Pan Am Games Continued from Page 1.

Lima 2019 Pan American Games, taking place July 26 to Aug. 11 in Peru. Canada has fielded three

full equestrian teams for the Pan Am Games, consisting of 10 women and two men. The eques- trian portion of the games will kick off with the elegance of dressage July 28, 29 and 31. The dynamic discipline of eventing will follow Aug. 2-4, with fast- paced jumping competition wrapping things up Aug. 6, 7 and 9.

The equestrian teams are

made up of a combination of vet- erans and those making their major games debut. Five athletes have previous experience repre- senting Canada on the world stage, while seven are attending their first senior multi-sport games. One of Canada’s most dec-

orated Pan Am athletes, Jessica Phoenix, 35, of Cannington, ON, will head up the Canadian Event- ing Team in Lima. Her horse, Pavarotti, is also a Pan Am vet- eran, having helped Phoenix bring home individual gold and team silver in 2011 and individ- ual silver and team bronze in front of a hometown crowd in Toronto in 2015. “I am extremely honoured

to have the chance to ride Pavarotti at a third Pan Am Games

for Canada,” said

Phoenix who is also a two-time Canadian Olympian. “We have had an extensive career together and it is such a blessing every time I get to compete with him. I can’t wait to ride on this team. Go Canada!” Competing


Phoenix in eventing will be her longtime teammate from the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games, Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Tryon 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), Colleen Loach, 36, of Dunham, QC. Rounding out the team are Pan Am rookies, Dana Cooke, 31, of Merritt, BC and Karl Slezak, 37, of Tottenham, ON.

Canadian jumping team athlete, Nicole Walker, 25, of

Aurora, ON is among the ath- letes experiencing the Pan Am Games for the first time. “I feel honoured to compete

for Canada in the upcoming Pan American Games in Lima. Wear- ing the red jacket brings added pressure, but it is an incredible feeling to have a whole nation behind you,” said Walker, who is the reigning Canadian Show Jumping Champion. “This will be my first major games. I am riding alongside an experienced team and my horse, Falco van Spieveld, has been in super form. Together I think we can pull off a great result for Canada.” Walker will be joined on

the jumping team by veterans Mario Deslauriers, 54, of Bromont, QC and Lisa Carlsen, 54, of Okotoks, AB. Deslauriers and Carlsen were teammates at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games, and Deslauriers also has the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games under his belt. Rounding out the jumping team is Erynn Ballard, 38, of Tottenham, ON, who made her senior championship debut at WEG 2018 in Tryon, NC.

The Canadian Dressage

Team will include a Pan Am re- turn for Tina Irwin, 38, of Stouf- fville, ON, who already has a team silver medal from the 2011 edition in Guadalajara, MEX. “I am very excited and ho-

noured to be part of the Pan American dressage team with Laurencio,” said Irwin, who has racked up an impressive resume with her mount Laurencio, even setting a world record for the highest small tour score in 2017. “I think we have a very strong team this year and I look forward to working with my teammates to bring home a medal.” Joining Irwin in Lima will

be Jill Irving, 56, of Moncton, NB, who is coming off her debut at WEG 2018, as well as two tal- ented rookies: Lindsay Kellock, 29, of Toronto, ON, and Naima Moreira Laliberté of Outremont, QC, who at 22 years of age is Canada’s youngest equestrian athlete heading to Lima. The 2019 Lima Pan Amer-

ican Games will prove especially meaningful for the Canadian Equestrian Team (CET) by pro- viding the opportunity for all

three disciplines to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Historically, the CET has

had great success at the Pan Am Games, most recently earning five medals from TORONTO 2015. The dressage team took silver, eventing earned bronze, and the jumping team won gold for the first time since 1987. In- dividually, Phoenix and Pavarotti were eventing silver medalists, while Chris von Martels of Ridgetown, ON claimed individ- ual bronze in dressage. “It is an incredible moment

for any athlete, in any sport, to be named to the national team for a major games,” said Jon Garner, EC Director of Sport. “The hours spent honing their craft to get to this point are likely immeasura- ble, and for the most part started as a child on a pony. The athletes selected to represent Canada at the upcoming Lima 2019 Pan American Games have done everything asked of them and more to get this far. This is step one.”

“Though the CET has a dif-

ferent makeup for the first time in a long time, I have the utmost confidence in this group to achieve the goal of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Garner continued. “It will require single-minded focus from athletes and support teams alike, and I have no doubt that these teams will produce podium performances in Peru.” Lima 2019 will bring to-

gether approximately 6,700 ath- letes from 41 nations of the Americas and feature 62 disci- plines in 39 sports. It will be the largest sporting event ever held in Peru. The full list of Canadian

equestrian athletes and coaches nominated for Lima is listed at right.

Prior to being named to

Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the COC’s Team Selection Commit- tee following its receipt of nom- inations by all National Sport Federations in late June 2019. EC is supported in its pur-

suit of excellence by Sport Canada and high performance partner, Own the Podium.

Sizzling Summertime For Jockeys Tony Phillips And Regan Knowles

Regan Knowles each rode two win- ners on the eight-race card to take the top two positions on the jockey’s standings. Phillips now has 10 wins on the season while Knowles has six.

first-time starters owned by Carol and Jaime Robertson and trained by Bryn Robertson. The family from Hillsburgh, ON now have a remark- able six winners from six starters at the 2019 meeting.

Both of Phillips’ winners were

AJAX DOWNS, JUNE 9, 2019 - A big crowd enjoyed beautiful sum- mertime weather at Ajax Downs on Sunday, June 9, the sixth day of the Quarter Horse track’s 50th anniver- sary season. Jockeys Tony Phillips and

FAVOURITES to win her debut in race 5. Certainly the most popular race

year-old EAZY STREET who cap- tured the first baby race of the season with an impressive run to overcome an awkward start in race 1 and win by almost a length in :13.53 for 250 yards for a hefty 86 Speed Index. The Robertsons’ also sent

of the day was the Gridiron Gallop (see photo below!), a 110-yard dash, the shortest race offered at Ajax Downs. A field of nine went from a standing start to over 50 km/h with last year’s top 3-year-old male CARNEROS winning by a head over

Chicksdigmymoneybags. One of the those was the 2- out ONE OF MY

(@AjaxDowns), Instagram and Facebook for updates on contests and giveaways for each racing day. Their website is Ajax Downs Live Quarter Horse Racing - Ajax On- tario

Photo at right — Bursting out of the gate of the 110-yard GRIDIRON GALLOP in which the field of nine was separated by less than 2 lengths at the finish. The winner was num- ber 2 CARNEROS with Ed Walton riding

Carneros was one of two winners on the day for owner Milena Kwicien and Ponytpool’s Jason Pascoe who trains. Follow Ajax Downs on Twitter

Chefs d’Équipe Dressage



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