Pan Am Hopefuls Denizard Wins Diana Zakharova’s International Sportsmanship Award

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
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Luis Reteguiz-Denizard-Diana Zakharova International Sportsmanship Award-Diana Zakharova-Wellington-GCDA-2019.jpg

Luis Reteguiz-Denizard is much more than just a winning trainer and beloved coach, he is one of those smiling faces at every event that makes everybody just feel good. These qualities and the fact that Reteguiz-Denizard rides for Puerto Rico made him the ideal recipient for Diana Zakhorova’s International Sportsmanship Award at the recent Gold Coast Dressage Association CDI Opener held at the Global Dressage Festival show grounds in Wellington, FL.

Reteguiz-Denizard debuted Andrea Eppley’s SDF Pegaso in his first Prix St George at the Opener and was bestowed the Diana Zakharova International Sportsmanship Award for outstanding horsemanship and sportsmanship by an international rider.

Born in the United States and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Reteguiz-Denizard competes internationally representing Puerto Rico, and says coming to Wellington is a must: “I wouldn’t be any place else. The global dressage community down here helps make you sharper as a rider and as a horseman.”

He’s optimistic about the future for him and SDF Pegaso. Much like the legendary Pegasus, Reteguiz-Denizard is hoping the horse will soar to success both for his owner, Andrea Eppley, and for the flag of Puerto Rico. “This was our first Prix St Georges. I’m hoping he’ll continue to step up to the plate and as the season progresses, qualify us for the Pan Ams.”

Demonstrating exactly the caliber of patience and empathy that earned him the International Sportsmanship Award, he concluded, “We just have to stay humble, enjoy the horses, and each other’s company,” Reteguiz-Denizard explains with a smile!

The Diana Zakharova International Sportsmanship Award recognizes riders representing nations outside the United States who come to compete for the 2019 GCDA show season at The Global Dressage Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida. International Sportsmanship Award recipients receive a purple neck sash for their horse plus a silver tray.

Zakharova who hails from Russia presented the International Sportsmanship Award at the GCDA Opener CDI as the event was sandwiched conveniently between two CDI competitions that she herself competed in. Zakharova who has enjoyed success in more that 33 CDI competitions in Europe competed in her first CDI on US soil, a week earlier at the Global Dressage Festival and is competing in the Global Dressage Festival 3 CDI-W competition this week.

Zakharova has set her sights on not only celebrating Florida’s international riders but also loves to compete with them. Along with a passion for top-level dressage she shares the same perpetual smile and winning attitude she recognized in Reteguiz-Denizard.

"Sportsmanship and a great attitude are part of the training”, Zakharova explains, “We all want to ride well but it is important to have fun, smile and make other riders feel good, too”.

Diana Zakharova trains with Nicolas Fyffe out of Marcus Fyffe Dressage and became an idol among Russian riders when she decided to step out of the amateur ranks and challenge herself as a professional. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/diana.zakharova.3.