeckers for Canada
The Canadian teams in show jumping, eventing, and dressage will all include Quebec riders in their ranks at the Pan American Games. Mario Deslauriers will be on the jumping team, Colleen Loach on the eventing team, and Naima Moreira-Laliberté will be the fourth member on the dressage team.

Horses, a family affair
Mario Deslauriers will not be the only Deslauriers in Lima in a little over a month, as his daughter Lucy, who has accumulated riding successes, will be the reserve member on the National American this time around.

“I am extremely happy for my family and the passion for horses which unites us,” indicated Roger Deslauriers, the International Bromont General Manager. In fact, other than the talented riders in the family, both Deslauriers father and sons are all involved with horses; Patrice and Samuel Deslauriers will be present for the 44th edition of the International Bromont starting as soon as July 24, enough to make the family patriarch, who has spent his life to the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park and the events of all levels that take place there, very proud.

“Mario and Lucy will be with us for the first week, because the jumping events of the Pan American Games will only begin during the second week of the International Bromont. We will definitely be following the outcome from here,” admitted Roger Deslauriers. “They will have all our support.”

About International Bromont
International Bromont presents its 44th edition in the picturesque setting of the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park, in the heart of the beautiful region of the Eastern Townships. For more information and details about the program, visit the web site at: www.internationalbromont.org.

Association équestre Centaure
T. 450-534-0787

In Memoriam: Pan-Am Games Silver Medallist Andres Rodriguez (VEN), 1984-2016

Andres Rodriguez (VEN), who was tragically killed in a car crash on 4 January 2016. (FEI/Cealy Tetley)

Lausanne (SUI), 5 January 2016 – Venezuelan Jumping athlete Andres Rodriguez, individual silver medallist at the 2015 Pan-American Games, has died in hospital of injuries sustained in a car crash in Wellington, Florida (USA) on 4 January. He was 31.

A passenger in the car, Sophie Walker (30), died at the scene of the crash. Ms Walker was a talented amateur rider on the US national circuit.

Andres Rodriguez’s career highlight came at the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto (CAN) when he rode Darlon Van Groenhove to individual silver. He twice represented Venezuela at world championship level, at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky (USA) and the 2014 Games in Normandy (FRA).

His first major success came in 1996 when he won the FEI Children’s Jumping Final. He went on to claim team gold and individual silver at the 2013 Bolivarian Games in Lima (PER), team gold at the 2010 Central American & Caribbean Games in Mayaguez (PUR), and individual gold at the South American Games in Medellin (COL) the same year.

The talented Jumping athlete was bidding to make his Olympic debut at Rio 2016, and was also hoping to make his first appearance at the CHIO in Aachen (GER) this year. He had already realised his goal of a place in the world top 50, and was in 41st on the Longines Rankings.

Born in Venezuela, he moved to Europe after graduating from high school to train with Nelson and Rodrigo Pessoa. More recently, he was based in Paris (FRA) for the summer season and in Florida (USA) for the winter, where he was trained by Irish Jumping legend Eddie Macken. He married his long-term partner Clementine Goutal last month.

“To lose two young athletes in this dreadful way is a terrible shock and our hearts go out to their families and friends,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “Andres Rodriguez was a world-class athlete and clearly a super star in the making. For his life to be cut short in this way is absolutely heart-breaking.”

“The sport has tragically lost one of its greatest ambassadors with the passing of Andres Rodriguez, and I have lost a dear friend, as indeed have many others,” FEI Jumping Director John Roche said. “Andres was a wonderful horseman and an amazing person with a very positive approach to life. He had a heart as big as Mount Everest. He will be greatly missed by us all.”

The FEI extends its sincere condolences to the family and many friends of Andres Rodriguez, to the Venezuelan Equestrian Federation and the global Jumping community.

FEI Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
+41 787 506 142

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

Gold for Ward, Bronze for Hough at 2015 Pan American Games

McLain Ward and Rothchild (StockImageServices.com)

Caledon, Ont. – The final medals in equestrian competition at the 2015 Pan American Games were decided in thrilling fashion this afternoon at the Caledon Equestrian Park. Both Individual Jumping Gold and Bronze were decided by jump-offs after two rounds of intense competition over the big and impressive Michel Vaillancourt-designed tracks. McLain Ward jumped three clear rounds, including in the jump-off against Venezuela’s Andres Rodriguez to win Individual Gold. Lauren Hough captured Individual Bronze as the only clear round in the field of five in the jump-off for Bronze.

Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) and Sagamore Farms’ Rothchild looked determined from the start, putting in one of only three clear rounds in Round A and one of only two clear rounds in Round B. Going first in the jump-off for Gold, Rodriguez had a rail down at 4B meaning that Ward needed to go clear inside the time allowed to secure Gold – he did just that. This is the first Individual medal for Ward, who has earned multiple Team medals at Olympic, Pan American, and World Equestrian Games.

“I waited a long time [for this medal]. I have had great team experiences and this is certainly something I have dreamed about and worked towards,” said Ward. Rothchild was purchased by Ward’s late father, Barney Ward, and has proved a terrific partner for Ward. The pair was part of the Team Bronze effort at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the Team Bronze effort here at the Pan American Games earlier in the week. “It is a very special thing. I rode this horse last year at the [World Equestrian Games] and he is the last horse that I am riding that my father picked out. A bit like my father, [Rothchild] defies the odds. He doesn’t really look or go like he should be a show jumper, and yet he’s won a couple million dollars, a couple big Grand Prix, and now at the Pan American Games. He’s a really competitive horse, his heart is as big as they come, and he gives you everything he has.”

Hough (Wellington, Fla.) and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala had the first element of the double-combination down in Round A, a fence that proved troubling for many combinations. The young mare jumped flawlessly in Round B and headed to the jump-off as the fourth to go. With the three combinations ahead of the pair having at least one rail down, the door was left open for Hough and Ohlala who entered the arena and displayed their signature speed and agility to cross the timers clear and inside the time. The final combination in the jump-off also pulled a rail, leaving Hough and Ohlala as the only pair to post a clear round and thus securing Bronze.

“I am thrilled – we worked really hard for this medal. It was a great week and my horse performed beautifully. I am really happy to be going home with [an individual] medal,” said Hough. “I went as quickly as I felt comfortable [in the jump-off] without taking too much risk and it worked out my way. She was a true champion.”

Also competing for the U.S. in the Individual Final, Georgina Bloomberg (New York, N.Y.) and Gotham Enterprizes, LLC’s Lilli had the very last rail down on course in Round A to head into Round B as one of eight combinations on four faults. An unfortunate rider error heading into the triple combination resulted in downed rails at both the A and B elements, giving the combination an eleventh-place finish, a placing that tied with four other combinations.

“Lilli went so well in the first round today. I think she really left it all out there. I was hoping for a better finish in the second round, but she was a bit tired and I was a little bit nervous. I couldn’t have asked her for more,” said an enthused Bloomberg. Riding on her first championship team, Bloomberg was ecstatic about her experience, having earned a Team Bronze earlier in the week. “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience and am just really happy to be a part of this team. It was so cool; it made me so happy to be here and experience this with these people. The whole U.S. Equestrian Team has been incredible and I am so proud of both McLain and Lauren.”

Complete Results

Behind the Scenes with the U.S. Teams: USEF Sport Director Will Connell’s Blog

From the USEF Communications Department

Canada Claims Team Jumping Gold; America’s Ward Takes Individual Pan-Am Title

(L to R) silver medallist Andres Rodriguez (VEN), gold medallist McLain Ward (USA) and bronze medallist Lauren Hough (USA). (FEI/StockImageServices.com)

Lausanne (SUI), 25 July 2015 – In a series of competitions that could hardly have been choreographed to better effect, Canada claimed the team title while America’s McLain Ward clinched individual gold in Jumping at the Pan-American Games 2015 in Caledon Park, Toronto, Canada.

Thursday’s team tussle was an intriguing battle that proved unpredictable to the end when Argentina filled silver medal spot ahead of the USA in bronze. And it continued in the same vein today when the individual medals were decided in a two-way jump-off for gold and silver as well as a five-way race for the bronze. Venezuela’s Andres Rodriguez went head-to-head with Ward, and although he had to settle for silver his result reflected the consistent theme of the week. The quality of the sport in the region has improved beyond recognition in recent years, and the normally dominant sides had to fight very hard indeed to claim their fair share of the spoils.

