Pan-American Games 2015 – Dressage
On the podium after the individual Dressage final at the Pan-American Games 2015 in Toronto, Canada: (L to R) Laura Graves (USA) silver, Steffen Peters (USA) gold, and Chris von Martels (CAN) bronze. (FEI/StockImageServices.com)
US Gold Medal Team, Kimberley Herslow, Steffen Peters, Sabine Schut-Kery and Laura Graves on the podium at the OLG Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park during the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games in Caledon, Ontario, Canada. (Pic StockImageServices.com)
Pan American Games Dressage Individual Gold Toronto 2015 Steffen Peters (USA) and Legolas 92 at the OLG Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park during the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games in Caledon, Ontario, Canada. (Pic StockImageServices.com)
by Louise Parkes
On Tuesday July 14,America’s Steffen Peters and Laura Graves added individual gold and silver to the team title secured on Sunday (July 12) at the Pan-American Games 2015 in Toronto, Canada where the host nation’s Chris von Martels scooped individual bronze.
The result is a sensational fifth consecutive Pan-American team victory for the Americans, bringing their tally to eight team and nine individual Dressage titles in the 64-year history of the event, and earning a team berth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
It was a back-to-back double of individual gold for Peters. Although he didn’t surpass the Pan-American Games record score of 80.132%, which he set at Guadalajara in Mexico four years ago with Weltino’s Magic, he came close, posting 80.075% for Tuesday’s individual win with Legolas.
The Americans took the lead from the outset of the team competition and held on for gold, but the host Canadians chased them all the way to the line to claim silver, while Brazil just pipped Mexico for the bronze. Results were combined from two days of mixed Small and Big Tour competition that began with Prix St George and Grand Prix on Saturday (11 July). Only teams with Grand Prix combinations were eligible for the single Olympic berth on offer; so only USA, Canada, Mexico and Brazil were in that race.
US stalwart, Steffen Peters, posted the biggest Grand Prix score of the day with Legolas at 77.240, and when added to Laura Graves’ 75.080 with Verdades, and Kimberly Herslow’s 75.184 in the Prix St George the first-day US tally was 230.504. Three scores from each team were taken into account, so Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo’s 71.790 in the Prix St George was the team discard.
However, the Canadians were hot on their heels when Brittany Fraser and All In scored 76.105 and Chris Von Martels and Zilverstar posted 75.026. Of the Canadian Big Tour pairs it was Belinda Trussell and Anton who scored highest with 74.949, Megan Lane and Caravella awarded 72.400 for the discard. Going into Sunday’s decider, Canada trailed the USA by just 4.433 points, while the three-member Mexican team of Jesus Palacios (Wizard Banamex), Jose Padilla (Donnersberg) and Bernadette Pujals (Heslegaards Rolex) lay only 0.203 points ahead of Brazil’s Joao Paulo Dos Santos (Veleiro do Top), Sarah Waddell (Donelly 3), Joao Victor Marcari Oliva (Xama dos Pinhais) and Leandro Aparecido da Silva (D Caprio).
There was plenty of pressure as the action got underway on Sunday in the Intermediare 1 and FEI Grand Prix Special, but the Americans stood firm, bolstered by personal-best scores from both Graves in the Special and Herslow in the Intermediare 1, and backed up by Peters‘ 72.667, while Schut-Kery posted 73.533. Their final tally of 460.506 moved them just 5.5 points ahead of the Canadians to secure the gold medal, while the Brazilians leap-frogged the Mexicans for the bronze.
US Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover said his team’s great result “showed that our Small Tour horses are beautifully trained and our Big Tour combinations showed why they are ranked seventh and eighth in the world right now. What could be better for a Chef d’Equipe than to bring a team and have them earn personal bests at a very important moment! Having earned qualification for the Olympic Games, it allows us to now focus and put our energy into preparing for Rio (2016 Olympic Games).”
Team: GOLD - USA 460.506: Sanceo (Sabine Schut-Kery) 71.790;73.553, Rosmarin (Kimberly Herslow)
75.184/77.158, Verdades (Laura Graves) 76.580/78.677, Legolas 92 (Steffen Peters) 71.790/72.667; SILVER - Canada 454.938: Zilverstar (Chris von Martels) 75.026/76.210, Brittany Fraser (All In) 76.105/76.079, Caravella (Megan Lane) 72.400/72.892, Belinda Trussell (Anton) 74.940/76.578; BRONZE - Brazil 414.895: Di Caprio (Leandro da Silva) 69.474/69.026, Sarah Waddell) 65.632/67.184, Xama dos Pinhais (Joao Victor Marcari Oliva) 69.184/69.211, Veleiro do Top (Joao Paolo dos Sanctos) 67.842/70.158.
Individual: GOLD - Legolas 92 (Steffen Peters) USA 80.075; SILVER - Verdades (Laura Graves) USA 79.825; BRONZE - Zilverstar (Chris von Martels) CAN 79.500.
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