Toronto, Ontario – Canadian Olympian David Marcus of Campbellville, ON, won the Grand Prix and placed second in the Grand Prix Freestyle in the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup held November 6 and 7 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.
Limited to the best riders in the nation, the top four Canadians in the world rankings were invited to contest the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup. The win was even more special as the Canadian Dressage Athlete Assistance Program, founded by Marcus’s owner, Deborah Kinzinger, was also the presenting sponsor of this year’s event.
Riding his 2012 London Olympic mount, Chrevi’s Capital, Marcus earned a score of 70% from the panel of judges for his Grand Prix test. London Olympic alternate, Diane Creech riding Devon L, placed second with a score of 67.80%.
“In the Grand Prix, I wanted to go in, do a clean test, and hit that 70% mark; it was exactly what I wanted,” said Marcus, 33, of his performance. “Capital was very relaxed and very rideable. I said before the Freestyle that if we can reproduce that with the stands full, I’d be thrilled.”
Marcus is in the unique position of having two grand prix mounts, and gave the nod to Chrevi’s Capital over Don Kontes, also owned by Kinzinger, for the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup.
“I felt like it would be good for his confidence, and show that he is in top form and can handle these situations comfortably,” said Marcus of his decision to ride Chrevi’s Capital, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Chrevi’s Cavallo x Weinberg). “The Royal is a unique competition in that it’s an indoor competition, which is rare in North America. The fact that it’s an indoor competition makes it a great test of the horse’s ability to handle atmosphere, which is something that’s very important at the top level of the sport.”
Handle the atmosphere Chrevi’s Capital did, comfortably performing the Grand Prix Freestyle in front of approximately 4,000 spectators in the Ricoh Coliseum. The program compiled by Dutch freestyle designer Joost Peters allowed Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital to execute several difficult movements set to the music of George Michael and Wham!. The judges rewarded the pair with a score of 72.917%, reversing the top placings of the previous day’s competition and putting Marcus second to Creech.
“It’s a great show, I’ve been coming every year, if only as a spectator, since I first moved to Canada,” said Marcus, who represented the United States in five North American Young Riders’ Championships before obtaining his Canadian citizenship in 2011. “It’s very exciting to be invited to compete here. It’s a prestigious invitation, which I greatly appreciate. And it’s exciting not only for me, but also for my owner, Deborah. She rode as a child and a goal of hers was always to compete at the Royal, which she never did. This has been a wonderful experience for her as well.”
If watching her horse win at the Royal wasn’t enough of a dream come true, Kinzinger was also recognized as the Dressage Canada “Owner of the Year” in a special ceremony held during the Royal Invitational Dressage Cup.
“Deborah’s support has meant so much to me personally, and she has also been greatly involved with developing dressage in Canada as a whole, working with Equine Canada to implement training and fundraising strategies that will help take us to the next level,” said Marcus, who himself received special recognition for being the highest-ranked Canadian on the FEI World Ranking list.
Marcus also relied on the support of his groom, Alison Malatestinic, and his partner, Nicholas Fyffe, who coached him at the Ricoh Coliseum each morning at 6 a.m. before traveling back to Campbellville to maintain the day-to-day training operation of riding and teaching clients.
Having only made their grand prix debut at the beginning of 2012, Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital shot onto the international stage, earning a berth to the 2012 Olympic Games and winning the 2012/2013 North American World Cup League. The next goal on Marcus’s career path is to qualify for the Canadian Dressage Team for the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games next August in Normandy, France.
Marcus operates David Marcus Dressage, a full-service dressage training and sales facility, in Campbellville, ON, just west of Toronto. Beginning in December, he will be based in Wellington, FL, for the winter season, where he and his students have become familiar faces on the highly-competitive international show circuit.
Marcus appreciates the generous support of his sponsors, EquineLUX saddle pads, Neue Schule bits, and SSG Gloves, in achieving his goals. For more information, please visit www.davidmarcusdressage.com.