Canadian Olympian David Marcus and fellow grand prix dressage competitor, Nicholas Fyffe of Australia, are merging their training businesses and relocating to Wellington, FL, full-time.
Having spent several years dividing their time between their Canadian training base and wintering in Florida, the pair has made the difficult decision to sell the 15-acre farm in Campbellville, ON, that Marcus purchased in 2008.
“To be successful in our sport, it is imperative to compete in Wellington during the winter months,” explained Marcus. “For the past five years, we have spent time in Florida over the winter. This past winter, we were there for six months while our barn in Canada sat vacant. It has become obvious to us that this isn’t financially sustainable in the long-term. For this reason, we have decided to base ourselves in Florida year-round.”
Marcus elaborated, saying, “Our clients have all had the same positive reaction; they totally understand and support our decision. That has been the hardest part of the transition for us, as we have a great business with clients who we love and appreciate. Fortunately, all of our clients are planning to come with us for the winter and approximately half will then return to Canada for the summer show season. We will continue to support those clients to the best of our abilities year-round through clinics and by meeting up at competitions.
“We look forward to continuing the development of our current Canadian clients while also welcoming new clients, either for the winter season or year-round,” he continued.
Marcus and Fyffe have both been based at Tuny Page’s world-class facility, Stillpoint Farm, during the winter months in years past and will now base their business there permanently. While they previously operated their training businesses independently, the merger will allow clients to benefit from the best of both trainers; they will have a dedicated coach for their horse and riding plus a second set of eyes available.
“We’ve cross-promoted each other’s businesses from the beginning and had input into the training of each other’s horses and riders,” explained Fyffe, 33, a four-time member of the Australian team for the annual Nations’ Cup competition in Wellington, FL. “Coming together in one business will allow us to capitalize on our individual strengths and streamline our business. We have very cohesive styles, but we are also individuals.”
“There will be people who want to train with Nicholas and there will be people who prefer to train with me, and we will operate the business that way,” said Marcus, who has successfully coached numerous students at the FEI levels. “Whatever the best fit is for the client is also the best fit for us. By merging our businesses, we will be able to support each other, and our clients, in a more collaborative way.”
At the end of September, Marcus and Fyffe will hit the road for Florida with precious cargo in tow. Among the horses Marcus will be taking are Chrevi’s Capital, his mount at the 2012 London Olympic Games and the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, as well as an exciting new prospect, Binjora, owned by Van and Judy Marcus.
Fyffe, a current member of the Australian national dressage squad who has successfully competed at the international level with several mounts, will be taking two grand prix prospects to Florida, along with a third international grand prix horse offered for sale, and a handful of other top prospects.
“It is all a bit bittersweet,” concluded Marcus, 34. “We love Canada, it’s a wonderful place to live, but as high performance athletes pursuing our international competition goals, making Florida our home base makes the most sense for us at this point in our careers.”
Basing the business in Wellington, FL, allows Marcus, Fyffe and their students to be minutes away from the highly-competitive Adequan Global Dressage Festival competition grounds, which have quickly become an epicenter of dressage sport.
“I’m super excited to be based year-round in Wellington,” added Fyffe, who did just that when he first came to North America in 2010. “Wellington is such a livable town, and so well set up for professional equestrians. I cannot think of a more positive environment than surrounding ourselves with other top competitors inspiring us and pushing us to become better. We are looking forward to this new chapter.”