David Marcus of Campbellville, ON came out on top of the first phase of the $20,0000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup on Wednesday (Nov. 6) at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto.
The Royal Invitational Dressage Cup is a gold-level Equine Canada dressage competition held annually at the Royal Horse Show. Each year the top four Canadian riders in the FEI World Dressage Rankings are invited to attend. The competition takes place over two days, starting with a Grand Prix test before moving on to the crowd favourite Grand Prix Freestyle.
Marcus and his 2012 Olympic mount Chrevi’s Capital (a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Deborah Kinzinger-Miculinic) won the Grand Prix test after earning the top score of the day, having received 70.00% from the panel of three FEI-level judges, Joan Macartney, Elizabeth McMullen, and Cara Whitham.
“I think overall (Chrevi’s Capital) just did a very nice, clean, conservative test, which was my goal for today,” said Marcus, who became a Canadian citizen in 2011 and joined the Canadian Dressage Team for the first time ever at the 2012 Olympic Games. “It’s his second-ever indoor show. The first one was here last year, and he was a bit nervous, so I just wanted him to get really confident, which I think he did. It’s a small environment here and some of the other horses were nervous tonight, so for him to have come from being nervous in competition to this performance, I was really happy.”
Taking second place on a score of 67.801% was 2007 Pan American Games Team Silver Medalist Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, ON aboard Devon L, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Louise and Doug Leatherdale.
Canadian Equestrian Team veteran and 10-time Canadian Dressage League World Cup Finalist Evi Strasser of Sainte-Adele, QC earned third place. Riding her 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding Action Tyme, Strasser was awarded a score of 63.901%.
Close behind with a score of 63.014% for fourth place was Jacqueline Brooks of Cedar Valley, ON aboard her 2012 London Olympics partner, D Niro, a 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Mary Brooks of Brookhaven Dressage Inc.
All four riders will move forward to the Grand Prix Freestyle on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 8:30 p.m., which acts as phase two of the competition. At the completion of the freestyle, the rider with the best two-night combined result will be appointed the overall winner of the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup, sponsored by Deborah Kinzinger-Miculinic.