Lexington, Kentucky – The Canadian Show Jumping Team comprised of Yann Candele of Caledon, ON, Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, Jonathon Millar of Perth, ON, and John Pearce of Stouffville, ON, is sitting in fourth position following the second day of competition held Tuesday, October 5, at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY. Lamaze currently lies sixth individually while Pearce is in seventh.
In the team standings, Germany has moved into the lead with a score of 17.80 while the United States has slipped to second with 18.49. Brazil follows closely in third with 18.69 while Canada is fourth with 18.93. France rounds out the top five with 20.32. The top 10 ranked teams, including Saudi Arabia, Australia, Belgium, Sweden and Great Britain, will compete in Wednesday evening’s Team Final. A total of 27 teams contested the World Championship title.
As Canada’s lead-off rider, Pearce jumped clear with Chianto but incurred one time penalty for exceeding the 84-second time allowed when he crossed the timers in 84.40 seconds.
“It was beautiful,” said Pearce of his round with Chianto, a 14-year-old grey Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Alison Moore. “I slowed down on the last line and that was my time fault. I’ve only had Chianto for two years but I’ve really bonded with him. He’s got lots left in the tank, which is encouraging.”
Candele then posted an eight fault effort for Canada when Pitareusa, a 13-year-old bay Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Susan Grange, brought down rails at fences 5a and 12b. As only the top three scores are counted towards the team result, Candele’s would prove to be the drop score.
“She jumped well, she got a little strong on me on the last line,” said Candele, who is making his major games debut for Canada. “The course is very delicate, but it is a beautiful course and very smart. The course designing team has done an unbelievable job of setting a course that is fair for all of the countries.”
Millar had fence 10 down and also picked up one time fault for exceeding the time allowed for a total of five faults. Millar is riding Contino 14, a 13-year-old bay Holsteiner gelding owned by Millar Brooke Farm.
“My horse was great, he seems to be well-concentrated this week,” said Millar, who is the son of nine-time Olympian Ian Millar. “Our team is pulling through and we are keeping our fingers crossed. We are just taking it round by round, and we’ve just got to keep putting one foot in front of another, one step at a time.”
Olympic Champions Lamaze and Hickstead entered the stadium as the final competitors for Canada. The pair gave their best effort, leaving all the rails in place but picking up one time fault.
“You get the feeling that you are going quickly with him, but I could not have gone any faster down that last line with him,” said Lamaze of the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood breeding stallion owned by Ashland Stables and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable. “If that’s where I got the time fault, so be it. The last line was not a line that suits Hickstead – it is a not a line that suits a lot of horses. It was a hateful line to ride.”
Lamaze, who is competing with a broken left foot, has an individual score of 3.39, putting him in sixth place individually among the 121 horses competing. He is immediately followed by teammate Pearce, who is in seventh with a score of 3.70.
Khaled Al Eid of Saudi Arabia currently tops the individual standings with a score of 2.20 riding Presley Boy. 2004 Olympic Champion Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil is in second with 2.80 riding HH Rebozo while Belgium’s Philippe Le Jeune is third with 3.11 riding Vigo d’Arsouilles. Germany’s Carsten-Otto Nagel has 3.24 for fourth position with Corradina while Edwina Alexander of Australia rounds out the top five with a score of 3.38 riding Itot du Chateau.
Competition resumes on Wednesday, October 6, with the afternoon session beginning at 1 p.m. At 7 p.m., the top ten teams will compete for team medals.
Following a day of rest on Thursday, the top 30 individually ranked competitors will compete on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the hopes of being among the ‘Final Four’ that contest the World Championship title on Saturday night, October 9, at 8 p.m. In the ultimate test of horsemanship, the final four competitors will ride each of the four horses over the course to decide the individual medals, and the coveted title of World Champion.
Held for the first time outside of Europe, the World Equestrian Games take place every four years and act as the world championships for equestrian sport, including the discipline of show jumping. At the last major games held, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the Canadian Show Jumping Team claimed Team Silver as well as Individual Gold for Eric Lamaze.
For more information, including live scoring, please visit www.alltechfeigames.com.
Photo: John Pearce of Stouffville, ON, and Chianto helped the Canadian Show Jumping Team move into fourth place at the 2010 FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY. They are currently ranked seventh individually. Photo Credit – Cealy Tetley, www.tetleyphoto.com