USA Pan Am Games Selection Procedures, National Championships Split in Different Parts of Country, 4 Months Apart

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Dec. 30, 2014


The campaign to select the United States team for the Pan American Games that includes both American and European competitions was disclosed Tuesday along with an announcement by the U.S. Equestrian Federation that the national championships for 2015 will be split in two with ponies through Under-25 in the Midwest in August and Grand Prix and Intermediate in Florida in December. The national championships will not be a part of the lineup of Pan Am qualifying competitions.

The initial Pan Am qualifying period for both small tour and big tour horses is through CDIs from Jan. 1 through April 25 for combinations to make separate ranking lists as the Games in Toronto in July will include teams made up of both levels of horses and riders.

A total of at least the top eight combinations will then head to Europe to compete in at least two designated competitions between May 1 and June 10, according to the 15-page selection procedure document.

Robert Dover, the Chef d’Equipe in consultation with selectors will determine by the Pan Am final entry date of June 10 on the makeup of the four-member team–that could be two Small Tour combinations and two Big Tour combinations or three Small Tour combinations and one Big Tour combination.

Only one nation can qualify a team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro through the Pan Ams and that team must include at least one Grand Prix combination.

Both the United States and Canada as well as other Pan Am nations–except for Brazil which is automatically awarded a place as the host–will be seeking to win the single Olympic team berth. Failure to qualify at the Pan Ams would mean trying to get enough individuals qualified by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) rankings to form a so-called composite squad that requires a minimum of three horses and riders to field a team.

Of the 12 CDI shows in North America from Jan. 1 to April 5, eight are in Wellington, Florida and four in Southern California.

The complete USEF selection procedure document is available at:

The selection procedure that is unusual in that it does not focus on the Festival of Champions with ground juries typically made up of only American judges was privately praised by some top riders at both Grand Prix and Prix St. Georges.

Competing in a minimum of two CDIs–as low as CDI1* for Prix St. Georges/Intermediate 1 and CDI3* for Grand Prix–with panels of five judges that typically include at least three foreign jurists was cited as the fairest procedure. The European competitions made up of at ualifying through CDIs competitions typically The USEF announced that Pony, Junior, Young Rider, and Young Adult “Brentina Cup” championships will be staged in conjunction with the Young and Developing Horse Dressage championships at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois Aug. 19-23.

The Grand Prix and Intermediaire I Championships presented by the Dutta Corp. will be held at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival grounds in Wellington, Florida Dec. 9-13.