Horses from Several Nations Leave USA for Pan Am Games

10 years ago StraightArrow Comments Off on Horses from Several Nations Leave USA for Pan Am Games
Heather Blitz and Paragon posing for Rob McKean as they preare to board the flight to Mexico. © 2011 Christina Devine/Dutta Corp.

Horses from several American nations were flown out of the United States Tuesday for the the Pan American Games equestrian competition that starts with the dressage Nations Cup on Sunday at Guadalajara, Mexico.

Teams of the U.S. and Canada of four horses each and a sole Ecuadoran horse were flown on a chartered flight from Newburg, New York, after more than a week at separate training camps for the two North American squads.

Teams from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela and individual horses from Puerto Rica, Colombia and other nations were flown out of Miami.

Canada's Tom Dvorak leading Viva's Salieri W to the aircraft for the flight to Mexico. © 2011 Christina Devine/Dutta Corp.

Tweleve teams and three individuals have entered the dressage competition at the Guadalajara Country Club with the Nations Cup n Sunday and the battle for three individual medals on Monday and Wednesday.

The Pan American Games, although held at Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire once every four years, is a qualifier for the Olympics in London next year.

Two teams will qualify from the Americas in addition to the U.S. that earned a berth at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010.

The U.S. is the hot favorite to win team gold, which would give it an unprecedented fourth straight victory.

The U.S. is also given a shot at capturing two individual medals. Under Pan Am rules, a single nation can win only two individual medals, which the U.S. achieved at the 2007 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Canada's horses looking smart in matching red and white blankets. © 2011 Christina Devine/Dutta Corp.
Weltino's Magic being led aboard the flight to Mexico. © 2011 Christina Devine/Dutta Corp.