Guadalajara, Mexico – The Canadian Show Jumping Team of Jonathan Asselin of Calgary, AB, Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, ON, Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, and Ian Millar of Perth, ON, is currently fifth following the first day of competition at the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Lamaze is Canada’s highest ranked competitor in 11th position individually.
Wednesday’s opening speed phase acted as both an individual and team qualifier. A total of 55 horses representing 17 countries are competing for individual honours while 12 nations are contesting the team medals. The United States currently lead the team standings with a score of 2.90 followed closely by Mexico in second with 3.26 penalties. Brazil is third with 7.61, Argentina is fourth with 9.62 and Canada is fifth with 12.94.
“Canada had a less than scintillating day,” said Terrance Millar, chef d’equipe of the Canadian Show Jumping Team. “Having said that, we are only 10 faults behind the leader and five faults behind the third-placed team. We are hoping to move up in the standings tomorrow.”
On Thursday, a two-round competition will determine the Team medals. Following a day of rest on Friday, the top 25 ranked individuals will contest the two round individual final to decide the individual medals.
Individually, Eric Lamaze, 43, had one of the fastest times of the day, crossing the timers in 75.60 seconds, but added eight seconds to his time with two rails down. Riding Coriana van Klapscheut, a nine-year-old chestnut Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Artisan Farms and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable, Lamaze incurred rails at fences 9 and 13b on the track set by course designer Javier Fernandez of Mexico. Lamaze, the individual bronze medalist at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, is currently ranked 11th with a score of 3.04 penalties.
Ian Millar, 64, is currently 13th in the individual standings with a score of 3.79 riding Star Power, a 10-year-old Dutch-bred gelding owned by Team Works. The nine-time Olympian incurred his only rail at the last of three double combinations, which proved to be the most problematic obstcale of the day, bringing down 13b. Millar sets a record in Guadalajara by competing in his ninth consecutive Pan American Games, the most of any athlete in Canadian history. He has earned eight medals in his past eight appearances, including Individual Gold in 1987 riding Big Ben and in 1999 riding Ivar, more than any other show jumping athlete from any country.
Jonathan Asselin, 52, produced a clear round riding Showgirl, an 11-year-old chestnut selle francais mare owned by Attaché Stables, in his Pan American Games debut. Asselin guided Showgirl home clear in a time of 89.74 seconds and currently sits in 31st position, 6.11 penalties behind the leader.
The defending Pan American Games champion, Jill Henselwood, 48, had the last two rails down on course, fences 13b and 14. Riding George, a nine-year-old chestnut Hannoverian gelding owned by Brian Gingras, Henselwood is ranked 37th in the individual standings with a score of 7.62 penalties.
Beezie Madden of the United States currently leads the individual standings with Via Volo followed by teammate Christine McCrea on a score of .88 riding Romantovich Take One. Daniel Michan of Mexico lies third with .98 riding Ragna T followed by two more Mexican riders, Antonio Maurer with Callao and his older brother, Alberto Michan riding Rosalia La Silla, who sit fourth and fifth respectively.
At the 2007 Pan American Games, the Canadian Show Jumping Team comprised of Henselwood, Lamaze, Millar and Mac Cone of King City, ON, won the Silver medal. Henselwood riding Special Ed claimed the Individual Gold while Lamaze and Hickstead earned the Individual Bronze.
The Canadian Show Jumping Team is supported throughout the Pan American Games by chef d’equipe Terrance Millar, assisted by Mark Laskin, team veterinarian Dr. Sylvie Surprenant, stable manager Lori Green and team manager Karen Hendry-Ouellette.
The Canadian Equestrian Team is assisted at the Pan American Games by Team Leader Kerri McGregor of Newmarket, ON, and Assistant Team Leader Tina Collins of Loretto, ON.
Photo: Eric Lamaze riding Coriana van Klapscheut is currently ranked 11th individually while the Canadian Show Jumping Team is fifth following the opening day of competition at the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Photo Credits – Cealy Tetley, www.tetleyphoto.com