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Nisbett and Terceira reach medal round

Bermuda first: Nisbett on Quick Z at Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park

Patrick Nisbett and Jill Terceira have both finished in the top 35 riders to qualify for tomorrow’s medal round of the show jumping at the Pan Am Games.

It is the first time both Bermuda riders have advanced to the final day of the competition at the multi-sport event.

Nisbett and Terceira are both three-times Pan Am Games athletes, having competed in Rio in 2007, as well as Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2011.

Heidi Mello, the Bermuda chef d’equipe, admits that both riders have probably left themselves with too much to do after the first two rounds to realistically challenge for a podium finish.

However, she is confident that Nisbett and Terceira will finish strongly at the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park, where the dressage, event and show jumping have been held.

“It’s a big, big deal for Bermuda,” Mello said. “It’s the first time at the Pan Am Games that both of our riders are through to the final.

“I don’t see a medal for us tomorrow, though. I’ve done the math and it’s not really possible. But I do expect strong finishes from them both.”

Mello said the improvements made by both riders since making their Games debuts in Rio was striking.

“The encouraging thing for me is that [Nisbett and Terceira] both keep improving every Pan Am Games,” she said.

“At the Rio Games they both showed rookie scores, but now we have them both in the final.

“I think we have two phenomenal horses [Tamerino and Quick Z] on our hands and two top-class riders.”

Mello said that Nisbett and Terceira would be approaching the final from “two different angles”, with Terceira’s Tamerino a very experienced horse, whereas Nisbett’s Quick Z is just nine years old.

“Jill and Tamerino were phenomenal in the second round, whereas Patrick had a few issues getting Quick Z in the ring and had to back him in,” Mello said.

“I think he said, ‘daddy, there’s a lot of people here and I’m scared’. He’s only nine years old and Patrick has had him since he was five.

“I was impressed with Quick Z because he didn’t make the same mistakes in the second round as he did in the first. He’s a very intelligent horse.”

Also, yesterday, Ian Millar, a 68-year-old Canadian competing in his tenth consecutive Pan Am Games, led his country to a gold medal in team equestrian to give Canada an automatic berth in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“We wanted this so badly for our team and our country,” said Millar, who has also competed in a record ten Summer Olympics.

“It’s not necessarily the same team that will go to Rio next year, although I have a suspicion it might just be.”