By US Equestrian Communications Department
The U.S. Eventing Team concluded their week in Santiago, taking the team silver medal on a final combined total of 115.7. Canada finished just a tenth of a point ahead on 115.6 for gold. Brazil finished with team bronze on 127.1, with both countries earning their qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake secured individual gold in their championship debut for the United States, completing the event on a final score of 30.8 over the three phases. Marcio Carvalho Jorge of Brazil finished with individual silver, and Lindsey Traisnel of Canada took bronze.
“Firstly, in our disappointment of today, we’re also absolutely thrilled for Caroline, her owners, and her support group. She was incredible this whole week. We’re very proud of her and it’s so well-deserved,” said Chef d’Equipe Bobby Costello.
By Matt Turer / US Equestrian
Of the difficult day of show jumping for the team, Costello continued, “It’s hard in the moment to look back and immediately start analyzing, but we all need to think about it for a couple of days, and with that will come more clarity on what we can do moving forward to not be in this position again. It’s good that we are all disappointed with silver because it means we want to be better, but are also genuinely happy for our friends, the Canadians, and glad to see both them and Brazil punch their tickets to Paris. As a team, we’re going to have to go away from this, analyze ourselves, and find a way to come back stronger.”
The team was challenged by the track set by Marina Azevedo (BRA) and saw too many rails fall to keep ahold of their gold medal position, but the experience provided a strong developmental opportunity for the team to test a difficult course set in an electric atmosphere, while also giving the program an opportunity to look at how they can continue to strengthen all three phases.
Stepping up to the challenge in each of the phases, Caroline Pamukcu (Miami Beach, Fla.) and HSH Blake embraced the pressure as the final combination into the arena today. The pair had a miscommunication at fence five, but Pamukcu recovered quickly and guided the 2015 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Pamukcu, Mollie Hoff, and Sherrie Martin to a remaining clear round inside the time to cinch individual gold on a final score of 30.8.
“I’m just so grateful for this opportunity and still in shock to be honest. I really came here to deliver a good result for the team and that was my focus. These teammates really took me under their wing this week, and I think that we have a great pipeline in our country both with riders and horses, and that’s really exciting, and I feel like this medal is a testament to that,” said Pamukcu. “I got a little bit eager at fence five, but grateful for a great horse, when you make a mistake, you have to put yourself together and keep kicking on.”
Caroline Pamukcu wins individual gold. By Matt Turer / US Equestrian
For the team, Sydney Elliott (Benton, La.) and QC Diamantiare, a 2010 Oldenburg gelding owned by Carol Stephens were the first combination to set out around the track and proved the time would be tight and the technicality serious, finishing with two down to add eight faults to their score in addition to a time fault, finishing on 42.5 and eighth individually.
The remaining three combinations for the U.S. were slated in the final three rounds of the day, with Sharon White (Summit Point, W.V.) and Claus 63, her own 2012 Holsteiner gelding, finishing with four down, and crossing through the timers just over the time allowed, to complete their first championship on a 47.0 for tenth place overall.
Liz Halliday (Ocala, Fla.) and Miks Master C, a 2012 Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Deborah Palmer and Ocala Horse Properties LLC, were also tested by the fair, but difficult track, dropping three rails and adding 1.6 in time to their final total score. The pair finished in seventh place individually on a 42.4 in their championship debut for the team.