Canadian Olympian David Marcus of Campbellville, ON, made his debut at the prestigious CDIO5* Aachen, Germany, held July 11 to 20.

Marcus was the sole Canadian representative invited to contest the CDIO5* division at Aachen. Riding Chrevi’s Capital for owner Deborah Miculinic Kinzinger, Marcus placed 28th in Thursday’s Grand Prix from an international starting field of 39 entries. The five-member panel of international judges awarded Marcus a score of 69.18%. The Grand Prix was won by Germany’s Matthias Alexander Rath, who scored 82.30% riding the illustrious Totilas while Helen Langehanenberg, also of Germany, took second place with 81.22% aboard Damon Hill NRW. Adelinde Cornelissen of The Netherlands was the only other rider to break the 80% barrier, earning a score of 80.98% to take third place with the 17-year-old Jerich Parzival.

“I was really happy with my ride in the Grand Prix,” said Marcus, 33. “Every day Capital been getting a little bit better since he arrived here in Germany, and I thought the Grand Prix was one of the better tests that I have had with him.”

Having qualified to move forward to the Grand Prix Special on Saturday, July 19, Marcus pushed for more brilliance from Chrevi’s Capital, a 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Chrevi’s Cavallo x Weinberg). As a result, a mistake in the passage-piaffe tour proved costly, with the pair being awarded a score of 67.84% for 26th place in the final standings. Rath and Totilas again emerged victorious with a score of 84.52%, followed by reigning Olympic champions Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro of Great Britain with 83.15% and Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW in third with 82.07%.

“Overall, I was really happy with the Grand Prix Special,” explained Marcus. “After watching the video of my Grand Prix test, I felt that I had room to take risks and I got a little bit too eager in the Grand Prix Special. I did take risks and pushed him for maximum, but, unfortunately, had a mistake which brought me down in the final placings. Having said that, when I watched the playback, I think the overall quality is the best it’s ever been.”

While Marcus competed in Europe in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, this marked his debut at CDIO5* Aachen, considered by many to be the best equestrian competition in the world.

“I definitely feel privileged to be here representing Canada,” said Marcus of the experience. “It’s been great, and it is an amazing horse show. It’s been a very exciting week.”
Competing at Aachen is part of Marcus’s preparation for the upcoming 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games taking place in Normandy, France, from August 23 to September 7.

“I think it was the right decision to come here; I really wanted to have an experience with Capital in a venue such as this with the quality of competition that is here,” said Marcus. “This division is filled with the top riders in the world, and I feel very fortunate to be within that group. I am really happy that we came, and I’ve been very happy with how Capital has handled himself here.

“Unfortunately, Deborah wasn’t able to join us at this show due to her son’s wedding, but we’ve been in communication throughout the week and I have really appreciated her support,” continued Marcus.

While disappointed to miss seeing Chrevi’s Capital compete in Aachen, owner Miculinic Kinzinger noted, “It is an honour that David and Capital were invited to compete in the CDIO5* division at Aachen. It was unfortunate that they had a mistake in the Grand Prix Special, but I applaud David for taking a chance; if it had worked, it would have been a phenomenal test. You don’t win medals by playing it safe!”

Following CDIO5* Aachen, Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital will compete at CDI3* Verden, also in Germany, from August 6 to 10. The pair is currently based in Germany with renowned trainer, Jean Bemelmans while Marcus’s own personal trainer, Oded Shimoni, flies back and forth from his base in Wellington, FL, to provide his expertise. Both Shimoni and Marcus’s partner, Australian grand prix rider Nicholas Fyffe, were on hand to support Marcus at CDIO5* Aachen.

Marcus first made his grand prix debut at the beginning of 2012 and, six short months later, was competing at the 2012 London Olympic Games. In 2013, he topped the North American World Cup League. The 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will mark his world championship debut.