Injury to Lucky Strike Ridden by Endel Ots Forces Withdrawal from USA Pan American Games Team

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Endel Ots and Lucky Strike. File photo. © Ken Braddick/

July 21, 2019

Lucky Strike ridden and trained by Endel Ots has been injured and withdrawn from the USA team for the Pan American Games. The U.S. Equestrian Federation announced the decision Sunday and said it was too late for a replacement to be sent.

The USEF said the nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Max Ots, Endel’s father, was injured when the team horses were being transported by road from Wellington, Florida to Miami International Airport, 70 miles/112 km away, to be flown to Lima, Peru Sunday.

Pan Am dressage is scheduled for July 28-31.

A veterinary assessment led to the USEF deciding Lucky Strike should not travel on to Lima. There was not enough time to substitute a replacement athlete-horse combination.

The U.S. will comprise three combinations and not four allowing for a discard score.

The team now is made up of Nora Batchelder, 35 years old, of Williston, Florida and Faro SQF, American-bred 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Fidertanz 2 x Rotspot) owned by Andrea Whitcomb and Nora; Jennifer Baumert, 48, of Wellington and Handsome, 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Hochadel x Weltmeyer) owned by Betsy Juliano LLC, and Sarah Lockman, 30, of Murrieta, California, and First Apple, nine-year-old KWPN stallion (Vivaldi x T.C.N. Partout) owned by Gerry Ibanez.

“It is expected he is going to make a full recovery, but we have decided that it is not in his best interest to travel to Lima at this time,” Endel said.

“Obviously, I am devastated. It was a goal of mine to compete Lucky at the Pan American Games, but my horse’s health is more important, and I know the team understands. They are a strong group, and I plan on making it to Lima later in the week to support them.”