An unscripted glimpse at the Canadian Equestrian Team's athletes, supporters & fans before, during and after major games. #CanadaStrong

Posts tagged ‘Canadian Olympic Team’

Day 1 Showjumping in the books

I’m going a bit out of order here, so please forgive me and know that a dedicated post to our superlative Silver & Bronze Eventers will be following tout suite.

2015 Pan American Games Eventing Team Bronze - Canada

In the hopes of being at least timely for today, I’m posting first about Day 1 of Pan Am showjumping, which was the qualifying round.

Under the new Pan Am format, which is being modeled after the Olympics format, the usual speed round has been dropped. Instead the qualifying round, as well as the 2 Team rounds on Thursday, is what helps to determine the top 35 who move onto the Individual medal round on Saturday.  Having said that, the Pan Am rules state that only the top 3 riders per nation can compete in the Individual Final. So if Canada has all 4 athletes in the top 35, one will be dropped. It’s a rule which I think can be long debated weighing the pros of “universality” vs a true competition of the best-of-the-best.

For a great explanation of the format, as well as reactions from riders, check out including comments from heavyweights like Eric Lamaze and McLain Ward who aren’t big fans of the new format and feel that consistency should be rewarded and champions should be decided by their stellar performance every day, not just on medal day.

So while Day 1 was essentially an easy warm-up class, with 30 horse/rider combinations going clear (including all of Team Canada – yay!), over what looked like a fairly straightforward course, look for course designer Michel Vaillancourt to turn it up a few notches for both the Team competition on Thursday and the individual medal showdown on Saturday.

Having said all that, it was an amazing day at the Games. After going through oppressive heat & humidity for Eventing it was awesome to watch the best horses & riders in the Americas under sunshine with fluffy clouds in a blue sky, no humidity, and a wonderful breeze.

And for those not fortunate enough to be there, CBC is finally showing equestrian some love with live coverage!

July 23 Startlist

Roll on the Team Medal competition!


Yann Candele & ShowGirl - 2015 Pan American Games Showjumping Team Canada


Tiffany Foster & Tripple X III - 2015 Pan American Games Showjumping Team Canada


Eric Lamaze & Coco Bongo - 2015 Pan American Games Showjumping Team Canada


Ian Millar & Dixson - 2015 Pan American Games Showjumping Team Canada

Starting Gate’s Jennifer Ward with TO2015 Equestrian Sport Venue head honcho Craig Collins

Eric Lamaze, Tiffany Foster, Ian Millar, Craig Collins & Jonathan Millar

Yann Candele & Eric Lamaze

Tiffany Foster with her sister (right) and Reserve Team Rider Elizabeth Gingras

Canada & Barbados Team Spirit!

Dr. Yves Rossier on the far right

The nicest guy you could ever meet!


 McLain Ward & Rothchild….with ears forward!!

McLain Ward & Rothchild - 2015 Pan American Games Showjumping

Kent Farrington & Gazelle

Kent Farrington & Gazelle - 2015 Pan American Games Showjumping

Tiffany Foster & Tripple X III make their way to the ring with Yann Candele, Mark Laskin, her groom Caroline Holmberg and her sister Rebecca Foster

Tiffany Foster & Triple X III - 2015 Pan American Games Showjumping

Tiffany Foster & Triple X III - 2015 Pan American Games Showjumping
Mark Laskin, Yann Candele & Eric Lamaze watch Tiffany’s perfect round on Tripple X III

Tiffany Foster & Triple X III - 2015 Pan American Games Showjumping

Eric and Coco Bongo ready to go!

Eric Lamaze & Coco Bongo - 2015 Pan American Games ShowjumpingThe fullest the stands have been…

2015 Pan American Games ShowjumpingMark Samuel (Jump Canada founder and FEI Bureau member) and Olympic gold medalist Terrance Millar (EC High Performance Chair and former Jump Chef d’Equipe) watch Canada lay down 4 perfect rounds.

2015 Pan American Games ShowjumpingEC President Al Patterson has been out supporting all the athletes since Day 1

2015 Pan American Games ShowjumpingFinally CBC is showing Equestrian some love!

2015 Pan American Games ShowjumpingIan Millar and Dixson make their way down to the ring.

Ian Millar & Dixson - 2015 Pan American Games Showjumping...and patiently waiting their turn

Ian Millar & Dixson - 2015 Pan American Games ShowjumpingGo Team Canada!

