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Gold & Silver For USA at Pan Am Games

Christopher Hickey, 38, from Colora, MD, won the individual dressage gold medal riding Brenna Kucinski’s nine year old Dutch Warmblood gelding Regent (Flemmingh – Jenny) at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil on July 18, 2007 with a score of 70.72.

Lauren Sammis, 36, from South Orange, NJ, who had led the individual ranking at the end of the team competition riding the eight year old Dutch Warmblood gelding Sagacious SF (Welt Hit II – Judith), owned by Hyperion Farm, Inc., took the silver medal on 69.92. The Dominican Republic won the bronze medal with Yvonne Losos de Muniz riding Bernstein las Marismas with a score of 69.50.

"When I make one little mistake, especially in the canter, which I did today, it can go down the drain very quickly because things come up so fast," said Hickey. A mistake in his tempis was a place where things could have gone very wrong. "I intended to re-ride the three-tempis. I came into the three-tempis between the pirouettes, and my brain was saying three-tempis and my legs did two-tempis. I did a few and then thought, ‘Oh my God, these are twos…they are supposed to be threes. It was too late to do anything about it. It’s a complicated freestyle that has well-calculated risks."

Team rookie, Lauren Sammis commented, "I have a young horse. For me, this is only the beginning of his career…he’s brilliant." Acknowledging their highlights, she added, "It was probably my pirouettes, but also I think that a strong point was that this horse was able to go into this environment and really try his best. Movement aside, his temperament is unbeatable. But, I have to say that the pirouettes didn’t hurt."

The third U.S. rider was Katherine Poulin-Neff, 28, from Newbury, OH riding her mother, Sharon Poulin’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood-Thoroughbred gelding Brilliant Too (Brilliant - Blue Brigetta) who was lying sixth coming into the freestyle. Her final score of 67.67 placed her seventh overall.

President of the Ground Jury, Belgium’s Mariette Whitages, said that the competition was a nail-biter from the perspective of the jury. Fifteen riders qualified for the final with the average scores taken from the Intermediaire I and Intermediaire I freestyle competitions.

"It was very thrilling for the five judges who were members of the ground jury," said Whitages. "We might as well have been reading a James Bond book. Everybody had their highlights and everybody had their boo-boos. The results really reflected what has been happening. Overall, I think that they were a very successful Pan American Games for dressage."

Courtesy: The HorseTV Channel News, http://www.horsetv.com


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