Canadian Olympian David Marcus of Campbellville, ON, opened the 2013 season with a strong showing at the CDI-W Gold Coast Opener dressage competition held January 24 to 27 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Riding his Olympic mount Chrevi’s Capital, Marcus earned an impressive score of 70.05% to place fourth in the Grand Prix held Friday, January 18. Marcus was the top-placed Canadian, finishing behind Swedish Olympians Patrik Kittel and Tinne Vilhelmson, and Adrienne Lyle of the United States. In Sunday’s Grand Prix Freestyle, Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital received a score of 69.20% for their musical program, placing them fifth amongst the international field.

“I was very happy with Capital’s performance in the Grand Prix,” said Marcus who operates David Marcus Dressage outside of Toronto. “Last year, we made our grand prix debut in January, earning 63%, and steadily improved throughout the season, culminating with being named to the Canadian Olympic Team. To start this year at 70% is a great way to begin 2013, and I look forward to the progression that is still to come.”

With their results at the CDI-W Gold Coast Opener, Marcus continues to lead the North American World Cup League standings for dressage with Chrevi’s Capital, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Chrevi’s Cavallo x Weinberg) owned by Deborah Miculinic. Marcus hopes to be one of the top two athletes in the North American League rankings that earn an invitation to the 2013 FEI World Cup Final from April 24 to 28 in Goteborg, Sweden.

With his second mount, Don Kontes, Marcus scored 65.71% in Friday’s Grand Prix test before contesting the Grand Prix Special where they placed second with a score of 67.08%. It was a strong showing for Don Kontes, who had closed out the 2012 season with wins in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at the prestigious CDI-W Dressage at Devon in Pennsylvania.

“Since both horses started their grand prix careers at the same time, Don Kontes has been the bridesmaid to Capital,” said Marcus of the 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, also owned by Deborah Miculinic. “I was very happy with his performance, and I think it won’t be much longer before he’s as strong as Capital. I am very excited by what he has to offer.”

Next on the competition calendar for Marcus is the CDI5* World Dressage Masters Palm Beach. Held from January 23 to 26 at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, FL, the prestigious World Dressage Masters sees the top riders from around the world going head-to-head in both Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle competition.

“I am very excited to be able to compete at the World Dressage Masters, and to have the opportunity to go up against such high-level competitors from around the world,” said Marcus who will ride Chrevi’s Capital in the ‘by invitation only’ event. “I find it important to compete against people who are better than you at all times in order to continue to improve. To have a field comprised of top international competitors is rare, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Marcus is based at Stillpoint Farm in Wellington, FL, for the winter season, having brought 12 horses south from his David Marcus Dressage training facility in Campbellville, ON. Chrevi’s Capital and Don Kontes campaign at the grand prix level while the seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Betrina, continues her development with Marcus. His students, including 2012 North American Young Riders’ Championship individual bronze medalist, Alexandra Reid, are also competing on the Florida circuit in the Young Riders’, Junior and Adult Amateur divisions. Marcus also has a select few quality sales horses in training in Wellington, Florida.