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2009 Pan American Championship
Images by Steph Teeter

2009 Pan American Championship
Images by Steph Teeter

2009 Pan American Championship
Images by Steph Teeter

Home || Starters List || Official Website || Final Results

Stories: Got Here Just in Time - Steph || Arrival in Uruguay - Dinah Rojek || Day Before the Race - Kathy Brunjes || Hola!! Kyle Gibbon
Vet In Day - Steph || Thursday Morning - Kathy Brunjes || Thursday Afternoon - Kathy Brunjes || On Loop 3 - Steph
Friday Night - Kathy || The Day After - Kathy|| Heading Home - Dinah || Pan Am Departure - Kyle
2 Medallas de oro para la Argentina - Claudia Quentin
Steph's Story:
Part 1, The Venue
Part 2, Team Effort - Uruguay and Argentina
Part 3, Team Effort - USA
Part 4, Team Effort - Guatemala and Malaysia

Images of the Event:
Vetting In || The Road || The Beach || The Camp || The Camp - more || The Finish || Awards Celebration || Team USA

Team Effort - Part 2 - Uruguay and Argentina

This event really felt like a team affair. More so than other Championships I've been too. Perhaps it was due to the individuals who participated, or maybe the nature of the countries - more sensitive to each other, to a group effort, to National pride. Maybe it was just my perception - but it was a delightful competition in this respect.

I arrived late on Thursday afternoon, just after most of the veterinary inspections had taken place, and after all the parties and opening ceremonies, where I could have gotten a better feel of the pulse of the event. - Talk to riders, join up with old friends, talk to vets and officials - all those little things that help me understand the personality of the event. (and they're all different!).

I was able to get a few photos of the venue, and the beach trail, and bump into many people that I knew from previous South American world events - it's amazing how easy it is to slip back into these friendships from event to event. The bonding between people that share the intensity, the nerves, the demands, the worry-hope-expectation of the equine partner - these bonds are strong. As well as the natural affinity between horse people. The friendships last.

Even though Uruguay didn't finish a team (4 riders are declared as Team Riders prior to the start of the competiton, and only they can earn points towards a team medal), even so, they did finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall - an amazing accomplishment. The Gold medal rider Martin Lateulade rode his home grown horse Diyo Bayo. This horse was also awarded Best Condition. He was amazing. Built like the classic Uruguayan Endurance horse - like a greyhound - but with a golden palomino color! A very different horse indeed.

Pio Juan Miguel Olascoaga Amaya rode Batovi Dorad to a 2nd place finish. Pio and Martin finished hand in hand with a ride time of 6:15, 21.16 km/hr. Together they held the Uruguayan flag as they crossed the finish line, but Pio ceded the win to Martin. Close behind were Juan Cruz Caceres and Spartaco IN with a ride time of 6:28.

So for teams - Argentina really did it here! They took Gold in the Pan Americano and also in the Young Rider team division. I have never seen a more spirited group than the Argentines. There may be abundant competition at the individual level (and I've seen it first hand, they do have some strong personalities...) But, once they're in the same boat, and that boat just sailed into port with all of the Gold, there is nothing like it anywhere in the world. Every Argentine there was outfitted with a stunning sky blue polo shirt (compliments of Estanar Endurance) and everywhere one looked during the competition there were those blue shirts. And during the awards celebration the tears and cheers and flags and singing was well beyond any other group.

My very dear friend Miguel Pavlovsky (8th overall) was among the team medal winners. Miguel and Celina are (in my humble opinion) among the best breeders of Arabian horses in all of South America. They have been breeding Arabians for 40 years - first for the race track, and then for Endurance after the tracks closed down. All of the horses from Haras San Andrés del Moro have a special look. Substance, fire, beauty - Pavlovsky's believe one can breed for beauty as well as athleticism and their results prove it. In every discipline (racing, driving, jumping, dressage, endurance) they have risen to the top. And Miguel has the skill to do it all himself. He is still riding, still competing, well into his 60's and I can't see him stopping any time soon.

Miguels son-in-law Pablo De los Heros (5th overall) was also riding, on a horse that Miguel's twin brother had chosen for his driving teams. But the horse, Moro Ideal, had other ideas and would not settle for driving. He is thriving on endurance however, and Pablo's patience has given him the chance. This horse was literally chomping at the bit the entire time, even difficult to hold going out (away from camp) on the final loop. And he's stunningly beautiful. I don't personally know the other 2 team riders well enough to tell much about them - but they must be feeling just as proud. Cristian Peterson and RP Sebastopol finished in 9th overall. Santiago Vita and Baraka IbnFadilla were eliminated at the 3rd vetgate.

When Argentina received their medals, there were many tears and smiles, lágrimas y sonrisas, and everything in between. These are an amazing people - the hot blood and artistry of the Spanish, tempered with the pioneer and immigrant spirit of the 'new country' - I love Argentina!

more later-