USA GOLD, CANADA SILVER, COLOMBIA BRONZE IN PAN AMERICAN GAMES DRESSAGE

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USA Pan American Games gold medal team of (l to r) Cesar Parra, Heather Blitz, Marisa Fsterling and Steffen Peters. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, Oct. 16–The United States “Dream Team” won an historic fourth straight dressage team gold medal at the Pan American Games Sunday, with Canada taking silver and Colombia the bronze to also qualify those two nations to send a team to London for next year’s Olympic Games. The U.S. qualified for the 2012 Olympics at the World Equestrian Games last year.

Canada and Colombia will join join host Great Britain, Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and the United States at the Olympics in London next year. Two nations from Asia, Africa and Oceania will qualify in competitions in Sydney, Australia Oct. 28 and Ermelo, The Netherlands on Nov. 2.

The United States surpassed expectations with an unrecedented all three scores that counted for the team result all above 70 per cent–Marisa Festerling on Big Tyme with 71.921 per cent, Heather Blitz and Paragon on 75.105 per cent and Steffen Peters and Weltino’s Magic on a personal best and Pan Am Games record of 80.132 per cent–to post a record for the Games held once every four years and celebrating the 60th birthday.

Constanza Jaramilo of Colombia became one of the new stars of Latin American when she rode the mare Wakana to a score of 72.158 per cent to squeeze into third place individually and break up a sweep of the top three placings by the U.S. Contanza bought the from Ulla Salzgeber during the summer, dropped it back to small tour and has been working with the German Olympian.

For Steffen Peters, 46, of San Diego, California, this was adding his first a Pan American Games medal to a collection that already includes an Olymic team medal, world championship team and individual medals and a World Cup title.

Weltino’s Magic, a nine-year-old Westfalen gelding (Weltino x Viva), The pair swept the small tour at the World Equestrian Festival small tour in Aachen, Germany, this year and finished at the top of the U.S. qualifying competition. Steffen has been ranked as high as No. 3 in the world  with Rave, but this was his first Pan Ams.

Steffen Peters and Weltino's Magic on their way to 80 per cent in the Pan American Games Prix St. Georges. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

“I was extremely happy, it was one of the best tests he’s done,” Steffen said of his ride.

“I have to say a big thank you first of all to my teammates because they gave me a very relaxed position to start in today. The past few years I have always had to carry a lot of weight on my shoulders as the very last rider but the team did an awesome job, every single horse, every single rider.”

The strength of the team was such that the gold medal was secured after the first three riders.

“Magic topped it today with really, really good pirouettes, very good trot work – even the trot extensions felt good which sometimes can be a little bit his weak point,” he said. “On top of that he walked really, really relaxed. I was so happy about it I actually got a little close to where I had to pick up the canter and I almost ran out of space because I was so excited about that super walk.

“There wasn’t a single flaw in the test and for that to happen when it matters the most that shows how reliable and how exciting Magic is so I’m super happy. I am very, very thankful to Bruce and Jen Hlavacek who let me ride such a wonderful horse.”

Paragon ridden by Heather Blitz showing off his fancy gaits in Guadalajara. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Heather Blitz, 42, of Wellington, Florida, said the warmup with her eight-year-old American-bred Danish Warmblood gelding (Don Schufro x Pari Lord) was super, super relaxed.”

Since arriving in Mexico, Paragon has been a little excited but “today he had a super combination of obedience, which is pretty normal for him to be so obedient for me, and energy and relaxation. It was really the best I’ve ever had him and to say that in a championship like this – I’m really patting him and myself on the back too.

“So now its hindsight, I guess my leadup to this championship has been really good. I guessed well, because it’s always kind of a guess, how much to train and how to make them peak at the right moment. But I really feel like that this was the peak of his career.

“When I go in the ring, I always just completely erase my external environment. I know it exists but I don’t let it get in my head. It’s just the 20 by 60 arena like it always is and I tried to ride with precision, letter by letter and kept in mind all the things  Anne (Gribbons) has been helping me with over the last week, her little tweaks. Her judges’ perspective is invaluable.”

Marisa Festerling and Big Tyme beaming after their Prix St. Georges. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

This was the first U.S team experience for Marisa, 34, of Moorpark, California and the mother of a baby girl.

She said the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood (Saros van ‘t Gestelhof x Elvira x Wendekreis) went great.

“He felt incredible. Just the feeling from up top was super. He was relaxed but alert in the arena but he was listening to me which is the best you could hope for.

