About the Games

Equine 101 and Pan Am in Headwaters

Headwaters is proud to host the jumping and dressage equestrian events. Here’s a little information to make them that much more enjoyable.



Elegant and graceful, dressage is used as the groundwork for all other equestrian disciplines. In this event, horse and rider perform a series of movements in a 60 m x 20 m arena before a panel of seven judges. Scores are awarded for individual movement and overall routine. Dressage competition includes both team and individual events.


The jumping competition is a test of speed, skill, power and control—from both the rider and the horse. Jumping takes place on a course with approximately 15 fences. Fences are designed to fall down if a horse hits them as they jump, resulting in a fault (penalty points). The winner is the rider who completes the course within the set time and with fewest faults.


The demanding eventing competition takes place over three days: day one is dressage, day two is a cross-country race over a long distance on mixed terrain and day three is jumping. The eventing component will take place in the Town of Mono at the Pan Am Cross Country Centre.


History of the Pan American Games

The Pan American Games are the world’s third largest international multi-sport Games; they are only surpassed in size by the Olympic Summer Games and the Asian Games.

The first Pan American Games took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1951 and the first Parapan American Games were held in Mexico City in 1999. Both the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games are held every four years for athletes of the 41 PASO (Pan American Sports Organization) member nations, each taking place the year before the Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games.

While the Pan Am Games have been hosted in a dozen countries throughout the Americas, Canada has had the honour of hosting them twice; in 1967 and 1999 and both times in Winnipeg, Manitoba. With the addition of the 2015 Pan Am Games taking place in Toronto, Canada now joins Mexico to have had the honour of hosting the games the most, with three Pan Am Games each.


History of the Parapan Am Games

The dream of a Parapan American Games first came to be in November 1999 in Mexico City when the inaugural edition was held with 1,000 athletes from 18 countries competing in four sports.

The Parapan American Games became a regional qualifying event for the Paralympic Games — athletes competing in 1999 knew that a place at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Summer Games was at stake.

In 2003, Mar del Plata, Argentina, was the Host City for the Parapan Am Games. Coming off the success of the 1999 Parapan Am Games in Mexico City, the scope of the second edition widened to: 1,500 athletes from 28 countries competed in nine sports.

The popularity of the Parapan Am Games continued to grow. The Rio 2007 Parapan Am Games were hailed as a great success and as a milestone for the history of the Paralympic Movement in the Americas where 1,150 athletes from 25 countries competed in 10 sports. Rio was also the first Parapan Am Games to be held in the same city as its Pan Am counterpart, with just one Organizing Committee for both the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

The Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games had 1,300 athletes from 26 countries compete in 13 sports. In 2015, the scope of the Parapan Am Games will continue to grow as TORONTO 2015 stages the largest Parapan Am Games ever.


2015 Toronto Pan Am & Parapan Am Games

TO2015_1It was a day to celebrate on November 6, 2009, when the Games were awarded to Toronto, giving the province its first international multi-sport event since the British Empire Games in 1930.

Close to 7,000 athletes from across Latin America, South America, the Caribbean and North America will put their years of intense training, perseverance and sacrifice to the test in world-class competition in 36 Pan Am sports and 15 Parapan Am sports at the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games.

Planning for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games will be fully integrated. This means identifying Parapan-specific details and plans as part of each phase of Games planning to ensure all Parapan preparations are completed prior to the start of the Pan Am Games. Planning also includes a commitment to legacy opportunities, elevating the Paralympic Movement both locally and globally, as well as showcasing accessibility.

Integrated planning also flows to the TO2015 website where information on both the Parapan Am Games and the Pan Am Games can be found. TO2015 planning will ensure a best-ever Parapan Am Games that are athlete focused, reflecting and celebrating the drive, commitment and excellence of the athletes.