What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Archive for November, 2011

USEF High Performance Training Lists Updated for the 2012 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team

November 21, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Lexington, KY – The USEF Eventing High Performance Training Lists have been revised for the upcoming 2012 season. Athlete/Horse combinations will be invited to participate in training sessions this winter with U.S. Chef d’Equipe and Technical Advisor Capt. Mark Phillips. Preparation for and success at the 2012 Olympic Games were the Eventing Selectors and the High Performance Committee’s highest priorities in developing these lists.

 

A List

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA) and Bruce Duchossois’ Mighty Nice

Mighty Nice is a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

 

Sinead Halpin (Oldwick, NJ) and Carriag LLC’s Manoir de Carnville

Manoir de Carnville is an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding

 

Boyd Martin (West Grove, PA) and the Neville Bardos Syndicate’s Neville Bardos

Neville Bardos is a 12-year-old Australian Thoroughbred gelding

 

Boyd Martin (West Grove, PA) and the Otis Barbotiere Syndicate’s Otis Barbotiere

Otis Barbotiere is a 9-year-old Selle Francais gelding

 

B List

Hannah Sue Burnett (The Plains, VA) and Jacqueline Mars’ Harbour Pilot

Harbour Pilot is an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

Jan Byyny (Purcellville, VA) and her own and Jo and Richard Byyny’s Inmidair

Inmidair is a 12-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred gelding

 

Will Coleman (Gordonsville, VA) and Jim Wildasin’s Twizzel

Twizzel is a 15-year-old Westphalian gelding

 

Tiana Coudray (Ojai, CA) and Jatial Inc.’s Ringwood Magister

Ringwood Magister is a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

 

Buck Davidson (Ocala, FL) and Sharon Will’s Absolute Liberty

Absolute Liberty an 8-year-old Thoroughbred x Oldenburg Mare

 

Buck Davidson (Ocala, FL) and Carl and Cassandra Segal’s BallyNoe Castle RM

BallyNoe Castle RM is an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

 

Buck Davidson (Ocala, FL) and Sherrie Martin’s The Apprentice

The Apprentice is a 7-year-old Oldenburg gelding

 

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA) and Nina and Tim Gardner’s William Penn

William Penn is a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

 

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA) and Team Rebecca LLC’s Ben

Ben is a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding

 

Will Faudree (Hoffman, NC) and Jennifer Mosing’s Pawlow

Pawlow is a 12-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding

 

Will Faudree (Hoffman, NC) and Jennifer Mosing’s Fernhill Gloster Rebel

Fernhill Gloster Rebel is a 10-year-old Irish Thoroughbred Gelding

 

Becky Holder (Palmetto, GA) and Melissa and Phil Town, and Tom Holder’s Can’t Fire Me

Can’t Fire Me is a 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding

 

Shannon Lilley (Gilroy, CA) and The Lilley Group’s Ballingowan Pizazz

Ballingowan Pizazz is an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

 

Marilyn Little-Meredith (Frederick, MD) and Raylyn Farm Inc.’s RF Rovano Rex

RF Rovano Rex is a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding

 

Boyd Martin (West Grove, PA) and Boyd Martin and Faye Woolfe’s Ying Yang Yo

Ying Yang Yo is a 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding

 

Clark Montgomery (Fairburn, GA) and Holly Becker, Kathryn Kraft and Jessica Montgomery’s Loughan Glen

Loughan Glen is an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

 

Karen O’Connor (The Plains, VA) and The O’Connor Equestrian Syndicate’s Mr Medicott

Mr Medicott is a 12-year-old Irish Sport horse gelding

 

Julian Stiller (Thatcham, Berkshire UK) and her own and Jules Delvecchio’s Chapel Amble

Chapel Amble is a 14-year-old Hanoverian mare

 

Jolie Wentworth (Martinez, CA) and Tracy Bowman’s Good Knight

Good Knight is a 9-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding

It is anticipated that training sessions will be held in California, Florida, and South Carolina; dates will be finalized and published in December. Training sessions will be open to the public. Auditors are welcome and asked to please be respectful of lessons and the property on which they will be held.

