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Sandra Donnelly Top Canadian Eventer at Games
Hong Kong
Photo: Anthony Trollope/
Samantha Taylor and Livewire
The Canadian Eventing Team finished its Olympic bid in ninth place on Tuesday night at the Sha Tin venue in Hong Kong, China. Sandra Donnelly of Calgary, AB, was the top-placed Canadian, finishing in 31st place individually.

Germany won the Gold Medal with a final score of 166.10 penalty points, Australia took the Team Silver with 171.20, and Great Britain earned the Team Bronze with 185.70. Canada's final score was 321 penalty points.

While there were no real surprises in the team medals, the second round of show jumping, which determined the Individual Medals, produced plenty of drama. Germany's Hinrich Romeike and his superb mount, Marius, produced a clear round to maintain their lead and claim the Individual Gold, their second of the evening. California's Gina Miles and McKinlaigh found themselves moving up from fourth position to claim the Individual Silver, buoying the spirits of the Americans following an unexpected seventh place finish. Great Britain's Kristina Cook won the Individual Bronze with a faultless performance riding Miners Frolic.

In the team standings, the best three of five scores are counted towards the final result. All five members of the Canadian Eventing Team finished the competition with the scores of Donnelly, Kyle Carter of Calgary, AB, and Selena O'Hanlon of Elgin, ON, comprising the final result. Michael Winter of Toronto, ON, and Samantha Taylor of Richmond, BC, were the other two Team members.

With two rails down in the third and final phase of show jumping, Donnelly, 38, added eight penalty points to her score to finish with a three-day total of 92.20 penalty points in her Olympic debut. Her horse is Buenos Aires, is an 11-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding that she bred herself.

Carter finished in 36th position with a total score of 95.90 penalty points. Carter had three rails down in the show jumping phase as well as two time faults for exceeding the time allowed.

"I thought the horse started out well, but he lost his shape about half-way through," explained Carter of Madison Park, a 10-year-old thoroughbred gelding owned by Carter and Nicole Shinton. "He was flat, not tired, and I lost him a little bit. I just didn't get the jump I needed."

Of Canada's performance, Carter, 39, noted, "I think it is all right there. We have a bunch of younger horses lining up against more experienced horses. We got here and we wanted to do something with it, but it just didn't go exactly as planned."

O'Hanlon and Colombo, a 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Elaine and Michael Davies, picked up 12 jumping faults in the show jumping phase including two of the final three obstacles. Their final score of 132.90 penalty points placed them 46th overall.

Winter, 33, and Kingpin, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by The Kingpin Syndicate, incurred 20 faults in the show jumping phase to place 52nd overall with a final score of 145.70 penalty points while Taylor, 25, and Livewire, a 10-year-old thoroughbred gelding bred in British Columbia, had eight jumping penalties to place 56th with a final score of 188.30 penalty points.

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