South Americans Dominate Equestrian Event
By Dialogo July 20, 2011
The South Americans dominated the medal podium in the equestrian event. On Tuesday, Chile won its first gold medal in the 5th Military World Games with their sets. Brazil placed second, and Uruguay came in third to complete the podium trifecta in the first medal event which was the jumping category.
Unlike in professional competitions, riders at the Military Games are not allowed to bring their own horses. They receive their horse from the host nation in a random drawing prior to the start of the Games. Thus, the athletes must learn to tame the horses during the competition, making the race even more challenging.
The Chileans were the ones who managed to do it better than anyone else. Colonel Oscar Coddou, Lt. Col. Max Piraino and Captains Rene Zuniga and Eduardo Clavel comprised the winning team. The four are also preparing to compete in the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, which will take place from October 14 to 30.
“Our preparation coincided with that of the Pan American Games in Guadalajara. We made several selections in Chile to get the team to come here,” said Colonel Oscar Coddou, who at 56 years old is one of the most experienced equestrian athletes. “For our team here, we decided to blend youth and experience,” he added.
In the Brazilian team, which won the silver, there is one woman: Sergeant Luiza Almeida. She was happy with the outcome, taking into account that in equestrian, male and female riders compete together, without distinction by gender.
“It’s an honor to win this. It was also a way to show that women can also compete at this level,” said Almeida, who finished the day leading in individual dressage. Final results will be known on Thursday, July 21.