Nicholas Fyffe Invited to be First Aussie in World Dressage Masters at Palm Beach

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Nicholas Fyffe and Sentimiento. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 3–Nicholas Fyffe, starting his third year training and competing in North America, on Thursday was confirmed as the first Australian to be invited to ride in the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach with the 2013 CDI5* event scheduled for Jan. 23-25.

The 30-year-old Nicholas was invited to ride Sentimiento I, the 13-year-old P.R.E. stallion (Cautivo XIII x Taladora III x Hedio) owned by Tamara Gerber and that he competed in World Cup shows in New York and Pennsyvania last fall.

The €100,000 (US$131,000) WDM is in its fifth year in Florida and is the highest level competition of Nick’s career that took him to Germany for six months before coming to the United States two years ago.

“I came here on a whim,” he said after riding at Stillpoint Farm in the equestrian community of Wellington which hosts the Winter Equestrian Festival, the largest and at 12 weeks the longest running horse show in the world, and its companion Global Dressage Festival.

“I wanted to move to California and after visiting there stopped in Wellington where I was supposed to stay for a day. It turned into a week then and now here I am back for my third season.

“Now I have to be here because this is where it’s at, the place to make a business, show horses to the highest level and have a lifestyle as well.”

And of the town where equestrian areas are populated with multi-million dollar barns and homes almost as far as the eye can see:

“I still drive past properties here and my jaw will drop on the ground. There are things about Wellington that are ridiculous and I love it, I love to be living in this world that for six months is my reality.

“I love going north to train in the summer but when I was driving back here in December I felt like I was coming home.

“I’m not sure I see myself living here forever, but while I want to have an international career I will be here every winter. I feel like I’ve found my place here.”

Nicholas got the ride on Sentimiento while working with Oded Shimoni, an Israeli who is an international trainer based in Wellington. When he moved out of Wellington and its hot ad humid tropical summer to go to Canada for the summer with David Marcus, he took Senimiento with him and also rode horses owned by Deborah Kinzinger, the owner of David’s Olympic mount, Chrevi’s Capital.

He has acquired several horses to train, including Fiero, another P.R.E. and owned by Robert Dover, the six-time U.S. Olympian who works out of Stillpont Farm as does Oded Shimoni and both offer advice to the Aussie.

But he’s also excited about Tolstoy, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding (Gribaldi x Lou Lou x Pion) owned by Judy Kingsford that he showed at national small tour during the 2012 winter circuit, scoring above 70 per cent.

Nicholas Fyffe and Tolstoy. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The plan is to show Tolstoy in some of the 11 CDIs that are scheduled for Palm Beach over the next three months, all the shows just a few minutes’ truck ride from the stables.

He went back to Australia to visit his family over Christmas and that confirmed to him that for his riding career and professional development Wellington was the right place to be. And he is keeping his eyes open for another up and coming high performance horse to develop to the top levels.

“I feel like I’m doing the right thing for me,” he said. “It is definitely working out.

“My goal is to be one of the top scoring Austrlian combinations on the international soreboard. Whatever opportunities come up I will make the most of them to fulfill that goal.”