USA Team of 4 Small Tour Combinations Named for Pan American Games
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June 26, 2019
The United States team of four Small Tour combinations for the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru July 28-31 was announced Wednesday, aiming to win the sixth straight continental championship title as a 2020 Tokyo Olympic start is already assured.
Three of the four have not competed outside the U.S. but two horses are nine years old and considered Grand Prix team prospects.
The team announced by the U.S. Equestrian Federation is:
Prix St. Georges/Intermediate 1
–Nora Batchelder, 35 years old, of Williston, Florida and Faro SQF, American-bred 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Fidertanz 2 x Rotspot) owned by Andrea Whitcomb and Nora
–Jennifer Baumert, 48, of Wellington, Florida and Handsome, 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Hochadel x Weltmeyer) owned by Betsy Juliano LLC
–Sarah Lockman, 30, of Murrieta, California, and First Apple, nine-year-old KWPN stallion (Vivaldi x T.C.N. Partout) owned by Gerry Ibanez
–Endel Ots, 33, of Wellington and Lucky Strike, nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Lord Laurie x His Highness) owned by Max Endel Ots.
Grand Prix/Grand Prix Special
Nick Wagman, 45, of San Diego, California and Don John, 11-year-old KWPN gelding (Johnson x Goodtimes) owned by Beverly Jean Gepfer
The team combinations, selected on CDI results this year, will gather in Wellington the third week of July before leaving for Lima.
Pan American Games dressage competition is primarily at Small Tour, though teams seeking to qualify for the Olympics must include at least one Grand Prix combination. Canada and Mexico have announced their teams, both naming two Big Tour combinations and two at Small Tour. Brazil, another nation contending for a 2020 Olympic start, will announce its team within the next two days.
Big Tour combinations receive a bonus of 1.5% for both Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special scores that will count for team results.
For the U.S., Endel Ots and Lucky Strike is the only Small Tour duo to have competed outside the U.S.–at the 2015 and 2016 World Young Horse Championships.
However, both Sarah Lockman and First Apple and Endel and Lucky Strike are developing their nine-year-old horses to Grand Prix.
Scott Hassler, coach of Sarah and First Apple, said the pair have the Tokyo Olympics as the goal after the Pan Ams.
Jennifer Baumert on Handsome was on the American gold medal team at this year’s Nations Cup in Wellington, Florida in March.
Nora Batchelder is steeped in dressage as the trainer and rider of several of the horses in her family’s breeding and training business.
Nick Wagman and Don John, reserve for the team, competed in Europe for the first time this year, including on the U.S. Nations Cup team at Geesteren, Netherlands this month.
The Pan Ams, held once every four years, are a qualifier for two teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The U.S. silver medal performance at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon last September qualified a team for Tokyo.
In the 15 Pan Ams since the championships were first staged in 1951, the United States has won eight team gold medals, including the last five, as well as five team silvers.
The ground jury has been named as Janet Lee Foy-USA (5*), Eduard de Wolff van Westerrode-NED (5*), Mary Seefried-AUS (5*), Brenda Minor-CAN (4*) and Thomas Kessler-GER (4*).