Ten days after arriving in England, David Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital contested the CDI3* Hartpury held July 6 to 8 at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, England.

Marcus, 31, of Campbellville, ON, was officially nominated to the Canadian Olympic Team for dressage on July 5.  The following day, he and Chrevi’s Capital contested the Grand Prix at CDI3* Hartpury, earning a score of 68.96% for a fourth place finish in the international dressage competition.  Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro, considered a top medal contender for Great Britain at the upcoming Games, won the Grand Prix while Marcus’s teammate, 1988 Canadian Olympic Team bronze medalist Ashley Holzer, placed second.

“Capital is trying really hard,” said Marcus of his 12-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Chrevi’s Cavallo x Weinberg) owned by Deborah Miculinic (nee Kinzinger).  “This has been a great warm-up competition for the upcoming games.  He performed very maturely and is trying hard to do a great job at all times.”

Following a day of training on Saturday, Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital returned to the competition arena on Sunday for the Grand Prix Special.  The pair earned a score of 67.16% from the five-member panel of international judges to place third.

“He felt really fresh on Saturday in our training session; he was really energetic and full of himself,” said Marcus, who trains with six-time U.S. Olympian, Robert Dover.  “I think he spent a little too much of his energy on Saturday and was a little tired today as a result.  He is trying so hard and improving so quickly that I have to continue to remind myself that he is still developing.

“Overall, he is getting stronger and stronger each day and becoming more and more confirmed at this level,” continued Marcus, who only began competing at the Olympic level of grand prix in January of this year.  “I think he is really going to peak coming into the Games.  Our goal for Hartpury was to work on the things we needed to work on in order to get him to peak for the Games.  The show was very successful in that regard and I think we accomplished a lot.  All and all, I was really happy with the results of our first European show, especially considering that we only arrived here 10 days ago.”

Having placed second overall in the Canada Olympic qualification process behind Holzer, Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital flew to England on June 24.  Since then, they have been based at Hartpury College, living in the school’s dormitory.

“We have been living in the residence and really getting to know the show organizers and management, and I must compliment them on a great competition,” said Marcus.  “It was a really great show to compete at with world-class footing.  We have really enjoyed being here.”

The time in Hartpury also gave the three-member Canadian Olympic Team for dressage of Holzer, Marcus and Jacqueline Brooks, as well as alternate Diane Creech, an opportunity to work together as a group.

“The team moral has been very, very high,” said Marcus, who became eligible to compete for Canada after obtaining his citizenship on December 28, 2011.  “We are all living here on the property of Hartpury College or close by, and we have been getting together for dinner most nights.  We have been training together every day and been very supportive of each other.  This is the first major games team I have been on, and I couldn’t be happier with the camaraderie.”

Following the conclusion of competition in Hartpury, the Canadian Olympic Team for dressage begins a training camp at a private facility, Natalie Allen’s Edge Hill Stud, near Stratford-Upon-Avon.  The team members then move to the Olympic competition venue on July 28 and will compete in the dressage portion of the 2012 London Olympic Games held August 2 to 9 in Greenwich Park.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Marcus operates David Marcus Dressage, a training facility in Campbellville, ON.  While he prepares his Olympic debut, two of his students, Alexandra Reid of Carlisle, ON, and Jonah Freedman of Toronto, ON, will represent Ontario, Canada at the North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championship for competitors aged 14-21 held from July 17-22 in Lexington, Kentucky.