(EQUESTRIAN) MEXICO — After kicking off the Equestrian Team Competition at Guadalajara’s 2011 Pan American Games (the second largest multi-sport event after the Summer Olympics) without a single jumping penalty, Team USA continued their flawless run to take the gold. Gold medal winners Schoensgreen Hanni, Harbour Pilot, Absolute Liberty, Ballingowan Pizazz and Donner couldn’t be reached for comment as they galloped around the course in victory with riders Michael Pollard, Hannah Sue Burnett, Buck Davidson, Shannon Lilley and Lynn Symansky waiving American flags overhead. Read on for more details from the games’ events. — Global Animal
Five victorious horses and their American riders trot to the chants of USA! Photo credit: Statesman.com

The Chronicle of the Horse, Mollie Bailey

The U.S. eventing squad finished the team competition at the Pan American Games the same way they finished their first day of competition: without a single jumping penalty.

All five riders—Michael Pollard and Schoensgreen Hanni, Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot, Buck Davidson and Absolute Liberty, Shannon Lilley and Ballingowan Pizazz and Lynn Symansky and Donner—laid down perfect rounds to finish on their dressage scores. Only the top three marks from each nation counted toward the team score, but with scores like these, it didn’t matter which scores were used.

“I have to give special congrats to my team,” said Chef d’Equipe Captain Mark Phillips. “Five people finishing on their dressage score has never been done before in the history of the sport. They did a great job.”

Canada claimed silver, with Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti putting in a double-clear round to stay atop the leaderboard. Hawley Bennett (Five O’Clock Somewhere) rode double clear as well, with Selena O’Hanlon (Foxwood High) and James Atkinson (Gustav) picking up one apiece. Roquefort felled two fences with Rebecca Howard to round out the silver medal team.

Brazil earned an Olympic Games qualification with their bronze medal, led by the hero of the day Sergei Fofanoff and Barbara TW and Marcelo Tosi and Eleda All Black’s pair of double-clear trips.

The riders will show jump again at 3:30 central to determine individual medals, so stop back for that update. The only rider from this morning who won’t be coming back is Ron Zabala and Mr. Wiseguy. The Ecuadorian had an awkward fence, and though Mr. Wiseguy cleared the oxer, Zabala hit the dirt.

More Chronicle of the Horse: http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/us-earns-team-eventing-gold