Creech and horse in tune for Canada

Diane Creech aboard Hallmark at the Angelstone CDI3*  in July (Photo: Lone Oak Equine Photography/Mary White)

Diane Creech aboard Hallmark at the Angelstone CDI3* in July (Photo: Lone Oak Equine Photography/Mary White)

Canadian dressage riders were a frequent sight on the leader board at the CDI-W Adequan Global Dressage Festival (GDF) III, held from Jan. 23-26 in Wellington, Florida.

Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, ON was the top Canadian contender in the competition’s most revered class, the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle. Riding Devon L, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Louise and Doug Leatherdale, Creech took second place on a score of 73.175%.

“He was super. I was really proud of him,” said Creech who has been bringing Devon L along throughout his entire career and has been his sole trainer. “It’s a great atmosphere here and he handled it really well. So I’m really happy.”

Creech’s high placing was especially rewarding, since it was achieved with a brand new freestyle routine, created by Canada’s Karen Robinson of Applause Dressage.

“I’ve just ridden it for the second time now, so we are just getting into the routine. But he seems to like the routine and he seems to like the music,” Creech said of the new freestyle routine, explaining that it features one of her favourite songs, “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities.

“It’s not that easy to find the right music for your horse. It needs to suit the temperament and the movement, I need to like it, and he needs to like it. So there are a lot of things that mix into it.”

Also placing in the freestyle were Jill Irving of Moncton, NB and Jacqueline Brooks of Cedar Valley, ON, who tied for fifth place after receiving identical scores of 70.950%.

Canadians also had success in the FEI Grand Prix, with three riders making the top 10. Taking sixth place with a score of 69.340% was 2012 Olympic partners David Marcus of Campbellville, ON and Chrevi’s Capital, a 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by 2013 Dressage Canada Owner of the Year, Deborah Kinzinger-Miculinic. This proved to be the first of two top 10 finishes for the pair, who were also earned fourth place in the FEI Grand Prix Special for their score of 68.804%.