Santiago, Oct 24 (EFE) – The United States, consisting of four riders and their horses, clinched the gold medal in the basic dressage event at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games on Tuesday.
The US team, featuring Christian Simonson, Anna Marek, Codi Harrison, and Sarah Tubman, scored a total of 450.670 points in the competition held at the Granaderos Riding School in Quillota, north of Santiago.
Brazil took the silver medal with 443.343 points, and Canada earned the bronze with 431.937 points. These three nations will represent the American continent at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“It feels surreal and a tremendous honor. Each one of us felt the thrill of being a part of this team and feeding off each other’s energy. It was a big day for us,” Simonson told the media post-competition. It was the Pan American debut for Simonson, Marek, and Harrison.
Harrison emphasized that winning was something “you dream of from when you’re a little boy or girl learning to ride. Coming to the Pan American Games and winning… it’s truly exhilarating.”
Tubman also highlighted the camaraderie between herself, Simonson, Marek, and Harrison. “I believe we’re one of the youngest equestrian teams the US has sent out. We showed the world that we have new, young riders and horses ready to compete,” she added.
Tubman rode her horse, First Apple, with a pin on the left lapel of her uniform featuring a picture of the late owner of the horse, First Apple, Jerry Ibañez, who also sponsored the rider. Ibañez passed away shortly after the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.
“Competing again, with my medal around my neck and knowing he’s watching from above, is very special. This week, I rode for Jerry,” Tubman said, visibly emotional.
Chile secured fourth place, followed by Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, and Ecuador.
The equestrian events will continue on Wednesday with the freestyle mode. EFE