Bolivarian Games Equestrian Events Get Underway, USA Holds Up Transport of Some Dressage Horses

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The Ecuador dressage team of  Guido Paez, Carolina Espinoza, Martina Falconi, Cesar Torrente (coach), and Maria Jose Granja. Photo courtesy of Maria Granja
The Ecuador dressage team of Guido Paez, Carolina Espinoza, Martina Falconi, Cesar Torrente (coach), and Maria Jose Granja. Photo courtesy of Maria Granja

TRUJILLO, Peru, Nov. 21, 2013–Equestrian competition gets underway Thursday at the Bolivarian Games with 89 horses from nine nations entered in dressage, eventing and jumping, but some Florida-based dressage horses were prevented by the United States from leaving and cut the number of participants.

Seventeen dressage horses from six nations are scheduled for the veterinary check Thursday. However, only Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have enough horses to be able to field teams. Two combinations each from Bolivia, Venezuela and Guatemala will compete as individuals.

Medals will be awarded to the top three teams and to the top three individuals.

The Nations Cup for dressage is at FEI Junior Team level on Saturday with individual competition at FEI Junior Preliminary level scheduled for Sunday at Club Hipico Militar.

Maribel Alonso de Quinzaños of Mexico, newly appointed to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Dressage Committee, is president of the ground jury with Marian Cunningham of Peru, Lilo Fore of the United States, Cara Whitham of Canada and Gabriel Armando of Argentina as members.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors at Miami International Airport were reported by equestrians who did not want to be identified to have refused to allow five horses in a group of six from leaving.

Among the reasons cited was that at least one health certificate was signed by a veterinarian whose authorization was valid at the time but expired the day of departure of the horses. At least one horse was kept in quarantine for several days while others were withdrawn from the Games by riders upset with the treatment of the horses and sent back to their Florida stables.

“We are working with the USDA through a range of issues related to the movement of horses for this event,” the FEI, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, said in response to questions from dressage-news.com.

“The FEI has already acted to ensure an improved set of importation requirements for these Games.”

The FEI has worked with the World Organization for Animal Health known by its initial in French, OIE, on the movement of performance horses in the Americas. A meeting was held in Guadalajara, Mexico during the Pan American Games in 2011 and a regional meeting of governments and national federations in Panama last year.

Questions have been raised over importation of horses to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic Games. Rio hosted the 2007 Pan American Games that were marred by problems of horses imported from throughout the Americas.

The FEI said it has met several times with the leading Brazilian authorities to deal with animal health requirements for the Olympics.

Equestrian sports have been on the schedule for 14 of the 17 Bolivarian Games that were created to honor Simón Bolívar, successful in leading efforts to wrest control of much of South America from Spain in the early 19th century.

About $140 million was spent by organizers–mostly governments–to stage the 17th edition of the Bolivarians at this ancient Pacific coastal city 350 miles (560km) north of Lima.

The Games were first staged in 1938 and are held once every four years. The continental National Olympic Committees of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Bolivia, El Salvador and Panama participate in the Games that this year have grown to 50 sports.

Dressage combinations listed for the veterinary check:

RIDER COUNTRY HORSE
HERNAN RAMIREZ BOLIVIA KADESH
CATERINA PEREIRA BOLIVIA WADY ROYAN
DIANA REY COLOMBIA CELINA
MAURICIO SANCHEZ COLOMBIA FIRST FISHERMAN
RADME MAHMUD COLOMBIA HIGHLANDER
MARTINA FALCONI ECUADOR BILLY MF
CAROLINA ESPINOSA ECUADOR DOLLAR
MARIA GRANJA ECUADOR EMILIANO AP
GUIDO PAEZ ECUADOR TORIBA INTERAGRO
LOIDA CEBEIRA GUATEMALA QUANDERUS
ALEXANDRA DOMINGUEZ GUATEMALA NOVIEMBRE
JUAM HERNAIZ PERU AFRICA MIA
MARGOTH BAITIEVSKY PERU FOX SEA
MARIA DE LA PIEDRA PERU LUCKY 007
MONICA VON WEDEMEYER PERU SENSA DUBIO
IRINA MOREIRA VENEZUELA RYOLTH
ALIDA ALFONSO VENEZUELA DARIUS