Marek Scores a Double, Pair-Kavitz Posts Win at World Equestrian Center September Dressage CDI3*

September 15, 2023 - Ocala, FL

In their first CDI together, Anna Marek and Fayvel won the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3*.
Photo by Q2 Photography
Anna Marek and Fayvel in their winning presentation with judge Hans Christian Matthiesen and Becky Warner of World Equestrian Center.
Photo by Q2 Photography
Yvonne Losos de Muñiz and Aquamarijn
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Ashley Holzer and Hansel
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Anna Marek and Fire Fly are making their final outing before the 2023 Pan American Games a winning one.
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Judge at C Sandra Hotz and Becky Warner of World Equestrian Center stand with Anna Marek and Fire Fly in their winning presentation.
Photo by Q2 Photography
Stephanie Pair-Kavitz and I Crack de la Vigne won the Intermediate 1 CDI1*, shown here with judge Alban Tissot and Becky Warner of World Equestrian Center.
Photo by Q2 Photography

The WEC September Dressage CDI3* sponsored by Hampton Green Farm and Discover Dressage continued competition on Friday, September 15, 2023, with multiple Fédération Equestre International (FEI) classes. Anna Marek (USA) had back-to-back wins in the large tour, taking the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3* victory with Cynthia Davila’s Fayvel and winning the Grand Prix for Special CDI3* on Janet Simile’s Fire Fly. Stephanie Pair-Kavitz (USA) and her own I Crack de la Vigne posted a win in the Intermediate 1 CDI1*. The show continues with FEI and USEF/USDF-rated classes through Sunday, September 17.

In their first CDI outing together, Marek and Fayvel, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding by Zizi Top x Houston, scored 71.985% for the win in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3*. Thursday’s Grand Prix winner Hansel, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding by Don Olymbrio x Metall owned by PJ Rizvi, was just behind in second place with 71.665% with Ashley Holzer (USA). Aquamarijn, an 18-year-old KWPN mare by United x I.P.S. Gribaldi ridden and owned by Yvonne Losos de Muñiz (DOM), placed third with 70.335%. The judge’s panel included Knut Danzberg (GER), Alban Tissot (FRA), Hans Christian Matthiesen (DEN) at C, Sandra Hotz (USA) and Jane Weatherwax (USA).

Since Davila purchased Fayvel and began showing at the FEI level in November 2020, she has been the only rider to compete the talented chestnut gelding in CDI competitions. When Davila was injured in April, Marek took over the ride full time.

Marek described, “It’s her horse to ride, but I train him a lot. I ride Fayvel a couple times a week and warm him up for her, but she had never shown grand prix before. We trained him up through the grand prix together. She did his first national grand prix here at WEC – Ocala about a year ago. Off and on I will show him at a national show in grand prix.

“I told Cynthia he’s a little bit of a freak of a horse,” she continued. “I taught him how to piaffe and passage, and she herself had never done it before. She gets right on and in a couple months she does it just as well as he does it with me. I told her this isn’t normal. This horse is exceptional in terms of his mind and the way he does things.”

Marek and Fayvel rode to a test that was choreographed and arranged by Karen Robinson that featured music by X Ambassadors as well as the song “Coincidance” by the aptly named Handsome Dancer, which was a viral sensation on TikTok.

Marek laughed, “My favorite part that makes me chuckle every time is during the trot half passes, where it says ‘Wow! You can really dance. What a coincidance.’ Cynthia really wanted me to do the freestyle and said it would be so fun, and I won’t admit it to her, but it was a lot of fun.”

Davila celebrated her birthday a day early with Fayvel’s victory as well as a coveted World Equestrian Center winner’s blanket.

Pan Am Preparation for Marek

After a nearly four-month break from FEI competition, the 13-year-old KWPN gelding Fire Fly (Briar Junior x 00 Seven) returned to the winner’s circle with rider Anna Marek of Dunnellon, FL. They topped the Grand Prix for Special CDI3* with a score of 69.652% from the judging panel of Jane Weatherwax (USA), Alban Tissot (FRA), Sandra Hotz (USA), Knut Danzberg (GER) and Hans Christian Matthiesen (DEN).

Fire Fly and Marek last competed at the CDI3* at WEC – Ocala in May before heading to the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions three weeks ago. They were named to the U.S. Dressage team one week ago for the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, which will be held in October.

This show marks their final outing before Santiago, and it was one where Marek wanted to perform fault-free tests. Marek noted, “His owner Janet said, ‘I think you should go to WEC and just work some stuff out and have clean rides.’ That was my favorite part of the ride – I could push him in the piaffes a bit, and it was mistake free. He had so much energy in there, and he was excited about the crowd. He went for the extensions and then he came back to me; he was great.”

Being named to her first championship team fulfilled a long-held goal for Marek.

“We have been working for it all year and hoping,” she acknowledged. “It’s the biggest thing in my career. Fire Fly has been so great and so consistent, getting better and better. It was the biggest reward of all being named to the team.”

Second place in the Grand Prix for Special CDI3* went to Ashley Holzer (USA) and Valentine, her own 13-year-old Hanoverian mare by Sir Donnerhall I x Ragazzo, with a score of 63.674%. Patricia Ferrando (VEN) and Honnaisseur SJ, her own 11-year-old KWPN gelding by Connaisseur x Jaxx, scored 62.283% for third place.

I Crack de la Vigne Exceeds Expectations

Stephanie Pair-Kavitz (USA) and I Crack de la Vigne, her own 10-year-old KWPN gelding by Bon Bravour x Jazz, topped the Intermediate 1 CDI1* with a score of 65.765%. Coming in a close second with a score of 65.676% were Thursday’s winners, Irvin Leiva Guillermo (MEX) and Aguila Real SDN, his own 11-year-old German-bred gelding. Krystalann Shingler (CAN) and Noortje Van’t Rommersum, her own 10-year-old BWP mare, placed third with 64.206%.

After buying “Vinnie” off of a video from friends in Holland 18 months ago, Pair-Kavitz initially did not have grand expectations for the chestnut gelding. “He was a Third Level horse when we imported him, and he just keeps going up the levels,” said Pair-Kavitz, who runs a sales horse business out of her barn in Williston, FL. “Hopefully he’ll come out this winter in the grand prix. He’s the world’s best horse. I trust him so much. I thought he was going to be an amateur’s Prix St. Georges horse. That is what we bought him for. He just keeps exceeding all of our expectations. I had no idea he would end up like this. It’s been a fun surprise.”

Pair-Kavitz made the move full time to Florida eight years ago and transitioned her business from teaching 100 lessons per week to having sales horses and staying home with her daughter. The arrival of WEC – Ocala was a welcome opportunity for her to develop herself and her horses.

She explained, “WEC being here really means that my business is so viable with me getting to stay home and I don’t have to travel, which is amazing. Now people come here. It’s easier to be here, and I love it here.”

Pair-Kavitz and Vinnie will contest the Intermediate 1 Freestyle CDI1* on Sunday morning where they will perform to music from the Harry Potter movies.

Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3* Results

Grand Prix for Special CDI3* Results

Intermediate CDI1* Results

Full Show Results and Ride Times

The World Equestrian Center September Dressage CDI3* continues on Saturday, September 16, with the Grand Prix Special CDI3* at 10:20 a.m. followed by the Intermediate 1 for Amateur Bronze Tour and the FEI Intermediate A CDI2*. For more information, visit www.wec.net.