In a series of competitions that could hardly have been choreographed to better effect, USA took home Bronze in the Team Final while Lauren' took home Individual Bronze and teammate McLain Ward clinched individual gold in Jumping on July 25, 2015 at the Pan-American Games in Caledon Park, Toronto, Canada.
Thursday’s team tussle was an intriguing battle that proved unpredictable to the end when Argentina filled the team silver medal spot ahead of the USA in bronze. And it continued in the same vein today when the individual medals were decided in a two-way jump-off for gold and silver as well as a five-way race for the bronze.
Both Individual Jumping Gold and Bronze were decided by jump-offs after two rounds of intense competition over the big and impressive Michel Vaillancourt-designed tracks. McLain Ward jumped three clear rounds, including in the jump-off against Venezuela’s Andres Rodriguez to win Individual Gold. Lauren Hough captured Individual Bronze as the only clear round in the field of five in the jump-off for Bronze.
USA's Lauren Hough and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala had the first element of the double-combination down in Round A, a fence that proved troubling for many combinations. The young mare jumped flawlessly in Round B and headed to the jump-off as the fourth to go. With the three combinations ahead of the pair having at least one rail down, the door was left open for Hough and Ohlala who entered the arena and displayed their signature speed and agility to cross the timers clear and inside the time. The final combination in the jump-off also pulled a rail, leaving Hough and Ohlala as the only pair to post a clear round and thus securing Bronze.
“I am thrilled – we worked really hard for this medal. It was a great week and my horse performed beautifully. I am really happy to be going home with [an individual] medal,” said Hough. “I went as quickly as I felt comfortable [in the jump-off] without taking too much risk and it worked out my way. She was a true champion.”