2015 Pan American Games Showjumping

Ain’t Nothing But a Gold Digger

With all the controversy going on right now about Kanye West playing at the closing ceremonies, I thought this would make for the perfect title for today’s posting after Day 1 of Eventing. Because there a BIG race on for Team Gold!

It was a bit on the cool & rainy side today, which led to some “frisky” rides in the sandbox.

Waylon Roberts was first in the ring for Canada with his & Kelly Plitz’s Bill Owen. This is actually the 2nd Pan Ams for Waylon, who won a Team Silver in Rio 2007 riding Paleface.

Kathryn Robinson & Let it Bee – top placed Canadians in 2nd

Jessica Phoenix & Don Good’s Pavarotti – defending Pan Am Champions

Colleen Loach & Peter Barry’s Qorry Blue d’Argouges

Jessica Phoenix gets a visit from some die-hard fans!

At the end of Dressage day,  the top 3 teams are separated by only 3.7 penalty points. And only 2 seconds on cross country separates Canada and the US. So not only will jumping efforts play a role tomorrow, but time will play a BIG factor!

2015 Pan American Games Eventing Individual after Dressage

2015 Pan American Games Eventing Team after DressageMark Todd!!

Highest place US rider Marilyn Little & RF Scandulous

It will be a long night as everyone gets all essentials packed up and ready for the transfer of 43 horses to the cross-country venue tomorrow morning 20 miles away at Will O’Wind Farm. It will be a very early morning with 6 tractor trailers leaving with a police escort by 6:15am in order for the first horse to hit the cross country course at 11am. Then at 5pm everyone loads back to return to Caledon Equestrian Park. A big operation for sure, but one that most of the Eventers are used to as quite often the cross-country venue is at a satellite location (think 2011 Guadalajara Pan Ams and 2008 Beijing Olympics to name just 2).

This sums up the situation going into cross-country perfectly:

Looking forward to Saturday’s cross-country phase, Phoenix remarked, “Cross-country looks like it should be a blast!  The jumps are beautifully constructed, and I think the course flows really well.  Everyone is really excited to get out there.”

Colleen Loach, who although it’s her major games debut actually took part in the London2012 Olympics as Eventing team member Peter Barry’s groom, plans to take all of the direct routes, shared, “I think it looks great, I’m really excited to get out there.  For sure you have to be on your game, there are some questions out there.  I think the water would be a good question, but it all looks very doable, and nicely presented and kind for the horses.”

Comments on the course refer to it being plenty difficult enough and a definite Championship test where the rider needs to stay focused throughout to handle a number of technical questions – particularly towards the last 2 minutes.

Hopefully the weather reports of 40 degree humidex won’t actually materialize, but the organizers are prepared for the heat with 4,000 kg of ice  being delivered to the site.

I’m totally stoked for cross-country tomorrow, and hope to be able to post some exciting coverage here.

For a terrific fence-by-fence virtual tour of the cross country course, visit

Here’s a little taste of the “Canadian” features found throughout the course. (photos by Christy Baxter – Facebook)

2015 Pan American Games Cross Country Course

2015 Pan American Games Cross Country Course

2015 Pan American Games Cross Country Course

The finish line!!! And a salute to Lima Peru, host of the 2019 Pan American Games

2015 Pan American Games Cross Country Course

Full times (and results) can be found on the TO2015 website.

Canadians go at:
11:12 – Waylon Roberts
11:52 – Colleen Loach
12:44 – Kathryn Robinson
13:28 – Jessica Phoenix

And in the words of Team Canada Eventing Coach Clayton Fredericks….

Go Canada!!

Canadian Olympic Team Gear – Woohoo!

A small glimpse of a day in the life of the Canadian Olympic Committee Mission Staff. 686 bags were organized and packed for EACH Canadian Olympic Team member (athletes and support staff). That included making sure that each bag had the correct size of the Olympic team gear, which is comprised of 26 pieces! (t-shirts, polo shirts, jackets, socks, shoes, backpack and of course rain gear). All in a very stylish Team Canada duffel bag.

I can already hear the requests for snagging an extra COC Team backpack (you know who you are!) 🙂

When you see the Canadian Olympic Team swagger in their stylin’ clothes on your tv screens, it is thanks to the hard efforts of the COC’s Outfitting Team!

But still under high secrecy is the outfit for Opening Ceremonies. Could it be a repeat of Beijing? (yikes!)

Special thanks to chef Mark Tewksbury for the photos!

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