|Canadian Olympian David Marcus of Campbellville, ON, concluded his winter season in Wellington, FL, by competing in the CDI5* Adequan Global Dressage Festival Week 12 held March 25-30.
Riding Chrevi’s Capital, a 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Chrevi’s Cavallo x Weinberg) owned by Deborah Kinzinger, Marcus contested the Grand Prix on Thursday to earn a score of 69.90% before performing his Grand Prix Freestyle in front of a packed house on Friday night. Riding to music by Annie Lennox and The Eurythmics, Marcus was awarded a score of 72.90% by the five-member panel of international judges.
“Overall, we had a really great season,” said Marcus, who is currently the top Canadian in the FEI World Rankings with his 2012 London Olympic mount. “Capital missed a few shows in the middle of the season due to a minor issue that, unfortunately, took us out of the Nations’ Cup competition. I am really happy that, even after being out of the show ring for almost two months, he came to the five-star and showed the professionalism and consistency that he’s become known for.”
Marcus continued, “For the Freestyle, we tried a new program with new music, and I think the choreography really suited him. We received positive feedback from the judges, and I’m looking forward to continuing to develop and polish it over time. Even without changing anything in the horse’s performance, I think if I practice it more and perfect the timing, there are more points still to be had. Of course, I’m a competitor and I always want higher scores, and I think Capital is more than capable of earning them.”
Held concurrently with the CDI5* competition, Marcus contested the CDI3* grand prix division of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival Week 12 with Don Kontes, a 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding also owned by Kinzinger.
This winter, Marcus began training with Oded Shimoni. Having formerly trained with Robert Dover, Marcus found it to be a smooth transition, explaining, “With Robert’s new position as the coach of the U.S. Team, I switched to train with Oded, whom I have known for years. We have all been based out of Stillpoint Farm together, so it was an easy transition because he knew me and was already familiar with my horses from having spent many winters together. Oded has a real talent for bringing out the piaffe and passage in the horses and improving their overall quality, throughness and way of going, and that was really helpful this season.”
Marcus will continue to train with Shimoni for the month of April and, after returning to his home base in Canada, will meet up with the Israeli trainer at competitions throughout the spring. Next up on Marcus’s competition calendar is CDI3* Lexington, KY, from May 22-25 followed by CDI-W CornerStone Spring Into Dressage in Palgrave, ON, from June 6-8. Held at the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park, the CornerStone Spring Into Dressage competition will act as a test event for the 2015 Pan American Games.
“Following the spring tour, our tentative plan is to go to Europe for the months of July and August, and hopefully be competing at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy at the end of August,” said Marcus.
Making is all possible is owner Deborah Kinzinger, who not only supports Marcus but also recently founded the Canadian Dressage Athlete Assistance Program (CDAAP) to help fund Canadian junior, young rider, and high performance athletes as they strive to compete on the world stage.
“I want to thank Deborah for all of her incredible support,” said Marcus of the 2013 Dressage Canada “Owner of the Year”. “Not only does she sponsor me personally, but she also founded CDAAP to help support the sport in Canada as a whole. The implications are huge for the Canadian Dressage Team and our ability to go to Europe with more funding than we have ever had before.”
Marcus continued, “I also want to say thank you to our amazing team – they allow us to focus our time on showing while they are managing everything so beautifully at home – and to all of my sponsors for their support, including EquineLUX saddle pads, Neue Schule bits, SSG Gloves and Trilogy Performance Saddlery.”
Marcus and his partner, Nicholas Fyffe, had a total of 18 horses in full training during the 2014 season between their own competitive mounts and those of their students. Most notably, Maya Markowski was a member of the Canadian Team for the Nations’ Cup competition in February while another student, Pam Davies, successfully moved from Third Level up to Prix St. Georges in just one season.
“We enjoyed great success with all of our students, including those competing at the lower levels,” said Marcus. “I was also able to show my young horse, Don Altena, in the FEI Six-Year-Old tests with scores in the mid-70s. We are very excited about his progress and the aptitude that he is showing for the grand prix movements.”
For Marcus, there is no doubt that he will be returning to Wellington next year.
“There is no comparison to the level of sport that is now offered here in Wellington,” said Marcus, 33. “If we consider the quality of horses in this weekend’s CDI5* competition, it was great sport. The stands were full and the stables were overflowing with horses. The percentage of growth from last year to this year has been huge. The prize money is a huge draw, and that’s something that is fairly new to our sport compared to the jumpers. Everyone is really enjoying it, and looking forward to seeing the future growth. Having this great circuit here in Wellington has made dressage more attractive to the sponsors and to the fans and, as it continues to grow, I believe more people will start investing into our sport, which will be great for dressage in North America.”
Marcus operates David Marcus Dressage, a full-service training facility, in Campbellville, ON. For more information, please visit www.davidmarcusdressage.com.