Calgary, Alberta — Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, ON, won the Pan American Games Selection Trials for the Canadian Show Jumping Team while Mac Cone of King City, ON, finished second and Victoria, BC, native Karen Cudmore placed third. As the top three riders in the Selection Trial standings, Henselwood, Cone and Cudmore have all earned a berth on the Canadian Show Jumping Team that will compete at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from July 14 to 29.
The $200,000 CN Reliability Grand Prix held at Spruce Meadows on Saturday, June 9, acted as the fifth and final Selection Trial. Despite incurring 10 faults on Saturday, Henselwood’s total of 23.486 faults over five Selection Trials put her on top of the Selection Trial standings. Henselwood, who had been leading the Trial standings with Black Ice and sitting second with Special Ed coming into the final event, opted to ride Special Ed in the final Trial, where riders are limited to one horse. The strategy paid off and Henselwood, 44, will be taking Special Ed, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Juniper Farms, to Rio. Henselwood has previously represented Canada at the 1995 and 1999 Pan American Games.
Mac Cone, sitting in sixth position in the standings coming into the final Trial, posted a clear round riding Melinda, a 13-year-old grey Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Southern Ways. Adding nothing to his score, Cone finished the Selection Trials with a total of 24.639 faults.
“Jumping clean is the name of the game, that’s what you are trying to do,” said Cone of his strategy for the final Selection Trial. “Maybe under certain circumstances you could take a time fault rather than risk a rail, but not today. I needed a zero to do what I needed to get done. Once I sat down and could watch other people going, I realized that I was moving up in the standings.”
Cone has previously represented Canada at the Olympic Games and World Championships and although he traveled to the 1995 Pan American Games in Argentina, he did not compete.
Cudmore, who now makes her home in Omaha, Nebraska, finished third in the Trial standings with 28.157 faults. Having represented Canada at the 2003 Pan American Games, Cudmore, 48, is partnered with Southern Pride, a nine-year-old American-bred Holsteiner stallion owned by her husband, Blair Cudmore.
The top three riders in the Selection Trials are automatically named to the Pan Am Team while the Selection Committee, chaired by Terrance Millar, will name an additional two horse-rider combinations subjectively. All five horse-rider combinations will travel to Rio de Janeiro with the four that comprise the Canadian Show Jumping Team being determined once on-site. In order to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games, Canada must finish in the top three, not including the United States who are already qualified.
Final Selection Trial Standings
Athlete Hometown Horse Score
1. Jill Henselwood Oxford Mills, ON Special Ed 23.486
2. Mac Cone King City, ON Melinda 24.639
3. Karen Cudmore Omaha, NE Southern Pride 28.157
4. Ian Millar Perth, ON In Style 29.426
5. Darrin Dlin Wellington, FL Catwalk 33.031
6. Erynn Ballard Hillsburgh, ON Robin van Roosendael 34.156
7. Margie Gayford Sharon, ON Stuntman 34.613
8. Chris Lowe Burnaby, BC Jackpot 40.434