Olympic qualification was also hanging in the balance since the action began last Tuesday, and it is Canada and Argentina that have claimed the two team berths for Rio 2016 while two individual qualifying spots have been earned by both Colombia and Venezuela, and one each by Uruguay and Peru.

Gentle introduction

Course designer, Canada’s Michel Vaillancourt, gave them a gentle introduction on Tuesday when 30 of the 50 starters jumped clear. However, it was a very different matter two days later in the team competition, when just four of the 40 team members managed to return a zero score in the first round.

A total of 10 nations – Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela – fielded teams, and it was an unpredictable thriller to the very end. The host country was expected to breeze into one of the Olympic qualifying spots, but at the halfway stage it was Colombia and Argentina who looked set on the road to Rio while Canada was sharing third place with Brazil, Chile lay fifth and the hotly-tipped Americans were lying sixth.

Perfect start

Clears from Daniel Bluman (Conconcreto Sancha LS) and Roberto Teran Tafur (Woklahoma) meant that the single time fault collected by Fernando Cardenas (Quincy Car) was all the Colombians had to count going into the second round. The Argentinians were next in line with two, but Canada carried six, hampered by a seven-fault discard score from Tiffany Foster who had a stop with Tripple X. This meant they had to include the single error from Eric Lamaze (Coco Bongo) and the single time faults of pathfinder Yann Candele (Showgirl) and anchorman Ian Millar (Dixson). But the Canadians and Americans both rallied brilliantly second time out, the host country adding just one more time fault to their tally while all four US riders were foot-perfect.

So when Argentina’s Ramiro Quintana (Whitney), Matias Albarracin (Cannavaro), Luis Pedro Biraben (Abunola) and Jose Larocca Jr (Cornet du Lys) added six to their scoreline, the Canadians sneaked ahead of them by a single penalty point to clinch the gold because the Colombians had disappeared from the reckoning with 14 on their score-sheet second time out. And eight faults for Brazil allowed the USA overtake them for the bronze.

Wanted this so badly

Legendary Canadian team member, Ian Millar, said, “We wanted this so badly for our team and our country!” He acknowledged what a close finish it was, only a single time fault pinning Argentina into silver medal spot. “The last horse (from Argentina) had to have a fault of some kind… and it came down to a fraction of the second in the end,” he admitted.

They may have been nudged out of gold medal spot, but Argentina’s Ramiro Quintana praised the last-to-go run from Jose Larocca Jr – “We needed a clear round and he brought it home,” he said. Larocca commented, “It’s huge for Argentina; it’s been many years since we have had a medal at a Championship like this, so it’s very important, very encouraging to the young riders in our country.”

Right to the wire

Today’s individual final was another nail-biter that went right to the wire, and Larocca was one of just three, from a starting field of 35, who returned a zero score in the first round to leave him on level-pegging with America’s McLain Ward and Venezuela’s Andres Rodriguez. But a mistake in the second round saw the Argentinian battle it out in the five-way jump-off for bronze that took place between all the four-fault riders before the final contest for silver and gold began.

And Larocca was pushed off the medal podium when America’s Lauren Hough added nothing to her first-round error with Ohlala to take the bronze. “I had to fight hard for it!” Hough said after producing the only clear of this jump-off. “For my horse this was her first Championships but she’s done events like Aachen and she seems to get better as the week progresses. I would say the fault I had in the first round, I was too polite at the double planks, but I had a nice position in the jump-off, the three ahead of me had rails down but the one behind was a quick horse so I took a bit of a risk,” she explained.

Jump-Off for gold

Venezuela’s Rodriguez led the way in the jump-off for gold, and left the door open when racing home with Darlon van Groenhove in the fast time of 39.45 seconds, but leaving one element of the double on the floor. “I was a bit too careful at the first part and had the back part of it. I was very fast because I knew McLain was coming behind, so I risked a bit,” he explained. Ward kept a cool head to return a clear in 42.89 to take the individual title, admitting that, as so often happens, luck played a part in the end result. “My game plan was to ride the first five fences fast to try to win it two ways – if I had a fence down I would still be fast enough – and I was lucky at the last (fence); I gave that a bit of a rattle. But I’ve never won a big one without a little bit of good fortune!” said the 39-year-old three-time Olympian.

