At the horse inspection held Sunday morning, July 19, all four Canadian Show Jumping Team horses were accepted. Team alternate, Elizabeth Gingras, 33, of Edmonton, AB, also presented her mount, Zilversprings, an 11-year-old grey Dutch Warmblood gelding (Silverstone x Emilion) owned by B Gingras Equestrian Limited, in the event she is needed.
Local athlete Candele, 44, will ride Showgirl, a 15-year-old chestnut selle francais mare (Gold de Becourt x Elf III) owned by the Watermark Group. Candele is making his Pan American Games debut.
In her Pan American Games debut, Foster, 30, will compete with Tripple X III, a 13-year-old dark bay Anglo European stallion (Namelus R x Cantango) owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms LLC.
With three nominated horses to choose from, 2008 Olympic Champion Lamaze selected Coco Bongo, a 10-year-old bay Rheinlander stallion (Caretino x Calido) also owned by Artisan Farms LLC, as his mount for these Games. With team silver and bronze and individual bronze medals already to his credit, Lamaze, 47, will be making his fifth consecutive Pan Am Games appearance.
It is Millar, however, who comes into the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games as the most decorated member of the Canadian Show Jumping Team in Pan Am competition. Millar was the individual gold medalist in 1987 (Indiana, USA) riding the legendary Big Ben, and again in 1999 (Winnipeg, Canada) with Ivar. He was also the individual bronze medalist in 1979 (San Juan, PUR) riding Brother Sam, and has earned a total of six team medals in nine Pan American Games appearances.
In his record tenth Pan American Games appearance, Millar, 68, will ride Dixson, a 12-year-old bay Belgian Warmblood gelding (Vigo d’Arsouilles x Olisco) owned by Susan and Ariel Grange.
“We have come to Toronto with two goals in mind; to win some medals and to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games,” said Canadian Show Jumping Team chef d’equipe Mark Laskin of Langley, BC. “With the riders and horses we brought, I am confident that we can achieve both goals. It’s exciting for us to compete for a major championship in front of our home crowd. I hope we can make them proud.”
Show jumping events open with the first individual qualifier on Tuesday, July 21, followed by the two-round team competition to determine team medals on Thursday, July 23. The two-round final to decide individual medals takes place on Saturday, July 25.
The top two countries in the final team standings, excluding those already qualified, will earn a berth for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, BRA. As the host nation, Brazil is pre-qualified, as is the United States, based on its bronze medal performance at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
For more information on equestrian events at the Pan American Games, please visit www.toronto2015.org.