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Equestrian Canada – Aug. 6, 2019, Lima, PER – The Canadian Show Jumping Team is making a strong run for the podium and their berth to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, currently holding third place after their first day of competition on Aug. 6 at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games in Peru.

Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, Lisa Carlsen of Okotoks, AB, Mario Deslauriers of Bromont, QC and Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON are sitting on a team total of 6.21 faults following a one-round speed class that represented the first team and individual qualifier. The United States are in the lead on 2.09, while Brazil holds second with 3.39. Following the team final on Aug. 7, the top three teams not already pre-qualified will earn their place at Tokyo 2020. Having won gold at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), the United States has already secured their spot.

For the individual leaderboard, American anchor, Beezie Madden and Breitling LS are on top with zero faults, with Mexico’s Patricio Pasquel and Babel in second on 0.29, and Alex Granato from the US in the third spot aboard Carlchen W (0.92).

Held as a speed class, the first round was run according to Table C rules, with four seconds added for every rail. To determine individual scores, times were converted to faults, with the fastest clear given a perfect zero, and every other horse-rider combination receiving a score representing the difference between their time and the leader. For team scoring, only the top three are combined, allowing teams with four riders to drop their highest score in each round.

The first Canadian to contest Brazilian FEI 4* Course Designer, Guilherme Jorge’s track, featuring 13 obstacles and 16 efforts, was Carlsen aboard Parette (Passoa VDL x Barinello), her 13-year-old Brandenburg mare. The pair left all the rails in the cups, and crossed the timers in 77.74 seconds. Unfortunately, they were later eliminated based on Article 241.3.30 of the FEI Jumping Rules. Elimination under this Article does not imply that there was any intent to injure the horse, but it is crucial that the rules are enforced in order to ensure that horse welfare is protected.

“My horse got a minor rub today, and when the stewards looked at her during the post-round check, they made the call to eliminate us,” explained Carlsen, 54, a Canadian Olympian who also brought home team gold from the 1987 Pan Am Games in Indianapolis. “The wellbeing of my horse is my number one priority, and I would never do anything to jeopardize that. Rules are rules, but I would never intentionally harm my horse. Parette has been carefully checked out and cleared by vets for competition tomorrow and I look forward to continuing to do our best for the team. Thank you to our entire team, including Mark Laskin, Jon Garner and Dr. Eduardo Felix for all of their support today. ”

While Carlsen is eliminated from the individual competition at Lima 2019, she will move forward in the team competition.

 

Lisa Carlsen and Parette
Photo Credit: © Cealy Tetley – www.tetleyphoto.com

Next into the ring for the team was Walker, 26, who is making her major games debut with her long-time partner, Falco van Spieveld (Toulon x Lys De Darmen). They proved to have Canada’s fastest time of the day after a foot-perfect round, taking all the inside turns and stopping the clock in 71.58 seconds. This placed them in ninth individually on a score of 1.38.

“We had a bit of an aggressive plan, going in on super tight turns, and leaving out strides,” explained Walker, who is the reigning Canadian Show Jumping Champion with the 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding. “My horse has a massive stride, so we really try to use his step, and luckily the plan came together. It’s not often that we get a chance to go fast with the nations cup format, so that’s a bit different for us – but I executed well today.”

 
 

Nicole Walker and Falco van Spieveld
Photo Credit: © Cealy Tetley – www.tetleyphoto.com

Canada’s third rider to step into the stadium was Ballard, 38, making her second major games appearance in as many years, having debuted at the WEG 2018 in North Carolina. Riding Fellini S, she went for a careful, clean round to benefit the team, which she accomplished in a time of 75.34 seconds. She is holding 15th place individually on 3.26.

“My plan changed. I thought I was going to do the inside turns, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Fellini was jumping high, clean and sharp, and he was aware,” Ballard explained of the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Vermont x Rash R), owned by Ilan Ferder. “I figured my best chance was to go as fast as I could around the options, and I think it worked out in my favour today.”

She continued, “Fellini is a pretty cool dude. He has nice exposure and miles for a nine-year-old, and he’s ready to go. (At the Palm Beach Masters) this winter, he was quite good and I said, ‘I think that I have my best shot on this one, especially in Lima, if we’re getting ready for Tokyo next year.’ He has all the qualities. He is fast, ultra-careful, and doesn’t seem to be environmental. I’ve had the luxury of riding him for a year and I have quite a good relationship with him. He knows me, he’s smart, and I certainly like to have him here and I like to be around him all the time.”

 
 

Erynn Ballard and Fellini S
Photo Credit: © Cealy Tetley – www.tetleyphoto.com

Riding in the anchor seat was Deslauriers, 54, who has previously represented Canada at the Olympics and WEG, but is competing at the Pan Am Games for the first time in Lima. Riding Amsterdam 27 (Catoki x Acord II), he crossed the timers in 67.96 seconds, which would prove to be the fastest time of the day. However, after opening up to leave out a stride in a bending line to a double-combination toward the end of the course, a rail at the ‘a’ portion added four seconds for a final time of 71.96. Individually, he is rounding out the top 10 on a score of 1.57.

“Amsterdam was jumping so good, so I pushed a little, but I was just a little late getting there, so he jumped a little flat at it,” Deslauriers explained of the nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Wishing Well Farm LLC and Luga LLC. “He’s usually very round, but I think he backed up for ‘b’ a little in the air. But other than that, he rode beautifully.”

Speaking to the overall team performance, Deslauriers commented, “We needed three good scores to count, so I had to put the pressure on a bit. But everything worked out. We got three good scores and we are right in the hunt. We are right there with the States and Brazil.”

 
 

Mario Deslauriers and Amsterdam 27
Photo Credit: © Cealy Tetley – www.tetleyphoto.com

Earlier in the day, Deslauriers also had the opportunity to cheer on his daughter, Lucy Deslauriers, 20, who was also making her Pan Am debut – but for the United States. Riding Hester, she contributed a clear round to the US team.

“It’s interesting competing against my daughter,” he said. “We’ve competed against each other for three or four years now, but this is different; it’s a championship. There’s a lot more pressure and you are with your team all of the time. But she has a great supporting cast. Beezie Madden and everybody in the US are helping, and I’m trying not to interfere. She had a great round and I’m very proud of her.”

Next for the Canadian Show Jumping Team will be the team final on Aug. 7, which features two rounds. All teams will move forward into round one, with the top 10 advancing to the second round. The team final will also act as the second and third individual qualifiers. The individual medals will be decided on Aug. 9 with an additional two rounds, open to the top 35, and then the top 20, respectively.

For more information on equestrian events at the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games, including the full schedule of equestrian competition, entries and results, please visit www.lima2019.pe/en. Live scoring for equestrian can be found here.

To follow the CET’s #RideToLima through results coverage, behind-the-scenes content and breaking news, visit www.equestrian.ca/events-results/games/ridetolima and be sure to check out EC’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for unique content, including a daily photo album.

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Photographs may be used one time only with this press release and must include photo credit.
For high resolution photographs, please e-mail jchristie@equestrian.ca.