Jill Irving Wins the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award Riding Pop Art at the 2013 Global Dressage Festival
Wellington, FL (March 22, 2013) – Dr. Cesar Parra, owner of Piaffe Performance Farms presented Canadian Jill Irving with the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award after her amazing ride on her horse, Pop Art. The pair had a top 4 finish in Irving’s first ever Grand Prix CDI at the WEF Dressage Classic CDI-3*. As an Adult Amateur rider, Irving went up against the best of the best in dressage, and delighted the crowd and impressed the judges to score a 66.787% and locked in a 4th Place win. “I think it’s amazing what she’s done and she should be very, very proud,” commented Parra. “For an amateur to come into an international arena and CDI, and get such a respectable score is quite an accomplishment,” he continued. “It takes a lot to go in there and get the points from five different judges who must adhere to strict international standards, and Jill did an outstanding job.”
Irving credits most of the win to her horse, Pop Art, who was lent to her by her lifelong friend and Pop Art’s long time Olympic partner, Ashley Holtzer. After bringing the horse all the way to the Olympics, Holter wanted Irving to ride Pop Art so she could simply enjoy him and also take some of the pressure off the beloved horse. “He’s just a great horse,” Irving explained, “I give it all to him and the team, including Ashley’s training and our grooms – everybody!” Irving also explained that this was a particularly emotional moment for her and Holtzer due to the recent passing of Holtzer’s father, who in the past never missed one of Pop Art’s rides. “He was a part of our lives at every horse show, and we miss him deeply,” Irving described. “The first thing Ashley said after my ride was, ‘Pops would be so proud and he would be so happy to be here.’ But, I know he never leaves us!” she added.
Irving, who is a mother of four, also acknowledged the importance of family support for all the riders during the Florida winter circuit, especially those family members back home who must sacrifice having a spouse and parent at home everyday. “We have to thank them that they tolerate us living the dream,” she said. “It’s hard on the professionals and especially the amateurs down here, even though we’re having fun, there are kids and spouses at home that are supporting us, and they can’t be forgotten.”
This is another aspect of the lives of Adult Amateur riders that Parra hopes to continue to honor with the award. “Adult amateurs are the backbone of our sport,” comments Parra. Designed to recognize exceptional performances by adult amateurs, the Piaffe Performance Adult Amateur Achievement Award is presented to a dedicated adult amateur at each of the CDIs during the 2013 Global Dressage Festival circuit. “My team is made up of a number of young riders and adult amateurs, and their dedication to the sport and their horses is undeniable. I am proud to be able to recognize adult amateurs and their achievements on the circuit in this way.”
For more information on Parra or Piaffe-Performance visit their website at www.piaffe-performance.com.
Photo: Jill Irving and Dr. Cesar Parra at the 2013 Global Dressage Festival. (Photo courtesy of JRPR)
Dr. Cesar Parra