Latin America, Canada Seeking to Restore Olympic Team Qualification to two Pan Am Nations

8 years ago admin Comments Off on Latin America, Canada Seeking to Restore Olympic Team Qualification to two Pan Am Nations
Riders in the CDIO3* Nations Cup in Florida in 2012. © 2012 SusanJStickle.com
Riders in the CDIO3* Nations Cup in Florida in 2012. © 2012 SusanJStickle.com

Nations in Latin America are seeking to muster support to restore Olympic team qualification to two nations at the Pan American Games following a draft proposal by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) to cut it to a single country.

The 11 countries that make up FEI’s Group V that includes Mexico are drafting a proposal to the Pan American Equestrian Confederacy to maintain the previous qualifying of two nations at the Pan Ams, the largest multisport event in the world after the Olympics.

An effort has been launched to enlist the support of dressage riders to get the other two geographic groups in the Americas–one including Canada, the United States and Caribbean nations and the other that includes Brazil–to apply pressure on the FEI that drafted the proposal to be discussed at the Sport Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland April 8-9.

The FEI Dressage Committee amended the original draft to increase the number of nations qualifying through the World Equestrian Games in Normandy next year to four from three but kept the Pan Am qualifying at one.

Canada, which will host the next Pan Ams in Toronto in 2015, has denounced the proposal.

The United States is sending an official to the Sport Forum, but is otherwise taking a wait and see approach.

The rationale for cutting Pan Am qualifying to one is that Brazil is automatically provided a team berth–but needs to earn minimum qualifying scores–as the host of the first Olympics to be held in South America, in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The only Nations Cup in the Western Hemisphere is being held at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida the same week as the Sport Forum. A major goal of the Nations Cup is to develop a new format to raise the level of competition at the Pan Ams to Grand Prix from the current small tour.

Carmen Barrera. president of Group V made up of Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guetamala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, has appealed for support from the Pan American Confederacy.

“We hope to keep the classification as it was for London 2012,” she said.

An effort has also been launched to gather signatures from riders on a petition.