May 28, 2023 – Ocala, Fla. – Anna Marek (USA) closed out the WEC May Dressage CDI3* sponsored by Hampton Green Farm and Discover Dressage in the best way with victory once again in the small tour, winning the Intermediate 1 Freestyle CDI1* with Cynthia Davila’s Duvel on Sunday, May 28, 2023, at World Equestrian Center – Ocala (WEC).
Marek and Duvel added another victory to their list of accomplishments after placing second in Thursday’s Prix St. Georges and first in Friday’s Intermediate 1 classes. In the freestyle, they scored 74.917% for the win. The judging panel included Jane Weatherwax (USA), Cesar Torrente (COL) and Isobel Wessels (GBR).
Marek and Duvel competed to a freestyle designed by Karen Robinson and featuring the music of Imagine Dragons. It is a freestyle that was made before Marek started riding the 15-year-old KWPN gelding by Florencio 2 x Metall, and they have kept it since it suits him so well.
“It’s very dramatic music, and he’s such a big, powerful horse,” said Marek. “Cynthia loves it, and the judges seem to love it, so we’ve stuck with the same freestyle for a while. I’ve thought about changing it up before, but the way that it’s set up, with changes, broken lines, counter canter to pirouettes, it’s set up pretty tricky already. The music markers are really nice.”
She added with a laugh, “I really only refresh my memory on the freestyle the morning of, so it’s nice to keep the same pattern!”
While freestyles aren’t Marek’s first love in the dressage ring, she has learned to appreciate them thanks to her “reliable” mounts of Duvel and Firefly.
“The reason that I love dressage is that I like the precision and control,” explained Marek. “Breaking into riding freestyles is harder than riding a regular test. The more I do it, the better I get at it. I can see myself improve and get better. I like doing it when it goes well, but when you miss your markers, it can go so wrong.”
Marek was thrilled with her rides on Duvel all week, stating that both she and her horse “love to show at WEC.”
She added, “This whole week he’s been on. He was relaxed, and we worked well together. It was a great week for us.”
Second place went to Charlotte Jorst (USA) with Federle, a nine-year-old Hanoverian mare by Fürstenball OLD x Farewell III owned by Kastel Denmark, who scored 73.425%. With a personal best score of 71.642%, Jovanna Stepan (USA) and Fürstin Romantica, her own 14-year-old Hanoverian mare by Fürst Romancier x Sandro Hit, placed third.
Dressage at World Equestrian Center – Ocala returns on August 24-27, 2023, with USEF/USDF competition. International competition will be back on September 14-17, 2023, with CDI3* along with national-level competition. Further shows include USEF/USDF competition on October 21-22, CDI3* and national competition on November 16-19, and CDI-W and USEF/USDF competition on December 7-10. Prize list and show entry information for these shows can be found HERE. For more information, visit www.wec.net.