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USA Equestrian
U.S. Wins Dressage Gold Medal At 2003 Pan American Games

The United States successfully defended its Championship title from 1999 by winning the Team Gold Medal in dressage by the slimmest of margins with a score of 206.550 at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Canada won the Silver scoring 206.300 and Mexico came in third for the Bronze with a score of 195.350 just slightly ahead of the home team of the Dominican Republic with a score of 194.850.

The U.S. bested eight other nations, the largest equestrian contingent in the history of the Pan Ams, for top honors. The U.S. squad consisted of Jan Ebeling of Moorpark, CA riding Feleciano (Westphalian; Florestan I – Barette), owned by New Horizons Dressage, LLC; Pierre St. Jacques of Boscawen, NH on Lucky Tiger (KWPN; Lucky Light – Teike) owned by St. Jacques and Lisa Belcastro; Carol Lavell of Loxahatchee, FL, riding her Much Ado (KWPN; Quattro – Varla) and Kristina Harrison-Naness of Burbank, CA on her Kantor (KWPN; Olympic Ferro).

The Dressage team competition took place over two days, but it all came down to the last rider on the final day. The fourth U.S. rider, Jan Ebeling, impressed the judges enough to score a 70.400%, forcing Leslie Reid of Canada, riding Mark, to give the performance of her life. As the anchor rider, Reid had all the pressure, but she came through with a score of 72.150%, the highest in the competition, but not good enough to give her team the gold.

Waiting for the results, the tension in the air was thicker than the humidity and when the scores were announced no one was sure who really finished first. In the end, the gold was captured by only one-quarter of one percent.

After hearing the results, Ebeling could not contain his excitement. “This is so great!” said Ebeling. “It was so great to be a part of this team. It was such an unbelievable experience, to look at the flags and say “WOW! I’m here! I can’t believe it! It was so much fun.”

Pierre St. Jacques was the first U.S. rider on the second day and he scored 69.35%, the second highest on the U.S. squad. St. Jacques was elated, especially at the end of the test. “When we were going down the center line I had the best feeling. I knew we put in a solid, clean test,” said St. Jacques. “I couldn’t have done it without my wife, though. Everything that happened in there was because of her.”

U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Chef d’ Equipe Jessica Ransehousen was thrilled with the performances of all the U.S. riders. “They were wonderful,” said Ransehousen. “I knew we would have to work for the gold, but I was not surprised when we won. The U.S. continues to do our best over and over.”

The top 25 riders move onto the next round of competition, the Intermediaire I test, which takes place on Friday. The U.S. has three in the top ten and all four qualified to ride; Jan Ebeling is in third individually, Pierre St. Jacques stands sixth, Carol Lavell is eighth and Kristina Harrison-Naness currently stands in 13th place. On Sunday, the top fifteen move on to the final test, the Intermediaire Free Style, which determines the individual medals.

USA Equestrian Inc., as the National Equestrian Federation of the U.S., is the regulatory body for the Olympic and World Championship sports of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, and vaulting, as well as 19 other breeds and disciplines of equestrian competition. As
the country's largest multi-breed organization, the Federation has over 80,000 members and recognizes more than 2,800 competitions nationwide each year. It governs all aspects of competition, including educating and licensing all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate at these shows.
The vision of USA Equestrian is to provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of America, promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of its horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best national equestrian federation in the world.


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