The U.S. Jumping Team finished all three individual combinations in the top five to conclude equestrian competition at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. Kent Farrington and Landon earned silver individually. McLain Ward and Contagious took bronze, and Laura Kraut and Dorado 212 finishing just off the podium in fourth. The U.S. Jumping Team also secured their Olympic qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games while taking team gold on Wednesday.
“We really came here for Wednesday, and they were just brilliant and got the job done there. And today, as the individuals always are, is just the icing on the cake. All three of our combinations today have been impressive,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland. “We had some building partnerships on this team, with Kent and Landon and Laura and Dorado. And I couldn’t be happier with them. Both of them jumped as well as they ever have all week.
Kent Farrington and Landon Silver
The courses were beautifully designed all week by Marina Azevedo (BRA), showcasing the cultural flare and history of Chile, while also proving technically challenging and built to championship specs. The first round of individual competition saw rails fall throughout the course. A particularly tricky last line, including a triple bar to a double vertical combination to a long bending line to the final oxer stood out as the most difficult of the day. Farrington (Wellington, Fla.) and Landon, a 2012 Zangersheide gelding owned by Haity McNerney, were the first U.S. combination to test the track, showcasing Landon’s growth in confidence throughout the week. The pair had an unfortunate back toe in the water to add four faults to their score with room to improve in round two.
“As a more inexperienced horse coming into this event, I think he continued to grow and improve throughout the week. And I’m just really thrilled with the result. These were big rounds today and some real jumping and I think that shows what the Pan Am Games has become in our sport,” said Farrington. “I’ve had him since the end of his seven-year-old year and he’s now ten, so really coming into his own. He’s won two five-star Grand Prixs already and just jumped better and better as the week went on. He’s an incredible athlete and you can see that he will battle is way out and finished very strong.”
Laura Kraut Just Misses
Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Dorado 212, cared for by Margo Thomas, who were stellar all week, saw one rail fall in the first round, the A element of the very challenging one-stride combination toward the end of the course. Kraut has praised Dorado 212, a 2012 Oldenburg gelding owned by St. Bride’s Farm, for his continued try for her in the ring, especially in his first ever championship format competition with five rounds.
McLain Ward and Contagious
With his longtime partner, Contagious, McLain Ward looked to add another medal to their accomplishments. They headed into the first round in the lead overall. The pair were speedy and careful, but a slight shift before the triple bar caused the back rail to fall to add four. The last oxer also fell from the cups, adding eight to their score. That brought the leaderboard much tighter going into round two.
“It was really a brilliant week for the American team. Really the goal for us here was to win a gold medal and qualify for Paris. And I think we did that with a lot of style on Wednesday. I’m very proud of my team and my horse. Contagious really fought for me today. We got a bit unlucky in a few places, but there are always things that I can do better. But he performed great, and I’m just really thankful to all of the people that make it possible for me to have a horse as special as him.”
Final Deciding Round
Ward and Contagious, a 2009 Zweibrücker gelding owned by Beechwood Stables LLC, and cared for by Virg Casterman, sitting in fifth, rode a brilliant second round. They barely touched the back rail of the second-to-last oxer to add four faults to their total. They finished on a final score of 15.34. Landon, cared for by Denise Moriarty, continued to impress with Farrington. They produced yet another clear in the second round to mark the pair’s third clear round in five total classes this week. That ensured they finished on their final score of 9.64, which would secure them the silver medal.
Gaining valuable experience, Kraut and Dorado 212 finished their second round with two down. That pushed them to fourth overall, just five-tenths of a point behind Ward and Contagious in third. Stephan de Freitas Barcha (BRA) and Chevaux Primavera Imperio Egipcio took the individual gold medal on a final total of 8.06.
For full results, click here.