Reprinted with permission from Phelps Media.
Wellington, Fla. – March 8, 2017 – USPRE member Kyle McIver of Sudbury, Massachusetts, and her 8-year-old PRE gelding Churro (Pairo II) have had spectacular results thus far in the 2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), earning them the honor of the U.S.P.R.E. Association High Point Award. The pair have consistently been awarded scores over 70 percent in their Third Level classes, and McIver is tremendously proud of Churro’s improvement in only his second season in Wellington.
With the assistance of her trainer, Olympian David Marcus of Marcus Fyffe Dressage, McIver imported Churro from Spain in 2015, and she has been working on building her partner’s trust and confidence through positive experiences at shows and training.
“Churro was scared from the trip, so last season there was no way that this sort of success would have happened,” McIver explained. “Last summer I took him home to Massachusetts and we regrouped and became a team — this year he’s like a completely different horse. He’s much more confident, and we’re just trying to go in there and give him good experiences.
“We had that whole summer of just hacking and becoming buddies and teammates,” McIver continued. “I think that’s what has worked and it is really important that he trusts me.”
She contributes much of her recent success in the show ring to her fruitful training relationship with Marcus and their combined efforts.
“David is very trustworthy and a great trainer,” McIver said. “I could not recommend a trainer more than I recommend David.”
In the third week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, McIver and Churro swept all three of their Third Level Test 3 classes in the Adult Amateur division, earning scores of 70 percent, 66.795 percent and 69.103 percent. Most recently in the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, the pair continued their domination claiming victories in all three of their Third Level Test 3 classes once again with scores of 70.897 percent, 66.538 percent and 72.564 percent.
“We’re working on getting Churro to be more confident,” she continued. “At the shows we want to keep compounding these really good experiences for him, so in the future I have a super reliable show horse. It seems to be working as the scores keep going up for him. I want him to have great experiences so next year when we come out for Prix St. Georges he will be even better.”
Recounting what judges reward Churro for the most in their tests, McIver said, “Mostly harmony and accuracy. Overall, the outlook of the test is good. He just goes in and does his job. David calls him ‘Baby Genius’ because he learns super fast. He is really intelligent and has a very expressive way of going.”
McIver is delighted to receive the U.S.P.R.E. High Point Award, especially after looking up to Marcus and Nicholas Fyffe’s success with other PRE horses in the dressage arena.
“Last year David won the U.S.P.R.E High Point Award with Churro in Third Level, so I am excited that I was able to accomplish the same thing David did as my coach,” McIver concluded. “I think it is pretty cool that we were able to do it back-to-back!”
She looks forward to improving with Churro, and is excited to now own two of his offspring: Red Velvet and Rosé.