Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Calgary’s Jonathan Asselin Top Canadian at Pan American Games

Jonathan Asselin + Showgirl, un Selle Français de 11 ans
Jonathan Asselin of Calgary, AB, finished ninth individually while Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, placed 11th in show jumping competition held Saturday, October 29, at the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Asselin, 52, was sitting 16th coming into Saturday’s individual show jumping final at the Guadalajara Country Club. In the first round of competition, Asselin guided Showgirl, an 11-year-old chestnut Selle Français mare owned by Attaché Stables, to a clear jumping round, incurring one time fault for exceeding the time allowed. Competitors had 80 seconds to complete the beautifully-decorated course set by designer Javier Fernandez of Mexico.

Returning for the second round, Asselin was clear all the way until the last obstacle, the 2015 Toronto Pan American Games fence. The four faults he incurred gave Asselin a final individual score of 16.10 penalties and ninth place overall in his Pan American Games debut.
“Jonathan had a wonderful day, his horse jumped exceptionally well,” said Terrance Millar, chef d’équipe of the Canadian Show Jumping Team. “In the last round, the horse was jumping beautifully but his bit actually broke in half with three jumps left to go. There was a long canter to the last jump, a fairly simple vertical, and the mare had it down.”
Lamaze, 43, incurred four faults in each round of the Individual Final with Coriana van Klapscheut, a nine-year-old chestnut Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Artisan Farms and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable. In the first round, Lamaze had a rail at the first element of the triple combination at fence seven, by far the most problematic obstacle on course. Returning for the second round, Lamaze had a rail at fence nine, bringing his final score to 19.03 and 11th place overall.

Millar, 64, jumped clear in the first round with Star Power, a 10-year-old Dutch-bred gelding owned by Team Works, to move up to fifth place in the individual standings with a score of 3.79. However, Star Power stumbled upon landing after fence eight and did not return for the second round.

“It was a very unfortunate day for Ian,” said Terrance Millar. “He had a beautiful first round but, in that round, the horse stumbled badly upon landing and went to his knees and looked uneven in his walk as he left the ring. As the afternoon progressed, Star Power seemed to be more uncomfortable. It was a decision not to risk further injury by competing in the second round.”

Millar set a record in Guadalajara by competing in his ninth consecutive Pan American Games, the most of any athlete in Canadian history. He has earned nine medals in nine appearances, including individual Gold in 1987 riding Big Ben and in 1999 riding Ivar, more than any other equestrian athlete from any country.

The defending Pan American Games champion, Jill Henselwood, 48, of Oxford Mills, ON, finished Thursday’s competition ranked 22nd individually riding George, a nine-year-old chestnut Hanoverian gelding owned by Brian Gingras. As only three riders per nation may contest the individual final, Henselwood did not compete.

“For the team, I think it was a useful experience,” noted Terrance Millar of Hockley Valley, ON. “It was unfortunate that George was not able to jump the last day as he was getting better and better. Overall, I think it was a very positive experience for Jonathan and Showgirl. For Ian, it has to be very disappointing to be in range of a medal and have his horse get hurt.”

Christine McCrea of the United States claimed the Gold medal after jumping two clear rounds in the individual final with Romantovich Take One. Beezie Madden, also of the United States, was leading with Coral Reef Via Volo, but crossed the timers in 66.07 to incur one time fault in the second round for exceeding the 66-second time allowed. With a final score of one fault, Madden earned the Silver medal. Bernardo Alves of Brazil jumped double clear in the individual final riding Bridgit to earn the individual Bronze with 2.09 penalty points.

On Thursday, the Canadian Show Jumping Team placed fourth overall in the team competition. The United States won the Gold, Brazil took team Silver, and the host nation of Mexico earned Bronze. A total of 12 teams contested Thursday’s Team Final while 55 horses representing 17 countries competed in the individual show jumping events.

The Canadian Show Jumping Team was supported throughout the Pan American Games by chef d’équipe Terrance Millar, assisted by Mark Laskin, team veterinarian Dr. Sylvie Surprenant, stable manager Lori Green and team manager Karen Hendry-Ouellette.

The Canadian Equestrian Team was assisted at the Pan American Games by Team Leader Kerri McGregor of Newmarket, ON, and Assistant Team Leader Tina Collins of Loretto, ON.

For competition details and results, consult the XVI Pan American Games official website at or the FEI website

Pan American Games – Show Jumping – Final Individual Standings
GoldChristine McCreaUnited StatesRomantovich Take One0.88
SilverBeezie MaddenUnited StatesCoral Reef Via Volo1.00
BronzeBernardo AlvesBrazilBridgit2.09
4McLain WardUnited StatesAntares F6.02
5Alberto MichanMexicoRosalia La Silla7.28
6Tomas CouveChileArc en Ciel de Muze10.87
7Daniel BlumanColombiaSancha La Silla13.63
8Jillian TerceiraBermudaBernadien van Westur16.24
9Jonathan AsselinCanadaShowgirl16.10
10Rodrigo CarrascoChileOr de la Charboniere18.65
11Eric LamazeCanadaCoriana van Klapscheut19.03