“It was amazing to ride in there, I just thought, ‘We’re here, we did it.’ This is such a joyful occasion. I was just so happy. I just thought that we were going to go and do our job and he gave me a great feeling and a great confident feeling because he was relaxed and happy.”
Marisa has ridden Big Tyme since he was four years old, including at the World Breedinh Championships in Verden, Germany.
“I thought my ride was pretty flawless there was one little bobble coming in to the pirouette he almost collected too much but I caught him really quick and I think we got it back on track as quick as we could. Everything else I thought was really super. I couldn’t be happier and I couldn’t ask for more.”
The score of 69.526 per cent for Cesar Parra, 48, of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, and Grandioso, 10, a Westfalen gelding (Grosso Z x Hauptstutbuch Popocatepal), was the lowest for the U.S. and thus was dropped. Cesar became an American citizen last year. He competed in two Pan Am Games for his native Colombia, winning a team silvr medal, as well as the Olympics, WEG and World Cup Final.
Complete scores:


E GBR CLARKE Stephen
H CAN WHITHAM Cara
C USA FORE Lilo
M FRA SALEH Raphael
B ARG ARMANDO Gabriel
Rk Horse
no.
Rider Horse Percentages & (Rank) %Score
E (Rk) H (Rk) C (Rk) M (Rk) B (Rk)
1 101 T USA PETERS Steffen WELTINO’S MAGIC 78.158 (1) 78.816 (1) 85.132 (1) 80.263 (1) 78.290 (1)
80.132
2 102 T USA BLITZ Heather Anderson PARAGON 76.579 (2) 74.737 (2) 74.869 (2) 73.421 (2) 75.921 (2)
75.105
3 60 T COL JARAMILLO Constanza WAKANA 69.869 (11) 71.842 (4) 73.290 (4) 71.974 (5) 73.816 (3)
72.158
4 103 T USA FESTERLING Marisa BIG TYME 71.316 (8) 72.237 (3) 74.079 (3) 73.290 (3) 69.211 (10)
72.026
5 40 T CAN DVORAK Thomas VIVA’S SALIERI W 72.632 (5) 71.447 (5) 70.395 (8) 70.526 (7) 73.553 (4)
71.711
6 80 T DOM LOSOS DE MUÑIZ Ivonne DONDOLO MARISMAS 73.290 (3) 69.079 (7) 70.000 (11) 72.763 (4) 71.711 (5)
71.369
7 42 T CAN IRWIN Tina WINSTON 70.263 (9) 70.526 (6) 70.526 (7) 70.658 (6) 71.711 (5)
70.737
8 300 T MEX PUJALS Bernadette IUSA ROLEX 73.026 (4) 67.763 (12) 70.790 (6) 68.947 (10) 71.316 (7)
70.369
9 62 T COL BERNAL Marco FAREWELL 71.447 (6) 68.026 (10) 70.000 (11) 70.395 (8) 71.316 (7)
70.237
10 100 T USA PARRA Cesar Alberto GRANDIOSO 71.447 (6) 68.290 (9) 69.474 (13) 69.869 (9) 68.553 (11)
69.526
11 41 T CAN KROETCH Crystal LYMRIX 70.000 (10) 68.421 (8) 71.316 (5) 67.895 (14) 66.316 (21)
68.790
12 31 T BRA PEREIRA JUNIOR Mauro TULUM COMANDO SN 66.842 (18) 67.369 (14) 70.263 (10) 68.290 (12) 70.921 (9)
68.737
13 32 T BRA ALMEIDA Luiza PASTOR 68.421 (13) 68.026 (10) 70.395 (8) 68.684 (11) 65.658 (22)
68.237
14 303 T MEX ZAYRIK Omar LORD 67.105 (17) 67.500 (13) 69.079 (15) 68.026 (13) 67.369 (15)
67.816
15 50 T CHI VARGAS Mario Roberto TEJAS VERDES TYLOV 68.553 (12) 65.263 (22) 66.711 (24) 67.763 (15) 68.290 (13)
67.316
16 82 T DOM UEMURA Samira ROYAL AFFAIR 68.158 (14) 66.447 (16) 68.158 (16) 67.369 (16) 65.263 (25)
67.079
17 33 T BRA CLEMENTINO Rogerio SARGENTO DO TOP 66.316 (21) 65.790 (18) 67.369 (19) 67.105 (17) 68.421 (12)
67.000
17 302 T MEX RIVERA Antonio NAVAL 67.895 (16) 65.000 (23) 67.237 (20) 66.711 (18) 68.158 (14)
