Colombia Falls Short in 1st Concerted Effort for Olympic Qualifying Scores

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The Colombian bronze medal team at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara that qualified for the Olympics but whose horses and riders now need to obtain minimum eligibiity scores. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

MANNHEIM, Germany, May 5–Three of Colombia’s prospective Olympic combinations came up short Saturday in their first concerted campaign to attain the minimum eligibility scores required to send a team to the Games in London in three months.

Colombia qualified their first ever team for the Olympics by winning the bronze medal at the Pan American Games in 2011 that was at small tour. Olympic qualifying rules require each combination to obtain two scores of at least 64 per cent as the average from the ground jury and from a 5* judge on the panel at a CDI3* or higher rated competition.

The minimum eligibility scores have to be obtained by June 17.

In Saturday’s Grand Prix, Raul Corchuelo and Gusarapo scored 62.468 per cent. The pair were competing in their first CDI.

Marco Bernal, based in Wellington, Florida, and Don Akzentus scored 61.553 per cent. The combination competed at two shows in Florida in March, but did not receive the required results.

Maria Ines Garcia and Kupfermann were awarded 55.681 per cent. The pair showed last month but did not obtain a required minium.

Not competing here was the fourth Colombian combination, Constanza Jaramillo who has been competing Wakana, the 12-year-old mare that was trained and shown by Ulla Salzgeber of Germany until a year ago. Constanza rode Wakana at last year’s Pan Ams. She has ridden the mare in two CDIs in Europe but has not yet attained the 64 per cent minimum.

Three of the combinations will have to obtain the minimum qualifying scores for Colombia to field a team in London.

The rules state: “If the members of a qualified team do not reach the minimum eligibility standard or an NOC (National Olympic Committee) decide not to use the team quota place obtained by 17 June, 2012:

“1. The NOC in question may then compete with a maximum of two individuals.

“2. The unused quota place(s) will go to the next best ranked NOC on the FEI Olympic Athletes Eanking – Dressage.”

The top two in the rankings for the South American group are Luíza Tavares de Almeida of Brazil on Samba and Yvonne Losos de Muñiz of the Dominican Republic on Liebling II.

The rankings for South America are in dispute and an appeal has been filed with the Court for Arbitration for Sport in Laursanne, Switzerland.