Thermal, Calif. – Nov. 18, 2021 – Dressage competitors returned to the Desert International Horse Park (DIHP) Thursday, Nov. 18, for the second edition of the Adequan® Desert Dressage CDI-W and Adequan® Desert Dressage II National, which kick-off competition Friday, Nov. 19. Welcoming a field of professional, amateur and junior athletes, the series will play host to 14 international classes for horse-and-rider pairs.
Industry powerhouse, Adequan® is recognized as the title sponsor of the Desert Dressage Series, which began with Week I from Oct. 21-24 and continues with Week II, from Nov. 18-21. Both Desert Dressage weeks in 2021 feature CDI-W, CDI3* and CDI2* competition with highlight classes of an FEI World Cup Qualifier™ and qualifying classes for the 2022 FEI North American Youth Championships and the 2022 USEF Festival of Champions.
The jog for the Adequan® Desert Dressage II CDI-W took place Thursday, Nov. 18 amidst the scenic backdrop of the Desert International Horse Park. All horses jogged that afternoon passed the health inspection, and will look forward to the start of FEI competition Friday at 12:10 p.m. with the Antares CDI-J Junior Team Test taking center stage in the International Arena. Friday’s pinnacle event will be the Four Winds Farm CDI-W Short Grand Prix, which will begin at 3:20 p.m. in the International Arena.
Making her debut at the Desert International Horse Park, Karen Pavicic and her mount Totem (Totilas X Denebula) were one of the passed pairs in the inspection. The 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding has been with Pavicic since he was a foal, developing up the ranks with her throughout his years as a young horse. Totem will be making his Grand Prix debut with Pavicic in the irons this week, a special occasion that will also mark Pavicic’s first time riding Grand Prix in five years
“My main goal for [Totem] is to get him in the ring to get some experience for him,” Pavicic said. “This is his first time doing the Grand Prix and I am a bit rusty because it has been five years since I rode down centerline in a Grand Prix, so I just want to have a positive experience out there.”
“I have been here at DIHP before to work on my judging, but this is my first time here as a competitor,” she continued. “It is a great venue! I was here once last year and the improvements even from then are significant. I think this is a really fantastic venue.”
Junior athlete Miki Yang is also making her DIHP debut. Riding Four Winds Farm’s 13-year-old KWPN gelding, Donavan (Vivaldi X Zilla), the pair will be seeking points for qualification for the 2022 North American Youth Championships (NAYC). The 17-year-old athlete made the impressive jump from the Junior to Young Rider division in 2021, qualifying for NAYC and helping Region 7 secure the team gold medal while she rode to her own individual silver during the championships.
“It is beautiful! I have come here a couple times as a spectator to watch, but I have never actually competed here,” Yang explained. ““My hopes are to have really solid, clean and happy rides from Donavan and I. He has gone to a lot of shows and I am really hoping that this one will be a great, fresh experience. The International Arena here is amazing and the atmosphere is so official, which makes it really exciting. I am really looking forward to competing in there. The scenery and the mountains just add to it.”
In addition to the CDI competition, dressage riders of all levels will be competing throughout the weekend at DIHP in the Adequan® Desert Dressage II National Show. Fourteen starters will kick off the national competition Friday morning with the Grand Prix, presented by VitaFlex, taking to the International Arena at 7:30 a.m..