Peters leads dressage at Pan American Games

October 19, 2011

US riders are in the top three spots after the first day of individual dressage competition at the 2011 Pan American Games, in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Canada's Crystal Kroetch rode Lymrix to a ninth place finish in the first of two rounds of individual dressage competition at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Monday. © Cealy Tetley,
Steffen Peters leads on Weltino's Magic with 78.079%, followed by team-mates Heather Blitz and Paragon (77.184%) and Marisa Featherling with Big Tyme on 74.316% in Monday's FEI Intermediaire I test, which forms the first half of the individual medal competition.

Canada's Tom Dvorak, 46, rode Viva's Salieri, a 10-year-old Canadian-bred Hanoverian stallion, into fourth place with 73.079%, just over one percentage point behind third placed Marisa Featherling of the United States. Riding Viva's Salieri, a 10-year-old Canadian-bred Hannoverian stallion, Dvorak received a score of 73.079%. On Sunday, Dvorak led Canada to a team silver medal as well as a berth for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The top 15 competitors from the Intermediaire I test qualify for the Individual Freestyle, after which the individual medals will be awarded. However, as a maximum of three competitors per nation are allowed to contest the Individual Freestyle, Dvorak, Crystal Kroetch and Tina Irwin will be Canada's three representatives.

Delighted with his results to date with Viva's Salieri, Dvorak is hoping for even more in the Individual Freestyle to Music on Wednesday afternoon.

"I love riding the freestyle," said Dvorak. "My freestyle is technically difficult and the music really suits my horse. I'm really pleased with my horse and I know we are in the ball game, which is very exciting."

Dvorak's horse, Viva's Salieri, is owned by breeder Augustin Walch, and his wife, Christine, who travelled to Mexico to watch their horse compete for Canada.

Canadian Dressage Team Chef d'Equipe Gina Smith and Team Technical Leader Markus Gribbe of Germany have been thrilled with the Canadian results in both the team and individual competitions.

"They have achieved exactly what we came here to do," said Smith, a 1988 Olympic Team Bronze Medalist. "The atmosphere among the team is wonderful. It's really been a pleasure to watch everyone come together and achieve these results."

The Intermediaire Freestyle to Music, by far the most popular spectator event of the Pan Am Games Dressage competition, will commence at 3pm on Wednesday, October 19, at the sold-out stadium at the Guadalajara Country Club.