Day two featured the Intermediate I and Grand Prix Special test for the Small Tour and Big Tour to determine team medals. Canada started and ended the day in third behind the US and Brazil, which earned the team a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The day started once again with the Small Tour riders and Beatrice Boucher and Summerwood’s Limei were first in the ring for Canada. The overall great test was marred by two errors, but all the double coefficient elements were beautifully executed which boosted their overall mark to 70.471 and a final rank of 14th.
“Maybe I was trying to get the extra mark but unfortunately had the mistake,” Boucher explained later of the canter step during the first extended trot. “Everything else was good and floating so we managed to keep the marks up.
“I feel so grateful for the mare,” she added. “She pulled another 70 for Canada and I’m so lucky to have her and the opportunity to ride for Canada on her back, it’s amazing.”
The first of Canada’s Big Tour riders was Camille Carier Bergeron with Sound of Silence 4 who had a spectacular fault-free test. Yesterday’s performance had been hampered by a small error caused by a connection issue when SOS’s tongue went over his bit as he went into the ring. Today’s test scored a personal best of 74.511 and placed them in 6th, the highest-ranked Canadians. (Note: The Big Tour riders get a 3% bonus for the increased level of difficulty which is automatically added to their final score.)
“I’m thrilled. It’s a dream come true. After yesterday, I just went in there with the idea of doing our best. Not putting any more pressure, just having a clean test and we did so I’m really excited,” said a delighted Carier Bergeron.
To ensure a smooth start today, teammate Beatrice Boucher led SOS into the ring where Carier Bergeron did a relaxed tour before the bell.
“Until they rang the bell, I had a loose rein and I was trying to walk like we were trail riding basically around the ring. Just chill out and have fun and then when they rang the bell then I picked up my reins and went in there. I think he liked that; I think that worked.”
Canada’s second Big Tour pair was Mathilde Blais Tetreault and Fedor. The test had a little more tension than yesterday and an error at the start of the one-tempi flying changes that kept the mark a bit lower than yesterday, but they earned a 71.128 to finish in 12th.
“I feel like I had moments that were better than yesterday with a little more tension but then a little more self-carriage, so I’m really happy,” said Blais Tetrault. “He was really with me, and he tried his best.”
“I feel like I had a little more bobbles here and there that they couldn’t give me the 7.5 or 8 that they would have given me if it was a little clearer in the rhythm, but that’s life. Next time.”
Last in the ring for team Canada was Naima Laliberte and Statesman. The pair were able to overcome the issue with the one-tempis they had the previous day, but a mistake at the extended trot and a couple of other issues gave them a slightly lower score than the day before at 72.021 to finish 10th.
“It was a bit of a rough start in there for me. I didn’t have quite the full focus of my horse, but he kept getting better and luckily, despite the mistake, we managed to bring the score higher and finished quite well, I think.”
Canada won the bronze with 431.937 and qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics, which had been a priority for the team. They were bested by team USA who won the gold with 450.670 and Brazil who won silver with 443.343. The USA had already qualified a team for the 2024 Olympics, so Brazil and Canada earned the two Olympic spots offered.
Competition resumes on Wednesday with the Individual Final where the top 15 riders will compete for individual honours. Only three riders per country will compete which will be decided following tomorrow’s inspection.