67.000
19 400 T PUR DENIZARD Luis NALANDO 68.026 (15) 66.447 (16) 66.711 (24) 66.316 (21) 66.711 (18)
66.842
20 501 T VEN GOMEZ Alejandro REVENGE 66.842 (18) 66.579 (15) 66.447 (28) 66.447 (20) 66.842 (16)
66.632
21 63 T COL GARCIA Maria Ines BECKAM 66.447 (20) 65.658 (19) 66.974 (22) 66.711 (18) 66.447 (20)
66.447
22 202 T GUA DAUBER Christa SERAFINO 65.658 (23) 65.000 (23) 67.105 (21) 66.316 (21) 65.395 (24)
65.895
23 503 T VEN TORBAY Beatriz DON ROYAL 64.869 (27) 64.869 (25) 67.895 (17) 63.947 (24) 66.579 (19)
65.632
24 61 T COL SANCHEZ Juan Mauricio FIRST FISHERMAN 65.526 (24) 63.026 (31) 66.711 (24) 65.395 (23) 66.842 (16)
65.500
25 43 T CAN BYNG-MORRIS Roberta REIKI THYNE 65.000 (26) 64.474 (26) 69.211 (14) 63.947 (24) 63.290 (31)
65.184
26 71 T CRC EGERSTROM Anne AMORINO 64.211 (29) 65.395 (21) 66.842 (23) 63.947 (24) 63.553 (29)
64.790
27 301 T MEX PADILLLA Jose Luis DONNERSBERG 61.316 (38) 65.658 (19) 67.632 (18) 63.421 (27) 63.421 (30)
64.290
28 203 T GUA MORTIMER Esther Karen VIVA´S VEROVERAAR 63.684 (30) 64.342 (27) 66.711 (24) 62.500 (31) 63.158 (32)
64.079
29 70 T CRC LUTTMANN Gretchen DUDROVNIK 65.526 (24) 63.290 (29) 64.737 (31) 62.105 (33) 63.947 (27)
63.921
30 30 T BRA SILVA Leandro VDL LÁCTEUR 63.290 (32) 61.842 (33) 65.263 (29) 63.421 (27) 65.658 (22)
63.895
31 91 T ECU ESPINOZA Carolina AMADEO 66.053 (22) 64.079 (28) 63.553 (32) 61.316 (34) 64.342 (26)
63.869
32 81 T DOM FERNANDEZ DIAZ George BRAVO 19 64.342 (28) 63.158 (30) 65.263 (29) 63.158 (29) 60.658 (39)
63.316
33 201 T GUA ROESCH Silvia CARACOL XXIV 63.421 (31) 62.369 (32) 62.763 (35) 62.895 (30) 60.790 (38)
62.447
34 28 HON ATALA Karen WEISSENFELS 61.053 (39) 60.921 (35) 63.421 (33) 60.526 (37) 60.263 (40)
61.237
35 502 T VEN MOLEIRO Irina SAMBUCA 60.790 (40) 59.737 (39) 62.763 (35) 60.658 (36) 62.105 (34)
61.211
36 52 T CHI PIRAINO Max JAGUAR 62.369 (34) 60.263 (37) 62.763 (35) 60.263 (39) 60.132 (41)
61.158
37 73 T CRC HERRERA ARAUZ Gloriana RHAPSODY 60.526 (41) 58.816 (41) 61.842 (38) 60.526 (37) 63.816 (28)
61.105
38 21 CAY MCTAGGART Jessica Mary RAY OF LIGHT 62.105 (36) 57.632 (42) 61.579 (40) 62.237 (32) 61.053 (36)
60.921
39 53 T CHI CODDOU Oscar Hernan TAMBO MERLIN 62.105 (36) 60.658 (36) 61.316 (41) 58.290 (44) 61.711 (35)
60.816
40 90 T ECU MONTALVO Maria Elvira NAVARGO 58.158 (43) 61.711 (34) 63.158 (34) 59.474 (40) 61.053 (36)
60.711
41 51 T CHI YARUR Virginia EL DORADO 62.500 (33) 60.132 (38) 59.605 (46) 61.053 (35) 60.000 (42)
60.658
42 402 T PUR LANGE Ursula TOFTEGARDENS LOBB 57.632 (46) 55.526 (46) 61.316 (41) 59.342 (41) 62.895 (33)
59.342
43 72 T CRC BATALLA NAVARRO Michelle FERRO 57.369 (47) 59.079 (40) 61.711 (39) 58.026 (46) 59.342 (45)
59.105
44 500 T VEN AROCHA Maria ARISTOCRATA 57.763 (44) 56.711 (44) 59.869 (45) 58.553 (43) 59.869 (43)
58.553
45 92 T ECU MENDOZA Julio Cesar IVAN 58.158 (42) 55.263 (47) 60.526 (43) 58.947 (42) 59.605 (44)
58.500
46 401 T PUR LIAUW Franchesca GB MARKO 62.369 (34) 57.369 (43) 56.447 (47) 56.974 (47) 59.079 (46)
58.447
47 200 T GUA SCHORPP Vivian Andrea MESSINA 57.632 (45) 56.711 (44) 60.395 (44) 58.158 (45) 59.079 (46)
58.395
34 T BRA ALMEIDA Pedro Manuel VIHESTE
WD