Path to Peru: What You Need to Know About U.S. Team Selection for the Pan Ams

Can the U.S. team repeat their gold medal performance in Peru? Photo by Jenni Autry.

After qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games eluded the U.S. at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, the team must now qualify for Tokyo at the 2019 Pan American Games. Eventing will take place on Aug. 1-4 in Lima, Peru.

All countries from FEI Olympic Group D (North America) and E (Central & South America) will also be vying for Tokyo qualification at the Pan Ams, which will award Olympic qualification to the top two teams in Lima. No countries from Groups D and E qualified at Tryon, so every country that fields a team for Lima will be battling it out for Tokyo qualification.

When you consider that Canada and Brazil will also be seeking Olympic qualification at the Pan Ams, the stage is set for a nail-biting competition in Peru. The Pan Ams will once again run at the CCI3*-L level (formerly CCI2* under the old FEI star system). Teams will be made up of four horses and riders with a drop score.

The U.S. selection procedures for the 2019 Pan American Games were approved by the U.S. Olympic Committee on Jan. 31, 2019, and made public this week. All athletes and horses wishing to compete on the 2019 Pan American Games Eventing Team must achieve one qualifying result between Jan. 1, 2018 and June 25, 2019 at a CCI3*-L, CCI4*-L or CCI5*-L.

The following competitions have been confirmed as selection trials for the U.S. team:

2018 U.S. Pan Am Selection Trials

  • The Event at Rebecca Farm CCI2* and CCI3* – July 18-22
  • Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI4* – Aug. 30- Sept. 2
  • Ssang Yong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials CCI3* – Sept. 13-16
  • Military Boekelo CCIO3* – Oct. 11-14
  • The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI3* and CCI2* – Oct. 17-21
  • Virginia Horse Trials CCI2* – Nov. 1-4
  • Galway Downs International CCI3* and CCI2* – Nov. 1-4
  • Ocala Jockey Club CCI2* and CCI3* – Nov. 15-18

2019 U.S. Pan Am Selection Trials

  • Twin Rivers CCI3*-L – April 10-14
  • Ocala International now CCI3*-L – April 10-14
  • Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L – April 24-28
  • Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials now CCI5*-L – May 1-5
  • Jersey Fresh CCI3*-L and CCI4*-L – May 8-12
  • Tattersalls International CCI3*-L and CCI4*-L May 29-June 2
  • Bromont CCI3*-L and CCI4*-L – June 5-9

Additional CCI3*-L and CCI4*L competitions between July 18, 2018 and June 9, 2019 may be considered as selection trials with approval of the U.S. Selectors and the USEF Eventing Sport Committee if a rider makes a request at least 30 days prior to the start of the competition.

Combinations will be chosen for the U.S. team based on the following factors (in no particular order):

  • The overall performance and soundness of the combination in the 2018/2019 competitions designated as selection trials with emphasis on dressage scores, current fitness, cross country, and show jumping performance: jumping without faults and/or incurring time penalties, boldness, rideability, and speed.
  • The previous international experience of the combination (preference may be given to combinations who have demonstrated ability to succeed in multiple international eventing competitions.
  • The rider’s fitness.
  • The combination’s will to win and the suitability of the combination to win an individual medal or contribute to a team medal at the Pan American Games.
  • The willingness of the athlete to work within the confines of the event accreditation
    allocation and restrictions.

The U.S. Pan American Games Team will be announced no later than June 19, 2019. Four combinations will be named to the team, as well as a list of alternates. The selectors can name direct reserve horses for team riders. A direct reserve horse would be an automatic replacement if the original horse has to be substituted.

All of the combinations named to the team will be required to “demonstrate their continued preparation, soundness and ability” by competing at a preparation event or multiple events. Details regarding the preparation event(s) will be released no later than April 15, 2019 all details. It is currently expected that the preparation event(s) will be a CCI3*-S, an Advanced horse trial(s) or Advanced combined test(s) to be held after June 15.

In exceptional circumstances, the selectors may grant a waiver for all or part of the
requirements if it is in the perceived best interests of the results of the team. Waivers may be granted for combinations who have limited competition results during the initial qualifying
period of July 18, 2018 to June 9, 2019, but have earned high scores.

Click here to view the full U.S. selection procedures. Keep it locked on EN for all the latest news on the path to Peru. Go Eventing.