1st Florida Season Brings CDI3* Grand Prix Win for Canada’s Karen Pavicic & Don Daiquiri
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 21–Karen Pavicic, in her first Florida season, on Friday posted a victory on Don Daiquiri in the CDI3* Grand Prix in an all-Canadian top three finish.
Karen of Vancouver, British Columbia and the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Don Cardinale scored 69.440 per cent for their third CDI win–the two previous victories were in Southern California last winter–and the first in five starts at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival this season.
Tom Dvorak and Viva’s Salieri W were second on 68.620 per cent and Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro were third on 67.120 per cent.
Karen began riding Don Daiquiri six years ago after the horse’s owner, Jayne Essig, found the ride difficult.
“It was a bit challenging to start with that’s why I got the horse,” Karen said. “We hit it off. I have a fantastic relationship with the horse and the partnership grows and develops.”
The 42-year-old Karen was on the Canadian silver me dal team at the 2007 Pan American Games at Rio de Janeiro. She won the Golden State CDI Grand Prix and the Mid-Winter Festival Grand Prix Freestyle in Southern California last year.
Based on the California results, she was awarded a grant by Dressage Canada and Karen used it to join the large Canadian dressage community in Wellington and one of the highlights this year was a “Canadian Fortnight” symposium and celebratory events and to work with Danish Olympian Lars Petersen who is based in Florida.
In the CDI4* invitational two weeks ago, Karen and Don Daiquiri notched personal best results of 68.7 percent in the Grand Prix and 71.4 percent in the Grand Prix Freestyle.
“This has been the opportunity of a lifetime,” she said. “The Fortnight created such team spirit among the core group participating in all the sessions. You realize you are not alone, especially for me, coming from the other side of the continent in Western Canada.”
Although she had not initially planned to go to Florida, the grant made it possible and now she is excited about the future that includes plans to go to Europe and seek to earn a place on the Canadian team for the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France at the end of August.
For Tom Dvorak, a Pan Am Games veteran who was also on the 2007 Rio silver medal team and the 2011 silver medal team at Guadalajara, Mexico with Viva’s Salieri, the ride in the Grand Prix was “a breakthrough day for me today.”
The horse was out with an injury but returned to competition last August and has since competed on the East Coast of the United States and in Wellington.
“Up until now there has been tension in the ring,” he said. “Today, felt like a breakthrough day. He had so much energy, was rideable and so through. He sometimes overwhelms himself with the piaffe but today he rode through it.”
“I feel like we’re on an uphill swing now,” he said, toward his goal for the pair to get scores to qualify for the WEG.