For more information, please contact Sara Ike at sara.ike@usef.org

Fun Bustin’ Muttons at WIHS

November 18, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Sure, the 53rd annual Washington International Horse Show (October 23-28, 2011 at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C.) may have been home to such prestigious competitions as the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix CSI3*-W, the WIHS Equitation Classic Finals and the $25,000 Puissance, but what folks really came out to see was the tough as nails riders who braved the fiercely competitive mutton-busting class. That’s right, Mutton Busting! Show us a rider who will don a full-face helmet, wind their fingers through the rough wool of a writhing sheep and hang on for dear life as said sheep runs for its own, and we’ll show you a true champion.

Hats off to all the 2011 WIHS Mutton Busters, and especially to this year’s Mutton Busting Champion, 8-year-old Marissa Jones of River Chase Farm.

Out of the gate they came, in a fast-moving blaze of thick wool and hooved fury. . .

. . . Some riders kept their eyes bravely forward, determined to tame their mutton by ring's end.

While others thought it best to ride blind, and pray for the ride's end.

Parting ways with their mutton was easier for some rather than others, but every brave rider emerged unscathed.

It was all in a days work for these steeds. As for the riders, they were back at the barn, hugging their ponies with new appreciation!

Equestrian Sport Productions Announces 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival Schedule Highlights

November 18, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

[Wellington, FL] Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) is pleased to announce the schedule highlights of the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), including the USEF Selection Trials for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games along with the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival Prize List availability online. The prize list is online at their website, www.equestriansport.com under the “Horse Show” tab and “Prize List” link. The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival is the world’s largest and longest-running horse show, combining hunter, jumper, and equitation competition for 12 weeks from January 11 to April 1.

There will be some changes to the upcoming year’s schedule, and all of the exciting classes from last year will return. Management company Equestrian Sport Productions welcomes equestrians to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida for the biggest and best FTI WEF yet.

Once again the show leads the country in prize money with over $6 million awarded, with the highlight class, the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix, CSI 5*, moving to week 12 and running on Saturday, March 31.

PBIEC to Host Olympic Trials

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) announced the PBIEC as the location of the USEF Selection Trials for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games. The competition will be hosted by Equestrian Sport Productions from March 21-24, 2012. This competition will also serve as the 2012 USEF Show Jumping National Championship. It will consist of four rounds over three days of jumping.

Hosting the Selection Trials for the U.S. Show Jumping Team leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games is a great honor for Equestrian Sport Production. Michael Stone, President of ESP, is thrilled at the opportunity to host the prestigious competition. Stone stated, “Equestrian Sport Productions looks forward to welcoming the nation’s very best horses and riders to the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival and the beautiful Palm Beach International Equestrian Center this March. It is truly an honor to host these Trials and we hope to provide competitors with the best experience possible as they vie for a spot to compete in London on the world’s stage.”

ESP CEO Mark Bellissimo shared in the sentiment, adding that the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is the premiere facility to host such an important event for the U.S. Team. “The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center has grown into one of the best facilities in the world and the show grounds will be in top form in March as the nation’s Olympic hopefuls travel to Wellington to compete,” Bellissimo stated. “We are excited to have been selected as the host venue for the Trials.”

Exciting Competition Through the 12 Weeks of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

The FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® will return in 2012 with a goal of raising more than $1.5 million dollars for 32 local charities. The FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments is one of the top five yearly fundraising events in Palm Beach County.

In 2012, the FTI WEF will offer even more opportunities for show jumpers to accumulate FEI ROLEX ranking points. There are another nine new classes for 2012; the number of FEI ROLEX ranking classes for the circuit is 34. These new FEI classes are made possible by the great support of Copernicus Stables, Suncast Corporation and Sleepy P Ranch.

