Friday, November 3 brings two weeks of spectacular equestrian sport to a close at the Pan American Games 2023 in Quillota, Chile where, following Thursday’s second Horse Inspection, 28 jumping riders will battle it out for individual gold in the much-anticipated two-round final showdown.
At the head of affairs going into the final day are two American legends.
McLain Ward is a five-time Olympian whose record at the Pan Ams includes team gold at Guadalajara (MEX) in 2011 and the individual title along with team bronze in Toronto (CAN) in 2015. He holds a fractional lead over compatriot Laura Kraut who stood beside him on the top step of the team podium yesterday.
With results converted to points, Ward carries a score of 3.34 into tomorrow’s competition with his 14-year-old gelding Contagious, while triple Olympian Kraut and her 10-year-old gelding Dorado 212 are on 3.39, so there is only a hair’s breadth between them.
Brazil’s Stephan de Freitas Barcha (Chevaus Primavera Imperio Egipcio) is lying third on 4.06 ahead of bronze-medal-winning teammate Pedro Veniss (Nimrod de Muze Z) in fourth on 4.26 and Canada’s Tiffany Foster (Figor) is in fifth on 4.40.
Mexican team-mates Nicolas Pizarro (Pia Contra) and Eugenio Garza Perez (Contago) hold the next two placings while USA’s Kent Farrington (Landon) is in eighth, Canada’s Amy Millar (Truman) lies ninth and Venezuela’s Luis Fernando Larrazabal (Condar) is in tenth. Larrazabal’s score is 5.41, so there is no room for error amongst the top ten.
Brazil’s de Freitas Barcha is feeling pretty confident.
“The first target was the team competition and the bronze medal was not the best feeling because we were fighting for the gold but I am in a good position for the individual. It’s sport and we have two more rounds so there’s a lot more to come. I need to stay focused, the mare is jumping unbelievably so let’s see what’s to come!
“I have had Primavera since she was six years old [she is now 12] and we grew together. I twice won the Brazilian national title with her and I came to Europe at the beginning of this year straight to a 4* show and won the Grand Prix. I was in Rome [in May 2023] also third in the Grand Prix, then I did some Nations Cups to prepare for coming here to this championship. We are in nice shape to fight!” he says.
The first round of Friday’s competition begins at 11.00 local time and the top 20 go through to a second round over a different course, starting at 14.00.
Anything can happen, so don’t miss a hoofbeat….
Start lists and Results here.