Canada’s Pan American Games Team Under Gag Order Until Saturday

Photo via Wikimedia Commons Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Canadian eventing fans have been waiting on pins and needles to find out which horses and riders will comprise this year’s Pan American Games team, which was expected to be announced immediately after the conclusion of last weekend’s Bromont International Three-Day Event.

Equine Canada confirmed to EN that the Canadian Pan American Games eventing team has already been selected and the riders have been notified, but the official announcement of who made the team will not come until this Saturday, June 13, which is being celebrated as #PanAmDay in Canada.

The Canadian Olympic Committee will announce the Pan American Games teams for all of its sports on this day, and Equine Canada will release an official statement with the announcements for their teams soon after. As a result, the riders named to the Canadian eventing, show jumping and dressage teams have been placed under a gag order until the June 13 announcement.

Jessie Christie, communications manager at Equine Canada, told EN that the intent behind embargoing the team announcements from release until Saturday is to maximize the impact and excitement for the Pan Ams, which are being held in Toronto this year. Indeed, Canada is going all out this Saturday in honor of the Games, with #PanAmDay celebrations taking place in many cities.

In the case of the Canadian eventing team, the timing of the selection notification and subsequent enacting of the gag order covers the 72-hour window in which riders who didn’t make the team are allowed to appeal. Article 11 of the 2015 Canadian Pan American Games Selection Procedures states:

“In light of the time restrictions imposed by the FEI and OC (Olympic Committee) deadlines, a dispute/appeal must be filed by the rider within 72 hours of the announcement of the 2015 Pan American Games Eventing – Definite Entries and the named substitute(s)/ alternate(s).”

Fleur Tipton, Equine Canada’s manager of eventing, confirmed that the 72-hour window to launch an appeal started from the time the riders were notified of their selection or non-selection. Multiple sources confirmed to EN that the riders were notified of their selection yesterday. The window to launch an appeal is now in effect and will end while the riders are still under the gag order, one day before the team is officially announced to the public.

While the identity of the riders named to the team remains under lock and key, Venezuelan rider and Pan Ams competitor Elena Ceballos confirmed to EN that Kyle Carter and his homebred FR’s Trust Fund were not named to the team; instead, Kyle will be coaching the Venezuelan team in Toronto.

Due to the urgency of needing to declare a team coach in order to receive Pan Am accreditation, the Venezuelan Olympic Committee could not wait until June 13 to find out whether Kyle, who has trained Elena and her fellow Venezuelan Pan Am team rider Juan Andres Larrazabal for many years, would be riding for Canada or coaching their team.

It’s the end to Kyle’s run to Toronto with “Finn,” his 9-year-old Dutch/Thoroughbred gelding we featured two years ago on EN’s Got Talent. After finishing in third place on a score of 44.3 in the CCI2* at the Ocala Horse Properties International Horse Trials in April, many thought of Kyle as a virtual lock for the team. Due to the gag order, Kyle is unable to provide comment to EN at this time.

Canada’s selection process for Toronto follows the events surrounding last year’s selection snafu for the Canadian World Equestrian Games team, when Kathryn Robinson was named to the squad only to be removed and replaced due to a missing piece of paperwork.

Stay tuned as we continue to wait for the announcement of the Canadian Pan American Games team.

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