Pan Am Games Individual Medal Freestyle Start List Changed After On-Again, Off-Again Negotiations

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Pan American Games and International Equestrian Federation officials in one of the many huddles throughout Monday trying to resolve an issue over the individual medal Freestyle start list that several nations said should never have been an issue. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Pan American Games and International Equestrian Federation officials in one of the many huddles throughout Monday trying to resolve an issue over the individual medal Freestyle start list that several nations said should never have been an issue. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

PALGRAVE, Ontario, July 13, 2015–A rider from the United States and one from Canada that ranked fourth on their teams were dropped from the Pan American Games individual Freestyle medals competition to be replaced by riders from two other nations when the competition is held Tuesday.

Combinations dropped from the Intermediate 1/Grand Prix Freestyles starting lineup were Megan Lane of Canada on Caravella at Big Tour and Sabine Schut-Kery of the United States on Sanceo at Small Tour.

Irina Moleiro de Muro of Venezuela on Von Primaire and Bernadette Pujals of Mexico on Heslegaards Rolex were added to the start list in place of the Canadian and U.S. combinations.

The original start list of 21 horses and riders–11 alone from from Brazil, Canada and the U.S.–were published on the official Toronto 2015 Internet site Sunday night.

Although rules by both the Pan Am organization known as PASO and the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) limited the number of combination to three from any one nation in the individual final no changes were made and four combinations from Canada and the United States remained on the list. At the previous Pan Ams in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2011 the fourth ranked American pair was not allowed to move on.

Venezuela filed a formal protest that at first was rejected because it was not in English and then that it was too late before an English language version was provided.

A petition supporting the protest was signed by 13 of the 16 nations participating in the championships that covers the entire hemisphere and held only once every four years. Nations signing were Argentina, Bermuda, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Brazil, Canada and the United States did not sign.

After telephone conversations throughout Monday morning, a noon meeting was arranged by Freddy Leyman of Belgium, the FEI chief steward and Elizabeth McMullen of Canada, president of the ground jury, at the Caledon Pan Am equestrian center outside Toronto.

It took on a surreal atmosphere from the start with two members of each team’s management group allowed to attend.

The PASO rule was spelled out. However, a decision was made to leave in the four Canadian and American combinations and to add the next two ranked riders but it was uncertain whether the results of the two added combinations would count.

This correspondent was not allowed into the meeting during the discussion but admitted for the draw itself–a common practice especially at championships for the sake of transparency.

A telephone call received by the Canadian judge Elizabeth McMullen as the draw started informed her that the draw would be a violation of the PASO rule and if continued could face serious sanction from PASO, up to expulsion from the organization. That had further ramifications because PASO is affiliated with the International Olympic Committee.

Trond Asmyr, the FEI dressage director, showed up later in the afternoon and five hours after the meeting first began the draw was completed that replaced the fourth ranked Canadian and U.S. riders.

This correspondent was not permitted into the draw.

The brouhaha over what officials said should never have been an issue to start with was the latest snafu at the dressage competition at these Games.

CBC, the Canadian public broadcaster that acquired the rights for Pan Am Games coverage, did not broadcast or stream any dressage competition and has also not included eventing in their schedule. There has been no official video recording of the event even for the judges to review or for sale to participants and their families of what may be a once in a lifetime experience.

At the same time, media correspondents and some teams have been warned that if they video the competition their accreditation to cover the Games will be revoked.

A broader issue has been a move by the organizers to clamp down on the re-sale of tickets even at face value from purchasers who cannot attend Pan Am events. The practice of re-selling unused tickets is common throughout the world. The organizers reportedly have had no luck trying to clamp down on U.S. Internet sites allowing the sale of Pan Am tickets.

The newest start list for the Intermediate 1/Grand Prix Freestyles for Tuesday July 14:
Start List
Start
Order
Rider Horse nº Horse Name Time
1 153 DONNERSBERG 11:00
2 174 VON PRIMAIRE 11:10
3 141 CHARDONNAY 11:20
4 146 ADAJIO 11:30
5 128 BECKHAM 11:40
6 127 FAREWELL IV 11:50
7 135 BELLO ORIENTE 12:00
8 103 BANDURRIA KACERO 12:10
9 111 VELEIRO DO TOP 12:20
10 112 XAMÃ DOS PINHAIS 13:10
11 110 DI CAPRIO 13:20
12 154 WIZARD BANAMEX 13:30
13 166 ROSMARIN 13:40
14 159 ROYAL AFFAIR 13:50
15 119 ZILVERSTAR 14:00
16 116 ALL IN 14:10
17 124 FINN 14:20
18 118 ANTON 14:55
19 167 LEGOLAS 92 15:05
20 155 HESLEGAARDS ROLEX 15:15
21 165 VERDADES 15:25