Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 21
Canadian rider Karen Pavicic spends most of her time at her home base in Vancouver, British Columbia or competing on the California dressage circuit, but this year with the help of a grant from Dressage Canada, she’s come to Florida for the first time. She made the most of the opportunity, leading a Canadian sweep of the CDI*** Grand Prix aboard Don Daiquiri (69.44%) at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.
Tom Dvorak rode Viva’s Salieri W to second (68.62%) while Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro finished third (67.12%).
“I was really happy with my horse today,” said Pavicic of the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Don Cardinale—Nedstate III). “He was a little bit tired when I brought him out walking around, but overall, super rideable, relaxed and my goal was to be mistake free. I accomplished that for the most part, now we’re just waiting to get better and better.”
Pavicic, 42, came to Florida at the beginning of January and she’s enjoyed seeing how she stacks up in the bigger classes at the AGDF. “We’re just getting better and better and stronger and stronger,” she said. “I have a great support system here with the Dressage Canada team of experts.”
She recently started working with Danish rider Lars Petersen and has seen a lot of improvement with Don Daiquiri, who she’s ridden since he was five for owner Jayne Essig. “It’s been a fantastic journey with him,” she said. “He was a little bit challenging to start with, which is why I got the horse. It was a bit too much horse for her. We really hit it off on the very beginning and it’s just been getting better and better throughout the years.”
Dvorak was ecstatic with his ride aboard Viva’s Salieri W, a 13-year-old Hanoverian stallion (Viva Voltaire—Salinja). “I really love my horse,” he said. “He was so there for me today. He really didn’t start showing Grand Prix until last fall and he was my Pan Am horse three years ago on the silver medal team [in Mexico.] We stepped it up to Grand Prix and had a minor injury right after and now he hasn’t looked back.”
Dvorak, 48, Hillsburgh, Ont., called his test a breakthrough. “Today was a breakthrough day, because up until now, he’s always had some tension in the ring,” he said. “Today he had so much energy and was so rideable and so true. There was so much there for the taking and I didn’t know what to do with it when I was in there! The piaffe was really good for him today because the piaffe has been a difficulty when he gets really hot and tense in the ring. He overwhelms himself with it. There’s still room for improvement, but he’s settling into his work and we can now start working on the little things.”
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