The team members that will represent Chile in showjumping events at the 2015 Pan American Games have been named. The 2015 Pan American Games take place from July 10 to 26 in Toronto, ON, with showjumping events being held July 21-25 at the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park in Caledon, ON.
The athletes and horses named to the Chilean showjumping team are:
José Manuel Ibañez riding AS Farfala
Nicolas Imschenetzky riding Pegase de Talma
Carlos Milthaler riding Disaronno VT
Samuel Parot riding Atlantis
Carlos Morstadt riding Talento
Two-time Canadian Olympian Jay Hayes of Orangeville, ON, has been appointed head coach and chef d’equipe for the team.
“Chile has great tradition, great riders, great horses, and are strong in their basics and foundations,” said Hayes, 58, who has trained several grand prix competitors over the years including Lauren Hunkin, Sarah Johnstone, Eric Lamaze, Chris Sorensen, and his daughter, Lauren Hayes.
In preparation for the 2015 Pan American Games, Chilean team hopefuls traveled to Calgary, AB, to compete at the Spruce Meadows ‘Summer Series’ tournaments, where they faced many of the same horses and riders that they will compete against in Toronto. With the ‘National’ tournament at Spruce Meadows acting at the final observation trial, Hayes made his selections.
“I observed the horse-rider combinations competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, this winter, and traveled twice to Chile for three selection trials held in March and April,” explained Hayes of the selection process. “Then, most of the candidate riders decided to compete at Spruce Meadows to expose them to top sport. They have good horses, all of the riders have seen major championship competition, and I think the mileage they gained at Spruce Meadows will serve them well.”
Imschenetzky riding Pegase de Telma was the top-placed member of the Chilean team at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, FRA, while Carlos Morstadt and Talento represented Chile at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA. Morstadt also represented Chile at the 2012 London Olympic Games, competing alongside Samuel Parot, the highest-ranked Chilean rider in the FEI Longines World Rankings. A veteran of the Chilean team, Carlos Milthaler represented his country at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
The Chilean team members will continue to compete at Spruce Meadows before traveling east on July 16. Hayes will host a training camp at North Ridge, his show jumping facility in Mono, ON, before moving on-site for the Pan American Games competition.
“If things go well, hopefully we can beat some of the stronger nations and, being optimistic, qualify for the Olympics,” said Hayes. “We’ll need the winds to blow favourably in our direction.”
At the last Pan American Games held in 2011 in Guadalajara, MEX, Chile placed fifth in the showjumping team competition. At the 2015 Pan American Games, the top two nations in the final team standings, not including Brazil and the United States who are both already qualified, will earn a berth for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, BRA.
“I’m very honoured to have been chosen, and I am looking forward to the challenge,” said Hayes of his role. “Everyone I am working with has been very receptive, open to sharing ideas, and we have developed a nice team spirit. It’s been fun!”
“For the Chilean Team, it is a privilege to have Jay Hayes at our side,” said Sady Delgado, Director of the Chilean Equestrian Federation and President of the Jumping Committee. “We are sure our team will do a great job in Toronto under his direction.”
Source: Press release from Starting Gate Communications
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