By: Susan Stafford-Pooley
The cross-country course builder at the 2019 Pan Am Games is Dylan Barry, son of Canadian eventer Peter Barry. Horse Sport spoke with him about the unique and beautiful cross-country fences and their Peruvian vibe.
The tortora boats are from a local lake here and are traditional to the area.“Jose [Ortelli of Argentina] did really good job of coming up with the big concepts for all the jumps and a lot of really cool ideas,” Barry explained. “The tortora boats are from a local lake here and are traditional to this area. Each fence has a theme that is local; in the ring the church is the one that’s in the historical district of Lima, then the fountain that’s in the middle of the square, and the Presidential Palace is the third one.”
He continued, “They’re all very much related to Peru except the last fence, which is Chile-themed because it’s a Pan Am tradition that the last fence is themed to wherever the next Pan Ams are [in this case, Santiago, CHI, in 2023]. I did the course in Toronto and our last fence was Lima 2019. This time we have the Easter Island heads and everything else related to Chile.”
One of the fences causing the most buzz is the condor fence at # 23, with a pair of imposing Andean vultures guarding it. “It was really cool – right at the last minute they found these five local guys who showed up in a Honda Civic with a giant stack of styrofoam and they carved all these things: the fountain in the main arena, the condors, a lot of the 3D signs on a lot of the jumps. And they did all of it in two or three days. They are super-talented.”
It will be interesting to see how the rolling, twisty course rides. Canadian eventer Jessica Phoenix remarked, “There is a lot to do out there – we won’t be bored!”
Cross-country day is Saturday, August 3rd. Stay tuned!