Rowan’s Dana Cooke remains alive in the Equestrian Eventing competition at the Pan Am Games

Published 12:45 am Sunday, August 4, 2019

By David Freeze

For the Salisbury Post

LIMA, Peru — Dana Cooke, Equestrian Activities Director at Kingfisher Farm Park in Rowan County, has one more competition remaining today, as part of the Pan Am Games Equestrian Eventing competition.

After finishing 13th out of 42 competitors from 12 countries in the equestrian sport of eventing dressage on Friday, Cooke was 24th in the cross country competition on Saturday.

The top 25 competitors have qualified for eventing show jumping on today. The others have been eliminated or retired. Cooke’s competition is slated for 10 a.m.
Eventing is an equestrian triathlon, with one of the phases, cross country, having a significant risk and adrenaline factor. Dressage is done in a memorized pattern, similar to figure skating.

Show jumping is the portion most often related to equestrian sport and has knock-down barriers. The cross country jumping has more rigid jumps, seldom able to break away when hit by the horse, increasing the chance
of injury for the horse and rider.

“It’s an equestrian triathlon that tests the communication, trust, endurance and strength of a horse and rider combination,” said Cooke. “As a pair, you need to have the ability to be elegant and fluid on day one, fast and agile on day two and controlled and accurate on the third and final day.”

The USA’s Tamra Smith led the event after the first day, while Lynn Symansky, also of the USA, leads going into today’s final competition.
Cooke, 32, competes for Canada and was born and raised in Merritt, British Columbia. She moved to Norwood at age 20 and has been in this area since.
Kingfisher Farm Park is off Jackson Road in southwestern Rowan County.

Follow Cooke’s progress and final ranking Sunday at