Talking about his horse, Rothchild, he pointed out, “I knew the courses would get bigger as the week went on and that would suit him; he’s a blood horse and a stamina test suits him, but today I knew I couldn’t make a mistake – it was a tough day’s work!” he said.


Teams: GOLD – Canada 7 faults: Showgirl (Yann Candele) 1/1, Tripple X (Tiffany Foster) 7/0, Coco Bongo (Eric Lamaze) 4/0, Dixson (Ian Millar) 1/5; SILVER – Argentina 8 faults: Whitney (Ramiro Quitana) 5/0, Cannavaro 9 (Matias Albarracin) 1/6, Abunola (Luis Pedro Biraben) 0/5, Cornet du Lys (Jose Larocca) Jr 1/1; BRONZE – USA 12 faults: Rothchild (McLain Ward) 4/0, Lilli (Georgina Bloomberg) 4/0, Ohlala (Lauren Hough) 4/0, Gazelle (Kent Farrington) 5/0.

Individual: GOLD – Rothchild (McLain Ward) USA 0/0/0 42.89; SILVER – Darlon van Groenhove (Andres Rodriguez) 0/0/4 39.45; BRONZE – Ohlala (Lauren Hough) USA 4/0/0 42.15.

Facts and Figures:

A total of 10 nations lined out for the Pan-American Games 2015 team Jumping title.

Only 4 horse-and-rider combinations jumped clear in the first round of the team competition.

The time-allowed of 83 seconds proved difficult to get in the first round when 28 of the 40 starters picked up time faults.

In round two of the team competition, 24 riders collected time faults.

Course designer was Canada’s Michal Vaillancourt who was individual silver medallist at the Montreal Olympics in 1976.

The top-35 according to cumulative penalties over the first and second competitions qualified for today’s individual final. Nations with four riders in the top 35 sent forward their three best-placed combinations.

America’s McLain Ward won individual gold with Rothchild. He was on the winning US team at the previous Pan-American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2011 where he also finished individually fourth.

The list of teams so far qualified in Jumping for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games now includes, Brazil (automatic qualification), France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and USA (placings at Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy), Canada and Argentina (Pan-American Games 2015 in Toronto, Canada), and Qatar (best ranked team from Group F).

Countries can also qualify “composite” teams. For full details of Olympic EVENTING qualification opportunities, and list of teams, check out this link.

The next major Olympic qualification opportunity is at the forthcoming FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen, Germany, 11-23 August where three places are on offer to the best ranked teams from Groups A and/or B.


Individual gold medallist McLain Ward USA, talking about the standard of the sport at the 2015 Pan-American Games – “The level has gotten so much better in the Americas; you could see that in the Nations Cup. The US horses jumped very well but we had a few mistakes – a bit of four-fault-itis – it was one day, one shot, and to be honest if we were to do it again we probably wouldn’t do it any differently. I went to two Olympic Games before I did my first Pan-Ams. I went to Guadalajara (2011) and won team gold and finished individually fourth. But the specs have been raised (over the last four years) and there were quite a few top riders who compete in 5-Stars here this week.”

Individual silver medallist Andres Rodriguez VEN – “We all knew coming in not to expect a hard course on the first day. But the job Michel Villaincourt has done here has been amazing; the feedback he is getting from the riders is brilliant! It was an easy course on day one, but the Nations Cup was unbelievable – no double-clears; it was tough but smart. Today we knew the Championship would end with a big first round, bigger than the last Pan-Ams, and there were only two double-clears at the end.”

Individual bronze medallist Lauren Hough USA – “This is my third Pan-Ams and I am extremely proud and impressed by the level of these Championships. Today was equivalent to any Grand Prix in the world!”

Find out more about the Pan-American Games 2015 here and check out the programme of events here. Results are available here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:
At Toronto:
Jean Llewellyn
Press Officer