Lexington, KY - The journey to the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico makes its next eventing stop in Richland, Michigan. Fourteen of the 15 horses currently short-listed by the USEF head to the Midwest to contest their Mandatory Outing at the Richland Park CIC and Horse Trials August 25-28.
The Pan American Games will be contested at the CCI2* level in 2011, which gives many riders who have never before represented the United States the chance to ride on the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the first time. They will contest a modified division made up of the CCI2* dressage test, the Advanced cross country course and an Advanced height show jumping track.
Allie Slusher withdrew her horse Pierre on August 23, which moved Jennifer Taxay Kelly onto the Short list as the first ranked substitute. The second ranked substitute, Matt Flynn, also withdrew Breakthrough from consideration. This leaves 15 horses on the short list, all of which will contest the Mandatory Outing except for Cold Harbor. Boyd Martin and Cold Harbor were excused from the event as Martin prepares Neville Bardos for the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England next week. Michael Pollard will ride his wife Nathalie's Schoensgreen Hanni at Richland Park before he joins Martin in England to ride Icarus at Burghley.
Both riders received Land Rover Training and Competition Grants to offset the expense of that trip. Please click here for more nformation: http://www.usef.org/_IFrames/newsdisplay/viewPR.aspx?id=7434&star=true
Out of the 15 riders on the USEF Short List, three have represented the U.S. at previous championships. Martin and Buck Davidson were teammates on the 2010 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Davidson has Absolute Liberty, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred cross mare, in consideration for his second Pan American Games. Twelve years ago, Davidson rode Pajama Game to a sixth place finish in Winnipeg. Lynn Symansky rode as an Individual in 2003 at the Pan American Games when they were held at Fair Hill International (in Maryland). She and No It Tissant jumped immaculately to finish 10th. Symansky's next star is Donner. Together they won the Intermediate division at the 2010 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Championships and were fifth at the 2011 Jersey Fresh CCI2*.
The youngest member of the short list was also the 2009 Gold Medalist at the Adequan FEI North American Young Rider Championships. Maxance McManamy, is only 19 years old, was the 2009 winner of the USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year award. On the field of play she won the 2011 Twin Rivers CCI2* in April with her colorful paint gelding, Project Runway. She is currently recovering from a broken foot.
On the senior end of the equation is Dr. Kevin Keane. Renowned as one of the premiere sport horse veterinarians in the world, he travelled with the U.S. Show Jumping Team in the 1980s and has many of the top eventing horses in the U.S. in his care. An amateur competitor, he has had a hugely successful year with Fernhill Flutter and is poised to make a bid for his first team opportunity.
Anna Collier and Upper Crust D, McManamy and Project Runway, Shannon Lilley and Ballingowan Pizzazz, Tamra Smith on Mar de Amor, Jennifer Taxay Kelly and Jolie Wentworth on Good Knight make up a strong West Coast contingent heading to Richland to vie for Pan Am selection.
Anna Collier and Uppercrust D were second at both the CIC2* at Galway Downs and the CCI2* at Twin Rivers in the Spring of 2011. Lilley was third in the CCI2* at the Event at Rebecca Farm in July, and the following weekend she served as the Chef d'Equipe of the Area VI eventing at the 2011 Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North. Her Junior Team won Silver.
Smith and Leigh Mesher's Mar de Amor won the CIC3* at The Twin Rivers event in April, Mesher owned Amy Tryon's exceptionally consistent performer, My Beau, whom Mesher rode at the 1998 North American Young Riders Championships and then went on to top placings around the world at the CCI4* level with Tryon.
Taxay Kelly owned Outlawed, the horse with whom David O'Connor was shortlisted for the 2004 Olympic Games and was most recently fourth behind Lilley in The Event at Rebecca Farm's CCI2* with Taboo.
Wentworth and Good Knight were second in last fall's CCI2* at Galway Downs and then fourth in the Event at Rebecca Farm's CIC3* in July.
Emily Beshear and Here's to You head west from their Virginia base. They are long established at this level, having won the CCI2* at Jersey Fresh in 2009. In 2011, they were eighth at the Bromont CCI3*.
Hannah Sue Burnett has been on a roll in 2011. She was second at the Bromont CCI2* on Jacqueline Mars' Harbour Pilot - the horse on which she is short-listed - and placed sixth at the Rolex Kentucky CCI4* presented by Bridgestone on St. Barths. Burnett has been preparing Harbour Pilot, a homebred Irish Sport Horse gelding, all year for this opportunity.
Jonathan Holling and his mother Constance's Downtown Harrison have rocketed through the levels. They have two top three CIC2* placings to their record and were seventh at the CCI2* at the Bromont International CCI - all in 2011. Downtown Harrison has never had a cross-country penalty since his eventing career began in 2009.
Kristin Schmolze has had a long string of success at the upper levels, highlighted by a second place finish at the 2003 Fair Hill International CCI3* with Cavaldi. She and Ballylaffin Bracken look to make their first team together.
Four Facts About the Short List:
Average age of the 15 short-listed horses: 9.6 years
Average age of the riders: 30 years
Total miles travelled to Richland Park: 38,992
Six of them travelled over 2000, Shannon Lilley came the furthest: 2322 miles.
The complete short list as of August 24th:
- Emily Beshear/34/Somerset, VA/Here's to You/11/Thoroughbred/G/ Deep Purple Eventing
- Hannah Sue Burnett/25/Ocala, FL/Harbour Pilot/8/Irish Sport Horse/G/ Jacqueline Mars
- Anna Collier/35/Vancouver, WA/Uppercrust D/10/KWPN/G/ Anna Collier
- Bruce Davidson Jr./35/Ocala, FL/Absolute Liberty/8/Thoroughbred Cross/M/Sharon Will
- Jonathan Holling/34/Ocala, FL/ Downtown Harrison/7/Trakehner-Thoroughbred Cross/G/ Constance Holling
- Kevin Keane/56/Kennett Square, PA/Fernhill Flutter/9/Irish Sport Horse/G/ Kevin Keane
- Shannon Lilley/32/Gilroy, CA/Ballingowan Pizzaz/9/Irish Sport Horse/G/ The Lilley Group
- Boyd Martin/32/Cochranville, PA/Cold Harbor/11/Canadian Sport Horse/G/ Dana Diemer
- Maxance McManamy/19/Templeton, CA/Project Runway/7/Trakehner/G/ Maxance McManamy
- Michael Pollard/30/Dalton, GA/Schoensgreen Hanni/8/German Sport Horse/M/ Natalie Pollard
- Kristin Schmolze/28/Califon, NJ/Ballylaffin Bracken/11/Irish Sport Horse/G/ Kristin, Janet, and Bill Schmolze
- Tamra Smith/36/Murietta, CA/Mar de Amor/11/Selle Francais/G/ Leigh Mesher
- Lynn Symansky/28/Middleburg, VA/Donner/8/Thoroughbred/G/Lynn Symansky
- Jennifer Taxay Kelly/47/Agua Dulce, CA/Taboo/7/Thoroughbred/M/ Jennifer Taxay Kelly
- Jolie Wentworth/30/Martinez, CA, /Good Knight/9/Canadian Sport Horse/ Tracy Bowman
The competition runs Thursday-Sunday, please visit: http://www.richlandpark.com/ for complete information and the link to live scoring.
Photos: Boyd Martin and Michael Pollard taken earlier this year.