The 2012 FTI WEF hosts many exciting competitions, including the only Nations Cup in the United States, the $75,000 FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm. Riders will have two chances to gain points in qualifying for the FEI World Cup Finals, and they will have the opportunity to compete on the grass derby field at The Stadium on four occasions.

The Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series will return this year with classes in weeks 1-12. These classes will also qualify horse/rider combinations for the $50,000 Leading Horse/Rider Combination Award. The Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series is a popular class every week, and with riders vying for another rider bonus, it is sure to be a top competition to watch. The winning horse/rider combination will win $25,000; second receives $15,000, and third place will win $10,000.

Hunters will have two feature events during the circuit in addition to their weekly divisions. The WCHR Palm Beach Hunter Classic Spectacular of Palm Beach will return to Saturday night on February 18. The best hunters of the circuit will compete head to head under the lights in this popular event.

The $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby will cap off the 2012 FTI WEF by being the feature event on Sunday, April 1. The class will be held on the grass derby field at The Stadium, giving horses and riders the perfect opportunity to show off their talents on a traditional surface.

Highlight “Saturday Night Lights” events for the 2012 season include: the $30,000 Surpass Grand Prix (January 14); $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix FEI CSI 2* (January 21); $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes (January 28); $78,000 Adequan Grand Prix FEI CSI 2* (February 4); $150,000 FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix CSI 3*-W presented by Spy Coast Farm (February 11); WCHR Palm Beach Hunter Classic Spectacular (February 18); $100,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix FEI CSI 2* (February 25); $35,000 Hermès Puissance and $50,000 Vita Flex Match Race (March 3); $200,000 FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix CSI 4*-W Presented by The Bainbridge Companies (March 10); and the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix, CSI 5*.

During the 12 weeks of competition, other feature events are: the College Preparatory Invitational on January 13-15; the $50,000 Horseware Grand Prix FEI CSI 2* on Sunday, January 29 at The Stadium; the $50,000 G&C Farm Palm Beach Jumping Derby on Sunday, February 19 at The Stadium; the $150,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix FEI CSIO 4* on Sunday, March 4 at The Stadium; and the $78,000 Pennfield Feeds Grand Prix on Sunday, March 18 at The Stadium.

ESP welcomes people worldwide to come experience this year’s circuit, which promises to surpass expectations as one of the best horse shows in the world. For more information on the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, please visitwww.equestriansport.com.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival

The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 11 through April 1. The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $6 million in prize money will be awarded.

About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 23 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.4 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2010. More information can be found at
www.fticonsulting.com.    

Please visiwww.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Totilas to Make Exclusive Appearance at World Dressage Masters Palm Beach

November 11, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Totilas, the reigning Dressage World Champion and current world record holder in the Grand Prix Freestyle, is coming to the 2012 World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach. His appearance at the prestigious WDM CDI5*’s only event in North America, at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center on January 26 to 29, 2012. This will be the ONLY public appearance of this legendary stallion during his visit to North America. The WDM Palm Beach CDI5* will run concurrently with the Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CDI3*/CPEI3*. The World Dressage Masters CDI5* presented by Axel Johnson Group is the world’s premier dressage series, with over half a million dollars in prize money, and each show boasts over 100,000 Euros in prize money.

With his current rider, Germany’s Matthias Alexander Rath, Totilas won the CHIO Aachen 2011 in July; Totilas and Rath went on to help the German Team win a silver medal at the European Dressage Championships in August. The WDM Palm Beach will launch Rath’s and Totilas 2012 competition season, which is directed towards the London 2012 Olympics. Totilas is an 11 year old KWPN stallion co-owned by renowned German Olympic Show Jumper and breeder Paul Schockemöhle and German Olympic Dressage rider Ann-Katrin Linsenhof.

Germany's Matthias Alexander Rath and Totilas will be competing at the 2012 World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach. Photo By: John Flannagan.

