May 19, 2007 – Palgrave, Ontario – The first of five Selection Trials for the Canadian Show Jumping Team headed to the Pan American Games was held on Friday, May 18, at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Palgrave, ON, with Ian Millar claiming the top two spots.
As the seventh of 27 challengers on course, Millar of Perth, ON, posted a clear round in a time of 83.855 seconds to move into the lead riding Redefin. He would prove to be his own closest competition later in the class, the $25,000 Alliance Homes Open Welcome, guiding In Style to a clear round in a time of 85.756 seconds to finish the Selection Trial in first and second place. Susan Grange of Cheltenham, ON, owns both Redefin and In Style.
"We're off to a good start, I would say," smiled Millar, 60, who has earned eight medals, including two Individual Gold, in seven Pan American Games appearances. "The Pan American Games are extremely important because they set the stage for going to the Olympics."
Placing third behind Millar in the standings was his 2003 Pan American Games teammate, Karen Cudmore. A native of Victoria, BC, now residing in Omaha, Nebraska, Cudmore finished third with the nine-year-old Holsteiner stallion, Southern Pride, owned by her husband, Blair Cudmore.
"I got Southern Pride as a two-year-old and I think he could be an international horse," said Cudmore, 48. "I would love to go to the Pan American Games again. I think that I would be more prepared having done it once before, and that Southern Pride would be a good horse for that."
Following Cudmore in the standings is Jay Hayes of Cheltenham, ON. The two-time Canadian Olympian guided Livarot to a clear round in a time of 90.057 seconds over the speed course set by Guiherme Jorge of Brazil, who will also be the show jumping course designer at the 2007 Pan American Games.
Erynn Ballard, 26, of Hillsburgh, ON is next in the Selection Trial standings with Robin Van Roosendael, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by her family's Looking Back Farm.
Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, ON, holds down the next two spots with Special Ed and Black Ice, respectively. Frankie Chesler-Ortiz of Orangeville, ON, is eighth with Ranville while veteran Canadian Equestrian Team member, Mac Cone of King City, ON, follows with Melinda.
The second Selection Trial will take place at the Caledon Equestrian Park on Sunday, May 20, at 2 p.m. The final three Trials will be held on June 6, 7 and 9 during the Spruce Meadows 'National' Tournament in Calgary, AB. At the conclusion, the top three riders in the standings will earn a berth to the Pan American Games while the Selection Committee, chaired by Terrance Millar, will name an additional two Team members.
Selection Trial Standings - Top 10 following Trial #1
Athlete Hometown Horse Score
1. Ian Millar Perth, ON Redefin 0
2. Ian Millar Perth, ON In Style 1.426
3. Karen Cudmore Omaha, NE Southern Pride 4.157
4. Jay Hayes Cheltenham, ON Livarot 4.989
5. Erynn Ballard Hillsburgh, ON Robin van Roosendael 5.156
6. Jill Henselwood Oxford Mills, ON Special Ed 5.486
7. Jill Henselwood Oxford Mills, ON Black Ice 5.65
8. Frankie Chesler-Ortiz Orangeville, ON Ranville 6.523
9. Mac Cone King City, ON Melinda 6.639
10. Kim Farlinger Anann, ON Cordoba 9.255
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