DAN CEARNS The Standard
Uxbridge native Jessica Phoenix and Waylon Roberts of Port Perry both picked up Eventing medals at the Pan Am Games on Sunday, July 19.
Phoenix won both the individual silver for her performance as well as a team bronze. Roberts and his horse Bill Owen helped the team pick up it’s third place honours in the four day event, moving up from 34th position after dressage, to 17th after a strong cross country portion. He finished with a score of 69.10.
“To be able to come home for the Pan American games and represent Canada on the team has been wonderful,” Roberts said in a press release. “I’ve been coming to the Caledon Equestrian Park for 15 years, and it’s great to see all the familiar faces and everybody rooting for the Canadians.”
Phoenix was sitting in third place heading in to the last part of the event, the show jumping portion. Her and her horse Pavarotti produced a clear round, helping her to the second place finish, just behind Marilyn Little of the United States.
The 31-year-old said in the same press release that taking home a medal in front of the Canadian crowd was a great feeling.
“To be able to do this in our backyard, with all of our family and friends around, and to have all of the Canadians cheering has just been amazing,” Phoenix said.”It was one of the most amazing feelings in my life.”
She also added that her horse Pavarotti deserved some of the credit as well.
“He was absolutely amazing and I just loved every single moment,” Phoenix said.
Phoenix was the defending Eventing champion, after winning gold in Mexico in 2011. For Roberts,the youngest member of the team, this was his second appearance at the Pan Am games.
Before the show jumping competition, Roberts, Phoenix and the rest of the Eventing team had a chance to get some guidance from 10 time Olympian Ian Miller.
“We had the fortunate opportunity to walk the course with Ian Millar (the morning of the competition), and it rode just the way he said it would,” Roberts said.
The team was in second place after dressage, but fell one spot following the cross country portion. With Phoenix and Roberts, the team was also comprised of Colleen Loach of Quebec and Kathryn Robinson of British Columbia.
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