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!
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 EventingNation.com
Here’s a little taste of the “Canadian” features found throughout the course. (photos by Christy Baxter – Facebook)
The finish line!!! And a salute to Lima Peru, host of the 2019 Pan American Games
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….