Pan American Games Jumping Starts Wednesday
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
GUADALAJARA, Mexico, Oct. 25–Pan American Games jumping starts Wednesday with horses and riders from 17 nations including 12 teams seeking to qualify for the Olympic Games in London next year.
For the United States, Olympic team gold medalists at the 2004 and 2008 Games, they not only will be seeking to qualify for London but also to win gold as both the dressage and eventing teams did at these Pan Ams held once every four years.
It is inconceivable that the U.S. with a team that includes McLain Ward and Beezie Madden who were on both those Olympic gold medal squads would not win a ticket to London. Brazil and Canada qualified at the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the rules allow another three teams from the Guadalajara competition to reserve a berth for next year.
The U.S. has stood on the medals podium the last nine Pan Ams, from 1975 through 2007, and in that time frame has won four team gold medals, the same as Brazil, with Canada won one.
The 12 nations with teams are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela. Individual combinations are from Bermuda, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Panama and Puetto Rico.
“We have five top riders and five lovely horses,” said U.S. team coach George Morris “It’s as strong a team as we have probably right now.”
In addition to McLain of Brewster, New York on Antares F and Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, New York, on Coral Reef Via Volo the U,S. squad includes Christine McCrea of East Windsor, Connecticut on Romantovich Take One and Kent Farrington of Wellington, Florida, on Uceko. Mario Deslauriers of New York City on Urico is the traveling reserve.
Canada, however, has three team silver medalists from the 2008 Olympics–Ian Millar on Star Power, Eric Lamaze on Coriana V Klapscheut and Jill Henselwood on George as well as Jonathan Asselin on Showgirl.
Brazil’s squad includes Rodrigo Pessoa on HH Ashley, Bernardo Alves on Bridgit, Alvaro Miranada Neto on Ad Norson and Karina Johannpeter on SRF Dragonfly.
Several other teams include seasoned international and world championship riders.