Alexandra Dvorak, from Hillsburgh, Ontario, rode to the top of Dressage at Devon’s FEI Young Rider Grand Prix on Fling, a Westfalen gelding on September 27th.

Her father and trainer, Olympian Tom Dvorak, purchased Fling in Germany, intending to resell him. When it was time for Alexandra to graduate from a pony to a horse, however, they decided to keep him. “I love his personality, and he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body,” said Alexandra.

Her dressage career rose quickly from Juniors in 2008 to Grand Prix level this year. Of her experience at Devon she said, “It’s been a wonderful. The people competing here are the best of the best.”

While she has put many long days in to achieve her success, Alexandra is quick credit her father for his support. “He’s the greatest father and coach. No one wants me to succeed more.”

Ashley Holzer and her bay mare, Tiva Nana, winner of the Grand Prix Qualifier, thrilled the crowd with their freestyle dressage performance that earned a score of 76.125%. Their movements were challenging. For instance, they moved from canter to piaffe to passage without missing a beat of the epic, orchestral music.

Apparently Ashley had made a last minute decision to enter the freestyle competition. She says that the electric atmosphere at Devon worried her mare a bit “but she is always willing to try anything as long as I set her up right. She is such a partner.”

Karen Pavicic and her gelding Don Daiquiri won second place with an energetic ride and a score of 73.375%. She said, “Our experience at WEG gave us a lot of confidence.”

The following day, Fling was in the winner’s circle again in the Grand Prix Freestyle (16-25), with a score of 67.950% with rider Alexandra Dvorak (whose father Tom Dvorak also rode in the FEI Intermediaire 1 Freestyle on Ribot and the FEI Grand Prix Special aboard Viva’s Salieri W).