O’Sullivan has confirmed that the reigning WDM Palm Beach Champions Steffen Peters and Ravel will be returning to Florida to defend their title. Ravel is a 13 year old KWPN gelding owned by WDM Palm Beach sponsor Akiko Yamazaki. The only time Ravel and Totilas have competed against one another with their current riders was at the CHIO Aachen 2011, where Totilas narrowly defeated Ravel in the Grand Prix Freestyle.

Wellington Classic Dressage is the organizer of the WDM Palm Beach, having taken over the reins of this unique event in 2011. Managing Partner Noreen O’Sullivan says excitement is building around an already star-studded list of confirmed entries. “The word is out to the top riders in the world, who are making their plans and looking to Wellington Classic Dressage and the WDM Palm Beach for an exciting winter season in Florida,” she says.

O’Sullivan has also confirmed several other top international pairs for the WDM Palm Beach 2012, including reigning Olympic Champions Anky van Grunsven and Salinero, as well as the 2011 European Team Champions from Great Britain, Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin, who will bring her European Championship mount, Valegro. Making a return visit to the WDM Palm Beach will be the second and third placed pairs from the WDM Palm Beach 2011: Tinne Vilhelmsson Silfven of Sweden on Favourit and Tina Konyot of the US with Calecto V.

Over the coming weeks, there will be announcements about more top international entries for the WDM Palm Beach, as well as information about tickets for VIP table seating and General Admission. “We are planning an expanded General Admission Area, up-scale vendors for food and shopping, entertainment, and of course, some great competition,” says O’Sullivan. The WDM Palm Beach 2011 was a spectacular success, and a memorable evening for over 1200 spectators who were treated to a multi-course French themed dinner at ringside. The WDM Palm Beach 2012 is expected to be the dressage event of the season in South Florida.

-Karen Robinson for Phelps Media Group

Calling All Show Jumpers!

November 08, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Interested in Participating in the 2011 Holiday HorseFest Event in Downtown West Palm Beach at the Meyer Amphitheatre?

Wellington, FL – The second annual Holiday HorseFest is quickly approaching. Held on Sunday, December 11, from 1-5 p.m., the event will host a unique equestrian competition at the Meyer Amphitheatre in downtown West Palm Beach. World-class riders are needed to participate in this year’s event.

Riders are encouraged to participate, as the event will introduce them to a new audience in the West Palm Beach area. In addition to developing an interest in West Palm Beach, riders who partake in the day’s jumping classes will be aiding Equestrian Sport Productions (“ESP”) in their fundraising efforts for the 2012 FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments®. All proceeds from Holiday HorseFest will be donated to this year’s goal of raising $1.5 million for Palm Beach County charities.

The first ever Holiday HorseFest, held last year, was a huge success. Located downtown at the Meyer Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, it was an exciting day for spectators and exhibitors alike.

We are looking for riders and horses to participate in this year’s event, which, like last year, consists of two classes. Please see below for event details.

  • 2 jumping classes will be taking place:
    • 1.35m Accumulator Class
    • 4-Bar Competition
  • ESP will provide horse transportation to and from the Meyer Amphitheatre on December 11.
  • ESP will provide stabling for horses the day of the event.
  • Each rider will receive a contribution toward expenses for participating in either or both classes at Holiday HorseFest.
  • The top 3 placings in each class will receive prize money.
  • The Meyer Amphitheatre is located on the waterfront in downtown West Palm Beach at Flagler Drive and Datura Street.

Anyone interested in participating in this year’s Holiday HorseFest, please contact Brooke Bidgood at 561.793.5867 x 129 orbrooke@equestriansport.com as soon as possible.

The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 11 through April 1. The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $6 million in prize money will be awarded.

WEF is proud to be supported by their title sponsor, FTI Consulting, Inc. FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,700 employees located in 22 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management and restructuring. The company generated $1.4 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2010. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.

About Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $3.2 trillion, including managed assets of more than $1.4 trillion, as of September 30, 2011.  Founded in 1946, the firm is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and many other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals and institutions, as well as through 5,000 financial intermediary firms.  For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.    

Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Spruce Meadows to Salute Hickstead

November 07, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

(SPRUCE MEADOWS, Calgary, AB) Spruce Meadows invites fans of the great champion Hickstead to pay tribute to the recently departed stallion at Spruce Meadows beginning Tuesday, November 8th through November 13, 2011.

 In response to the tragic and untimely passing of Hickstead on November 6th, while competing in World Cup competition in Europe, and the huge public response from across Canada and around the world, Spruce Meadows has created a commemorative tribute area in front of the Spruce Meadows Riding Hall where fans can pay their respects and sign a condolences book for Eric Lamaze.

“We have been touched by the outpouring of emotion and respect that has come in from around the world since Hickstead’s untimely passing and are happy to do this for his fans and for Eric,” said Spruce Meadows president, Linda Southern-Heathcott. “We will also plan to salute Hickstead next season at Spruce Meadows when Eric and the rest of the international show jumping community can be with us.”

Those wishing to visit Spruce Meadows to pay their respects to Hickstead are invited to do so between 9 am – 5 pm daily through November 13, 2011.   

2012 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session Presented by USHJA and Adequan: Promoting the Importance of Excellent Horsemastership

November 04, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Lexington, KY – Mark your calendars and plan to attend the 2012 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session presented by the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) and Adequan. The sixth annual George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session will be held on January 3-7, 2012, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

The following 12 riders will be invited to participate:

  • The North American Young Riders Individual Champion from the 2011 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North
  • The North American Junior Rider Individual Champion from the 2011 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North
  • The 2011 Randolph College/USEF National Jr. Jumper Individual Champion
  • The champion and reserve champion of the 2011 Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search Finals-East
  • The champion and reserve champion of the 2011 Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search Finals-West
  • Two riders from the USHJA Emerging Athlete Program
  • Three Wild Card riders chosen by George Morris.

George Morris, the legendary horseman and U.S. show jumping chef d’Equipe, will lead these top young riders in a comprehensive program in horsemastership. ‘Horsemastership’ encompasses not only mounted sessions but stable management, veterinary care and nutrition. Clinics will be conducted by experts in the field. The aim of the training session is to develop a pipeline of young “horsemasters” for future U.S. Equestrian Teams.

2011 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session. ©USEF Archives

Auditing of the mounted and educational sessions is free and open to the public. For those who cannot attend in person, USEF Network will be covering the Training Session and posting videos throughout the week at www.usefnetwork.com.

The final schedule will be available in Decemberat www.usef.org.

For additional information on the 2012 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session, contact Lizzy Chesson at lchesson@usef.org.

Ten Medals for Equestrian Team USA at the 2011 Pan American Games

November 04, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

It was an epic adventure in Mexico for the United States Equestrian Federation’s Dressage, Eventing and Jumping Teams. They won a record 10 medals across the three disciplines and cemented a solid foundation for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Bookended by double Gold medalists Steffen Peters, who rode the Hlavacek’s Weltino’s Magic to

It was an epic adventure in Mexico for the United States Equestrian Federation’s Dressage, Eventing and Jumping Teams. They won a record 10 medals across the three disciplines and cemented a solid foundation for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Bookended by double Gold medalists Steffen Peters, who rode the Hlavacek’s Weltino’s Magic to record scores in the dressage ring at the Guadalajara Country Club, and Christine McCrea, who jumped five immaculate rounds on Windsor Show Stables’ Romantovich Take One at the same venue 10 days later, the U.S. won at every turn.

The dressage team of Peters, Heather Blitz, Marissa Festerling and Cesar Parra got the winning going – they cruised to Team Gold over Canada and Colombia – and then reinforced it with a sweep of the individual medals for Peters, Blitz and Festerling. The standard was extraordinary and with each test, a new challenge was handed over. Personal bests were the order of the day for the freestyles, Blitz and her Paragon made Olympic veteran Peters work for every point, after they wowed the crowd at their first Team Championship. Festerling commandeered a terrific Bronze medal effort out of a very energetic Big Tyme and also stood on the podium for the second time at her first championship.

