Karen Pavicic Heads to Europe as Solo Canadian Competing in Early Summer CDI Competitions

Saturday, May 3, 2014
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South Surrey, B.C., Canada, – British Columbian Karen Pavicic and Grand Prix Oldenburg Don Daiquiri head to Europe Saturday for the next leg in their pursuit of a place on the Canadian team for the 2014 Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. As the only Canadian to compete in Europe’s May and June CDIs, Karen will work with Jan Bemelmans and compete at Compiegne, France, Achleiten, Austria, and Caen, France. She also has set her sights on participating in the Canadian team training camp in Germany later in the summer. For Karen’s first trip to European competitions, she is the recipient of the High Performance European Training and Competition Grant from Dressage Canada and the Canadian Dressage Athlete Assistant Committee. The maximum of $20,000 for training and competition expenses does not cover flight costs between North American and Europe. “This is wonderful for Karen. She has definitely planned well and set high goals,” says Cara Whitham, a member of the Dressage Canada High Performance Committee, and FEI 5* judge in dressage and eventing. “Her attitude is really good because she truly wants to learn and has the ability to learn.”

An important qualification for the grant was for the horse and rider to demonstrate improvement and growth. That was clearly shown when this pair competed in the 2014 Florida season where twice they claimed their personal best at Grand Prix. There, Karen and Don Daiquiri, a twelve-year-old gelding sired by Don Cardinale, topped a field of 13 Grand Prix entries at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CDIO3* with a winning score of 69.440 percent. They also won the Grand Prix Special with a 70 percent.

“Florida was a thrilling experiencing and today Don Daiquiri is fit and sound, and continues to become stronger and more confident resulting in greater expression,” says Karen.

With this award, Dressage Canada has recognized Pavicic’s achievements founded on unwavering commitment and tenacity despite geographic and financial challenges.

The coast of California is this British Columbian’s usual route for the winter CDI show season, because CDI competitions were not offered in Western Canada during the qualifying period. “At considerable expense of time and money, I needed to travel to gain the appropriate qualifying scores and show experience to represent Canada,” says Karen, a mother of two mother of two whose husband works in IT for Hewlett Packard.

This year, however, thanks in large part to a grant from Dressage Canada, Karen was able to travel with her horse to Wellington to join other Canadians in increasing competitive success, camaraderie, and the unique atmosphere of Florida

“Karen has funded her dream largely on her own, so much so that she sold her farm in 2012 in order to train, travel and compete,” says Jane Essig, co-owner of Don Daiquiri.

Karen is no stranger to international competition. She is a Canadian certified High Performance dressage coach who has represented her country at international levels for two decades including as a member of the Canadian 2007 Silver Medal Pan American Games team in Rio de Janeiro. In 2008 she won the Foreign Rider Award at the Sydney, Australia, CDI, securing Team Gold for Canada. She has been numerously long and short listed for the Canadian team on several different horses.

Karen is particular proud and grateful to receive this European training and competition grant as one of the few riders from the West Coast of Canada competing at the Grand Prix CDI level. “With representation from the West Coast, the Canadian team can become unified and encourage other West Coast riders to work hard to make their dreams come true.