USEA Board of Governors member Morley Thompson is on the ground in Lima, Peru at the 2019 Pan American Games and will be sharing his thoughts from the spectator's seat!
The Army Equitation School is a green oasis of solitude in a concrete urban jungle. Getting there in Lima traffic is a challenge, but once you enter the walls it has beautiful trees and many helpful volunteers. The overall size of the grounds is quite limited though. The entrance for a spectator is a bit like shopping at IKEA as you are routed along a circuitous path through sections of the cross-country course, through the Peruvian equivalent of a Tiki hut, and eventually get to the dressage area.
The size of the venue is so limited that the cross-country course loops back and forth on itself. Imagine a CCI3*-L course at Kentucky in an area that is probably smaller than the inside of the Kentucky steeplechase track. There are some slight hills and lots of trees, so it does not feel like a Tryon derby field, but the twisty course may prove tough for horses that are not handy.
There are places where trucks are rumbling on city streets on the other side of a wall less than 20 yards from a cross-country jump and there literally were cross-country jumps within the dressage stadium, with a water complex less than 10 yards from A.
Today's dressage was very impressive for the top tier of riders. The U.S. is in a very enviable position to have Lynn's 29.2 be our drop score. Lynn's test set a bar for being calm, rhythmic, and precise but other tests bested her in brilliance and energy. Tamra's test was fantastic and would have placed well in any international competition.
Individually, Brazil's Marcelo Tosi on Starbucks was very impressive. I am probably showing my lack of familiarity with many of the international riders, but I was very impressed by the riding skills of Guatamela's two ladies. Sarka Kolackova De Mendez's Carneval 32 has some incredible moments of brilliance and energy, but with all his energy the extended walk was not on his playlist. For this test, the walk-canter transition at C when the horses were anticipating the medium canter (and pointed at a cross-country jump) proved very challenging for several.
Both the Canadians and Brazil are close on our tail so we need two more great phases!
We know a lot about the athletes representing the USA on our Tokyo team, but what about those essential people, the grooms? Catherine Austen finds out more about Courtney Carson, Emma Ford, Bridget London, and Steph Simpson in this edition of Tokyo Talk.
Ian Stark’s cross-country course resulted in changes among the FEI divisions on Saturday
Cross-country day for the FEI competitors at Rebecca Farm resulted in big changes in the top three standings in the 4* divisions. The current top three riders in the CCI4*-Long all put in double-clear rounds to maintain their dressage scores from the first day of competition.
Phillip Dutton and Z are on the road to Tokyo! Dutton, the 6-time Olympian, is going into his 7th Olympic Games. Dutton’s first three Olympics he represented Australia and helped secure the team gold medal twice (1996 - team gold, 2000 - team gold, and 2004). The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games were the first Olympic Games that Dutton rode for the U.S., and he has been on the U.S. Olympic team ever since. Dutton’s most recent Olympic performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, he earned the individual bronze medal with Mighty Nice.
Rebecca Farm FEI dressage scores are tightly packed
The FEI competition at Rebecca Farm continued today with the CCI3*-Long, CCI4*- Short, and CCI4*- Long dressage. With scores ranging from the mid-20s to the low 30s, the standings in all divisions are tightly packed.