Breaking Dawn & Ashley Holzer Move Ahead of Pop Art to Top Canadian Olympic Rankings, David Marcus & Chrevi’s Capital Best of Rest

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Ashley Holzer and Breaking Dawn. © 201 2 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Ashley Holzer and Breaking Dawn have moved ahead of Pop Art in Canada’s Olympic rankings updated Monday while David Marcus celebrated the fifth month of his Canadian citizenship by claiming the highest placing for the rest of the contenders for a place on the team for the Games that are scheduled to start in London in two months.

The latest rankings after two CDI3* qualifying competitions in the United States and one in Germany last weekend gave the New York City-based Ashley and Breaking Dawn the fourth score the pair needed to move to the top of the rankings with an average of 71.572 per cent. The top four results of the Grand Prix and the Olympic/Grand Prix Special count.

On Pop Art, her 2008 Beijing Olympic mount, she is in second place with 71.372 per cent.

David Marcus, who switched his citizenship to Canada from the United States last Dec. 28, moved up to third place with Chrevi’s Capital on an average of 69.872 per cent.

“This past five months has been a whirlwind,” David told dressage-news.com after the latest rankings were official.

“I knew we were a long shot when we sent in the declarations shortly after finalizing my citizenship, so to be here today… is a dream come true. The next days will be busy as we plan our next step.”

Jacqueline Brooks, who was Ashley’s team mate at Beijing in 2008, is in fourth place with D Niro on 69.023 per cent.

Diane Creech and Devon L are next with 68.796 per cent and Pia Fortmuller and Orion, who have been competing in Europe, are in sixth place on 68.068 per cent.

The top six are the only contending combinations to have fulfilled the requirement for four scores with the official cutoff date of qualifying of June 17 three weeks away. The only CDI3* remaining in North America before then is at Blainville, Quebec.

Ashley told dressage-news.com she is not planning any more qualifying competitions.

“Edward was fabulous and definitely on a roll,” she said.

She has represented Canada at three Olympics–2008 in Beijing with Pop Art, 2004 in Athens and the bronze medal-winning team in Seoul in 1988.

At last weekend’s CDI3* in New Jersey, she and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding (Akribori x Eveline x L.Ronald) previously named Ultiems Flemming scored a personal best of 72.978 per cent in the Olympic Grand Prix Special.

Breaking Dawn is owned by P.J. Rizvi whose husband is one of the producers of the phenomenally popular movie series for which the horse is named and whose barn name is Edward after one of the lead characters. Ashley has been competing Edward at Grand Prix since last November and the pair have logged only seven shows, all in North America.

Ashley had said previously that she may compete at the CDIOs in Rotterdam June 20-24 and Aachen July 3-8 ahead of the Olympics where the dressage competition starts Aug. 2 with the Grand Prix and then the Olympic Grand Prix Special which will decide the team medals.

Ashley has been Canada’s top dressage rider for several years.

David Marcus (left), Jacqueline Brooks (red shirt), Chris von Martels (in tail coat) and Ashley Holzer (being Ashley). © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

This year, has seen the emergence of former Omaha, Nebraska, native David Marcus as one of Canada’s newest stars.

David, now 31, became a Canadian on Dec. 28, 2011, right before the deadline to meet Olympic citizenship requirement.

He competed the 12-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Chrevi’s Lavallo x Indira Gandhi x Weinberg) owned by Deborah Kinzinger on last winter’s Florida circuit for the first time at Grand Prix with improving results.

However, they rose to third in the official rankings with wins in both the Grand Prix and the Special at Burlington, Ontario, CDI3* May 18-20, the first competition as a Canadian in his new homeland.

The pair repeated the double wins at the Kentucky Dressage Association’s CDI3* in Lexington last weekend.

“I am actually a bit without words!” he said after Lexington. “To have just become a citizen and done my first Grand Prix in January to being on a horse that is performing at this level not just once, but consistently, makes me feel confident and a little surprised. It was a long shot, for sure, but I couldn’t be happier with the way the season has gone. I am ecstatic!”