Pan American Games Test Event & World Cup Qualifier in Caledon This Week

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The new pavilion and competition arena at the Caledon Equestrian Center near Toronto that will be used for the 2015 Pan American Games. © 2014 Shoot Photographic
The new pavilion and competition arena at the Caledon Equestrian Center near Toronto that will be used for the 2015 Pan American Games. © 2014 Shoot Photographic

PALGRAVE, Ontario, June 2, 2014–The test event for the 2015 Pan American Games along with the first World Cup dressage qualifier in Canada in three years is being staged at the Caledon Equestrian Center outside Toronto this week and advance reviews from jumper riders give thumbs up to the rebuilt show grounds.

At least as much focus will be on the last stage of qualifying for the Canadian team for the World Equstrian Games at the end of August with at least a half-dozen combinations in the running for a ticket to Normandy, France.

The rebuilt show grounds, named the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park, include a new pavilion overlooking the competition arena with sand-fiber mix footing prepared especially by Germany’s Christian Bauer of IQ Footing to prepare for the Pan Ams scheduled for July 10-26, 2015.

The rebuilding cost was borne by a private-government partnership, but details have not yet been released.

The first event at the new Caledon was a CSI2* last month, won by 10-time Olympian “Cap’n Canada” Ian Millar who raved about the facility.

“It’s fantastic!” he said. “This facility will assure us the best equestrian events of any Pan American Games and, just as importantly, it reminds me of ‘Field of Dreams’–build it, and they will come.

“When you have a facility of this standard, it attracts sponsorship, it attracts prize money, it attracts television coverage.  The highest level of competition is nothing but great for our riders. It will make our sport stronger and healthier.”

This week will be the turn of dressage competitors with all but one combination in contention for a spot on Canada’s WEG team seeking scores to count before the end of qualifying on June 30.

After this World Cup qualifier, only two events remain before the deadline–one in Eastern Canada and one in Western Canada. Qualifying criteria requires that one of four scores must be attained from May 1 to June 29.

Belinda Trussell and Anton are at the top of the standings with an average of 70.03 and David Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital, on Canada’s 2012 Olympic team, are second on 69.319, both pairs with four scores in the book but still needing a May-June result. The 23-year-old Megan Lane and Caravella have three scores averaging 69.98 while Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro’s average for three scores is 68.759.

Karen Pavicic opted to take her Don Daiquiri to Europe with a three-score avera of 68.75 and did not move up with the result from France last weekend.