The four young riders from Quebec who make up Canada’s Pan American Games dressage team each arrived in Santiago with their own dreams, plans, and goals. But as a team, they had just one imperative: win a medal at the 2023 PanAm Games to secure a team spot for Canada at the 2024 Olympics.
After two days of competition there’s just one thing to say: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
Finishing on a team total 431.937, the Fab Four earned the bronze medal and punched Team Canada’s ticket to Paris. With stiff competition from gold and silver medalists USA and Brazil, and with fewer than 9 points separating Canada from fourth place Chile, this success is no small feat. Consider that three of our four horse / rider combinations have no experience representing Canada on an international team in the senior ranks, while the sole Olympic and Pan American veteran, Naima Moreira Laliberte, is just 26 years old. This is a young team, both in age and experience, and they performed with remarkable maturity in the face of intense pressure. This is a team for the future!
Honorable mention for today goes to Camille Carier Bergeron and Sound of Silence, who got off to a spooky start in yesterday’s Grand Prix, leading to some challenges throughout the test. They back today for the Grand Prix Special refreshed and refocused, earning a personal best 71.511 (74.511 when the 3% bonus for GP competitors is added) - Canada’s high score of the competition.
Congratulations to our four riders Camille, Naima, Mathilde, and Bea, along with their grooms, coaches Brittany Fraser Beaulieu, Christilot Boylen and Jordi Domingo, and the entire support staff on the ground in Santiago.
And now - on to the freestyle, which will determine the individual medal standings. Bonne chance les Canadiennes!