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, are set to begin competition at the at the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
On Monday, October 24, all four Canadian show jumping horses were accepted at the mandatory veterinary inspection. Following a training session on Tuesday, the first phase of both individual and team competition will begin on Wednesday, October 26. Thursday will host a two round competition, after which the Team medals will be awarded. Following a day of rest on Friday, two rounds will determine the individual medals.
Asselin, 52, will ride Showgirl, an 11-year-old chestnut selle francais mare owned by Attaché Stables. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Asselin placed 15th individually riding Spirit of Xerox, and was the traveling reserve for Canada’s Silver Medal Team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with Rayana Chiara. This will be Asselin’s first time competing at the Pan American Games.
Henselwood, 48, is the defending Pan American Games champion, having won the Individual Gold medal at the 2007 Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her partner in 2007 was Special Ed, who she went on to ride as a member of Canada’s Silver Medal team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In Guadalajara, Henselwood will ride George, a nine-year-old chestnut Hannoverian gelding owned by Brian Gingras.
“It is great to have the opportunity to compete,” said Henselwood, who is only the second woman to ever claim the Individual Gold medal in Pan Am show jumping history, the other being Anne Kursinski of the United States in 1983. “Just because I am the defending champion, it is not a given that I will get to compete; I still had to be chosen by our selection committee. I am here with a nine-year-old horse, and this is an important part of our road to the Olympics. I hope to have a good result for Canada.”
Lamaze, 43, will ride Coriana van Klapscheut, a nine-year-old chestnut Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Artisan Farms and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable. At the 2007 Pan American Games, Lamaze claimed the Individual Bronze medal riding Hickstead, who would go on be the Olympic Champion one year later in Beijing.
Millar, 64, will ride Star Power, a 10-year-old Dutch-bred gelding owned by Team Works. 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.
“The facilities are lovely, and the organization has been impeccable,” said Terrance Millar, chef d’equipe of the Canadian Show Jumping Team. “The horses all arrived well, and the flight arrangements were flawless. There is a group of good teams here, and it should be a good competition.”
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.
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.
Photos: Ian Millar of Perth, ON, who is competing in his ninth consecutive Pan American Games, presents his horse Star Power at the veterinary inspection for show jumping competition at the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico; Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, ON, will defend her Individual Gold medal at the XVI Pan American Games riding George. Photo Credits – Jan Beran