Anya Bereznicki (CAN) refuses to bring her “princess” mare Diazella out for more than two classes per competition.
Less has proven to be more.
Bereznicki, 18, and her 14-year-old Holsteiner mare won the two classes they contested at tbird’s Canadian Premier, capturing the $15,000 MarBill Hill U25 1.40m Sunday after winning Friday’s U25 speed contest. The longtime partners comfortably topped a four-horse jump-off, crossing the timers of the 1.40m shortened track in 35.55 seconds. Sam Walker (CAN) and Hermelien finished second (36.89), with Emmanuelle Greenberg (USA) and Claire de Lune M, third (46.29).
“I knew I had competition when Sam was clear, because that is a fantastic horse and rider,” Bereznicki said. “I just wanted to win again. I wanted to give my horse the best chance that she could to get over the fences because she will never let me down.”
Bereznicki has had a good example to follow at tbird, as the young professional has been training for the past year and a half under World No. 5 and tbird’s winningest rider Conor Swail (IRL).
“I have a lot of faith in everything that Conor tells me, because he is just such a breath of fresh air to anything I’ve ever been told before by anybody else,” Bereznicki said. “He gives me so much confidence, and if we make mistakes, we kind of laugh it off and move on, and it’s always a positive, positive thing. I’m so, so happy and so grateful to have his help with everything.”
Her gratitude extends to her horse, who, over the course of the last five years, has brought her from 1.20m to her first international classes.
“She’s just unbelievable. She’s my best friend and I don’t know what I would do with her,” Bereznicki said. “[She’s] getting older, and she’s kind of the princess in my life, so I only will do a maximum of two classes a week with her from now on.”
Bereznicki plans to contest the CSI2* division at next week’s Odlum Brown BC Open.
$15,000 MarBill Hill U25 1.40m
Place / Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time
1. Diazella / Anya Bereznicki / CAN / Anya Bereznicki / 0/0 35.55
2. Hermelien / Sam Walker / CAN / Evergate Stables / 0/0 36.89
3. Claire de Lune M / Emmanuelle Greenberg / USA / Pumpkins Patch Farms II Inc / 0/0 46.29
4. Coco du Houlbec Z / Emily Fitzgerald / CAN / Emily Fitzgerald / 0/4 37.97
5. I. Zapo / Jarne Francken / USA / Greg Tomb / 0 84.92
6. C’Diam de Ste Anne / Jarne Francken / USA / Patti Kits / 4 80.58
7. VIP des Majuros / Carly Stevens / CAN / Grant & Susie Stevens / 4 80.93
8. Dento / Carly Stevens / CAN / Grant & Susie Stevens / 4 81.66
9. Vainqueur de Brekka / Anneke Power / USA / Anneke Power / 4 81.83
10. Barack / Reid Pankewicz / USA / Lynne Stephenson Beda Wachter / 4 83.74
For the first time in its history, Thunderbird Show Park is hosting two consecutive weeks of five-star show jumping. Competition will resume June 1–June 5 with the CSIO5*/CSI2* Odlum Brown BC Open, featuring the $235,000 Longines CSIO5* Grand Prix on Friday, June 3 and the $400,000 CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada on Sunday, June 5. Tickets are available now at tbird.ca.