Equestrian was among the 28 Olympic and five non-Olympic sports approved by members of the Pan Am Sports Executive Committee today for inclusion in the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
The inclusion of equestrian sport — and especially eventing — in an international games format is never something we should take for granted, as we require significant resources (read: land). Consider the difficulty we have had in securing host cities for the World Equestrian Games, which will for 2022 be split between Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy (eventing and combined driving) and Herna, Denmark (jumping, dressage, para dressage and vaulting).
According to a statement released today by the Pan Am Games:
Much consideration was given to the merits, benefits and difficulties of each sport currently on the sport program and those sports which have found new footholds in the Olympic Movement thanks to the innovative approach of Olympic Agenda 2020.
Following in the footsteps of the IOC, Panam Sports has taken the very difficult decision to maximize the resources of each Host Nation, approving the sport program of Santiago 2023 based on the realities and challenges of Chile. In accordance with Olympic Agenda 2020, Games should not require significant investment in resources and infrastructure that do not comply within the sustainable capabilities of the Host City.
Did reading that make you sweat a little? Did me!
The nation of Chile currently has one FEI event, Quillota Horse Trials (April 17-19, 2020), which hosts CCI1*, CCI2*-S and CCI4*S levels. Quillota is located about an hour and 40 minutes outside of Santiago, which makes us think they may be planning to stage the equestrian events there.
Carlos Lobos Muñoz and Ranco were the highest placed Chilean finishers at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, completing in 9th. Luis Alfonso Larrondo Muñoz and Puerto Octay finished in 18th, and the other two team members, Carlos Villarroel and Guillermo Garin Heyermann, were eliminated cross country.
Chile did not qualify a team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The nation does leads the way for an individual slot via the Central/South America region, with Carlos Lobos Muñoz and Ranco sitting atop the list of athletes from unqualified nations.
The following sports were approved for the 2023 Santiago Pan Am Games: athletics, archery, badminton, baseball/softball, basketball, boxing, canoe, cycling, equestrian, fencing, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, karate, modern pentathlon, roller sports (artistic skating, speed skating and skateboarding), rowing, rugby sevens, sailing, soccer, sport shooting, surfing, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, water skiing, weightlifting, wrestling and volleyball. Other sports may be added so long as quality infrastructure could be guaranteed without additional investment by the host city. Final approval will take place at the next Pan Am Sports Executive Committee meeting in Cali, Colombia in the first week of June.