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Anna Marek and Fire Fly Buzz to the Win In The Grand Prix CDI3* Underway at The World Equestrian Center

Friday, September 16, 2022
Posted by Horsesdaily Administrator
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WORLD EQUESTRIAN CENTER - OCALA, FLORIDA

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Capturing the Grand Prix for Special CDI3* win was local Anna Marek of Dunnellon, Florida, on Fire Fly, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Briar. They received a total score of 68.739%. Second place went to Jessica Howington (USA) on her own 15-year-old KWPN mare by Sir Donnerhall, Cavalia, with a score of 67.630%. Allison Gerlt (USA) and Sir Lommel, a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Sir Donnerhall owned by Jennifer Quirk and John Gerlt, placed third with 65.217%.

Photo: Anna Marek and Firefly ©Q2 Photography.

Marek has ridden Fire Fly for just over a year, but took a break when she had her daughter Mae last November. They competed in their first CDI together in March of this year in Wellington, and then competed at the CDI3* at WEC in April with top five finishes.

Even with these accomplishments, Marek feels she is still getting to know the “super sensitive” gelding. She noted, “I didn’t think we were going to be doing things as quickly as we are because he is so sensitive. I’m not quite used to riding that. We were going to take our time and make sure he was comfortable. He had already shown grand prix before me, but once I had Mae, he and I clicked really well and came on fast."

“It was a little bit of a learning curve for me because most of the horses that I’ve ridden at that level, I’ve ridden for a long time,” continued Marek. “It’s different trying to get to know a horse that already knows the stuff. I have to learn their buttons but also be like, ‘Hey, get onto my page.’ He almost gets nervous because he wants to do things right. He’s not scared of this stuff, he’s just a super overachiever. He gives me some amazing feelings; I have to learn how to ride it in the test even better.”

Marek noted the strength of Fire Fly’s piaffe and passage in the grand prix test, which will help going into Friday evening’s Grand Prix Special.

“The passage helps him get into those extended trots. The passage is just so easy for him. It will hopefully be a good test for him,” she said.

Marek chose the Special for this week since her brand-new freestyle was just finished. “I haven’t even practiced it yet,” she revealed. “I’m so excited about it. It’s going to be really cool.”

Marek took a second win earlier in the day when she and Duvel, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding by Florencio owned by Cynthia Davila, won the Prix St. Georges CDI3* with 69.794%.

The World Equestrian Center September Dressage CDI3* continues on Friday, September 16, with the Grand Prix Special CDI3* at 6 p.m. followed by the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3* at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.wec.net.

CDI3* FEI Grand Prix (Qualify for GPS)