The U.S. Sweep in Dressage. Photo ©Rick Mitchell

“What an amazing day and an amazing competition,” said Peters. “I still have to think about the moment that I came out of the arena and when the scores were announced it probably took 30 seconds, but it seemed like three hours. It is a very exciting day, congratulations to my teammates. The big score that Heather pulled in – I don’t think I’ve ever had that much pressure going into the arena knowing that there was an 86 percent in front of me.”

The eventing team arrived in Mexico with something to prove. Of the five riders, only one had represented the U.S. before and that rider, Buck Davidson, took his role as Team Captain to heart. It began in the dressage where they all rode into the top 10 individually, Michael Pollard rode his wife Nathalie’s Schoensgreen Hanni to second, Hannah Burnett was right behind him in third on Jacqueline Mars’ Harbour Pilot, followed closely by Davidson who rode Sharon Will’s Absolute Liberty in the pathfinder position to fourth, right behind him was Shannon Lilley on The Lilley Group’s Ballingowan Pizazz, and Lynn Symansky coaxed a masterful effort out of Donner who found the atmosphere at Club Hippica quite exciting. They all were chasing Canadian Jessica Phoenix individually – but their lead as a team was secure.

Gold for U.S. Eventing. Photo ©Shannon Brinkman

And it was never threatened.

They added zero to their dressage scores in the team competition, jumping clean and fast around the cross-country course at Santa Sofia Golf Course and then jumping five double-clear rounds in the team show jumping round on Sunday.

“I would like to give really special congratulations to my team,” said Chef d’Equipe Mark Phillips. “Five people finishing on their dressage score – that’s never been done before in the history of our sport.”

Only the top three individuals from each nation could return to jump for individual medals and the U.S. added two more double-clear efforts, moving Burnett into the Individual Silver position and Davidson into Individual Bronze. Pollard had two rails down and settled for fourth.

The jumping team arrived with more than just completing a Pan Am sweep on the brain – they were also seeking qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games. They never wavered in the face of that enormous pressure.

They jumped eight clear rounds between them in the Nations Cup to secure Team Gold by a wide margin over Brazil and Mexico. Led throughout the first four rounds by two-time Olympic Gold medalist Beezie Madden on Coral Reef Via Volo – Christine McCrea and Romantovich Take One sat second, McLain Ward and Antares were third, the fourth American horse, RCG Farm’s Uceko, ridden by Kent Farrington, had the same fate as some of his teammates in other disciplines, as only three from each nation could go forward to the Individual Final. He was in seventh going into the Individual Final.

“I’m just really, really proud of us as a team,” said McCrea. “We really came together. We came here with a goal and we achieved it, and I’m just really proud.”

Javier Fernandez set a difficult track for the fifth round of jumping – not backing off of the1.60m maximum height.

Ward and Grant Road Partners, LLC’ Antares F had the middle element of the triple combination down to end up fourth – Brazilian Bernardo Alves moved up to the podium on Bridgit – so it came down to a clash between two American women. McCrea set the standard jumping second to last on a super-charged Romantovich Take One. They jumped an impressive clear inside a very difficult time allowed. Madden had it all to play for – without a point in hand on Coral Reef Ranch’s mare over her teammate.

Less than a tenth of a second determined the fate of the medals, and Madden was 7/100ths of a second late. She added one time fault and McCrea suddenly found herself a double Gold medalist at her first Pan American Games. Madden settled for Silver in a classic and classy performance.

Christine McCrea and Romantovich Take One Lead Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo. Photo© Shannon Brinkman

“Thank god I have a strong team here and Chris was to take it up – I am happy it was an American (that won),” said Madden. “We were still Gold and Silver and with the Team Gold it was a fantastic week for us so no complaints.”

-Joanie Morris for USEF