Marek and Firefly Light Up the Grand Prix Special at World Equestrian Center April Dressage CDI3*
Competition continued on Saturday, April 15, 2023, at the World Equestrian Center April Dressage CDI3* with classes of all levels for international and national riders. Held at World Equestrian Center – Ocala (WEC), the show sponsored by Hampton Green Farm and Discover Dressage concludes on Sunday, April 16. Anna Marek (USA) and Firefly, owned by Janet Simile, led the lap of honor once again on Saturday, this time in the Grand Prix Special CDI3*.
Marek and Firefly, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Briar Junior x OO Seven, improved on their performance once again by scoring a personal best of 74.468%. Marek felt that Firefly’s strength in the passage is what helped them earn that score. The judges – Sandra Hotz (USA), Sandra Andrea Smith (ARG), Cesar Torrente (COL), Kerrie Swan-Bates (AUS) and Cara Whitham (CAN) – agreed, giving scores of eight on many of the passage movements.
While Marek had been focusing on the Grand Prix Freestyle this winter for FEI World Cup™ scores, her move to the Special for this CDI highlights “some of the things he does very well,” she said. “We have been working on the tempo, rhythm and being able to have that expression and energy. With that they can take a misstep or lose their balance, but he did it the same the entire time. It was an awesome feeling. I just have to give him a little reminder about something or tell him I want something a little better, and he tries so hard.
“What was crazy is that we made a couple of mistakes today,” she continued. “They were mistakes that we haven’t made before, so to get that score was incredible.”
Marek plans to return to WEC for the World Equestrian Center May Dressage CDI3*.