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United States Edges Canada in Battle for the Pan Am Gold in Dressage

Team Medal Presentation
©Cealy Tetley
The United States edged Canada to win the gold medal in the equestrian sport of dressage at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The results were tight, but the United States managed to sneak ahead, posting a final team score of 206.55 compared to Canada’s 206.30. The race for team bronze was also heated with Mexico pulling ahead with a score of 195.35 to edge the Dominican Republic, fielding their first-ever Pan American dressage team, who scored 194.85. Colombia, the defending silver medallists, posted a final team score of 193.00 to finish a close fifth.

In the battle for the gold medal, Jan Ebling of Moorpark, CA, and the eight-year-old Westphalian stallion, Feliciano, earned the highest score for the United States, 70.40%.

“I told Jessica Ransehousen, our chef d’equipe, that I didn’t want to know any of the other scores before I went in,” said Ebling, who was making his major games debut. “It is my first time being on the Team and it is a humbling experience. It is just wonderful how everyone supports each other. The grooms help each other and the riders watch each other.”

Pierre St. Jacques of Boscawen, NH, also competed on Thursday and earned 69.35% for his ride on the eight-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, Lucky Tiger, while Carol Lavell of Loxahatchee, FL, and her nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Much Ado, posted a score of 66.80% on Wednesday. The first rider to compete for the United States, Kristina Harrison-Naness of Burbank, CA, provided the drop score of 64.80% riding Kantor, an 11-year-old black Dutch Warmblood gelding.

Providing the competition’s final ride of the day for Canada, Leslie Reid of Langley, BC, and her horse, Mark, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Marie Andrews, garnered the highest score of the competition, 72.15%.

“I knew how close it was and there was lots of pressure, but I’m better that way,” said Reid, a three-time Pan Am Games competitor. “I couldn’t have asked for more from my horse, and I just went in and did my best.”

Added to the 67.65% posted by Toronto native Ashley Holzer and the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion, Gambol, and the 66.50% earned by Evi Strasser of Ste-Adele, QC, and her eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Quantum Tyme, Canada finished second by the narrowest of margins. Jacqueline Brooks of Mount Albert, ON, provided the drop score of 65.00% with Gran Gesto, an eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding.

For the bronze medal, Bernadette Pujals and Vincent posted Mexico’s top score of 69.85%. Antonio Riveria and Bruno scored 63.40% while Omar Zayrik and Hyko received 62.10%. With a score of 60.25%, Joaquin Orth and Bellagio were not counted in the team tally.

The team competition was held over two days to accommodate the large number of competitors, including ten full teams, with all four team members performing the Prix. St. Georges test. The top 25 riders in the individual standings following the Prix St. Georges competition advance to Friday’s Intermediaire I competition. From there, the top 15 qualify contest Sunday’s Intermediaire Freestyle competition where the individual medals will be determined.

The current individual standings reflect the true international flavor of the Pan American Games. Representing Canada, Reid currently sits atop the standings with her score of 72.15% while Santo Domingo’s own Yvonne Losos de Muniz is in second. Riding Inatana Las Marismas, her Dutch Warmblood mare, Losos de Muniz earned a score of 71.80%.

“The best moment of my test was when I finished, looked over at my husband, and he gave me two thumbs up,” said Losos de Muniz who, with her husband Eduardo Muniz, operates Las Marismas in the heart of Santo Domingo where three of the four Team members train. “I am just so happy, and so proud. Our goal as a team was to finish in fourth place. We’ve all done what we’ve been practicing for the past three years, and we all got the results that we wanted.”

American Ebling is in third position with a score of 70.40% while Mexico’s Pujals is in fourth with 69.85%. Colombia’s Dr. Cesar Parra rounds out the top five after earning a score of 69.50% for his performance with Pik L.

Dressage events continue at the Palmarejo Equestrian Center until August 10. Officiating are Mariette Whitages of Belgium, President of the Ground Jury, Lissette Purcell of the Dominican Republic, Gotthilf Reixinger of Germany, Axel Steiner of the United States and Cara Whitham of Canada.

For further information on the equestrian events at the Pan American Games, please visit the Dominican Republic Equestrian Federation’s website at: www.ecuestrerd.com and the official 2003 Pan American Games website at www.santodomingo2003.com.

Final Team Results - Dressage
Rider Country Horse Score

Gold Kristina Harrison United States Kantor (64.80%)
Pierre St. Jacques United States Lucky Tiger 69.35%
Carol Lavell United States Much Ado 66.80%
Jan Ebling United States Feliciano 70.40%
TOTAL 206.55

Silver Evi Strasser Canada Quantum Tyme 66.50%
Ashley Holzer Canada Gambol 67.65%
Leslie Reid Canada Mark 72.15%
Jacqueline Brooks Canada Gran Gesto (65.00)%
TOTAL 206.30

Bronze Joaquin Orth Mexico Bellagio (60.25%)
Omar Zayrik Mexico Hayko 62.10%
Antonio Rivera Mexico Bruno 63.40%
Bernadette Pujals Mexico Vincent 69.85%
TOTAL 195.35

4th George Fernandez Dominican Republic Joris Las Marismas 66.45%
Yvonne Losos de Muniz Dominican Republic Inatana Las Marismas 71.80%
Diana Ramos Dominican Republic Nienke 56.60%
Martin Hache Dominican Republic Nitram Blanco (45.80%)
TOTAL 194.85

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