The Games they are a changing is what these Pan Am Games proved and the team show jumping said that loud and clear. After the first of two rounds of team competition it was Columbia standing first, Argentina second and Canada third. The U.S. was in sixth after all four team riders had four faults each.
That had people looking at each other disbelief – Argentina and Columbia, how did that happen. What made it even clearer was that it was no simple course they were jumping. There was a triple and double combination, water, two liverpools, lots of light rails, fences at a meter 60, an electric crowd and plenty of technical questions.
In the past it would have been just the U.S., Canada and Mexico fighting for the medals, but not this year. And those riders, every one of them, had to earn their medals. And what made it better was it all came down to the last few riders.
After Canada’s second round they had a score of 7 and if the last rider from Argentina went clear then Argentina would have won the Gold because they had 6 total faults. In fact Jose Maria Larocca riding Cornet Du Lys did put in a clear round, but the two time faults he incurred gave then a score of 8 putting them just behind Canada.
And what added to the excitement was that Jose was the next to last rider to go. So, there were a ton of Canadians in the audience just holding their breaths, until the scoreboard showed the 2 time faults. And then the arena lit up with flags and cheers and a very happy Canadian team which now has secured their berth for next year’s Olympic Games.
And for the Americans, who entered on a score of 12, things were not looking up. That is until they started riding their second round and after each one the announcer said zero faults. In fact all four of our riders went clear. So, now it was up to Columbia.
Things reversed for the Columbians, who had accumulated only one time fault in the first round. But luck was not with them for round two. In total they added 14 time and jumping faults to their score which put them behind the U.S. team.
Brazil also passed by them as well because when their two rounds were totaled they ended up with a score of 14, which put them just ahead of the Columbians.
So, the Games they are a changing and it’s looking like no country is going to easily win medals anymore as the other Americas are now proving they’ve got what it takes.
And just how did that American team manage to each take down a rail in the first round but go clear in the second.
“Each of them had very minor mistakes in the first round. So they just had to do the same thing they did in the first round but just tweak it a bit,” commented Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland.
Only three riders from each team will move forward to the individual competition, which leaves out Farrington for the U.S. (because he also had one time fault). Tiffany as the low score for the Canadians will be the one not going for Canada and Matias Albarracin for the Argentinians.
For sure this is making the Pan Am Games a lot more interesting and since the show jumping is now being streamed (or so they say), you’ll want to watch the final individual round on Saturday because it’s sure to be intense.
While all their faults qualify them for this final round, they all start on zero faults and, like in the team competition, they have to negotiate two rounds.
Final Team Results
Gold to Canada with 7 total faults for team members Ian Millar on Dixson, Eric Lamaze on Coco Bongo, Tiffany Foster on Tripple X III, and Yann Cadele on Showgirl.
Silver to Argentina with 8 total faults for team members Albarracin Matias on Cannavaro 9, Luis Pedro Biraben on Abunola, Jose Larocca Jr. on Cornet Du Lys, and Ramiro Quintana on Whitney.
Bronze USA with 12 total faults for team members Georgina Bloomberg on Lilli, McLain Ward on Rothchild, Kent Farrington on Gazelle, and Lauren Hough on Ohlala.
For more about information about the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games visit www.Toronto2015.com.