To elite dressage horse owner PJ Rizvi, GK Elite Adult Amateur riders are a crucial component to the success of the sport of dressage. Adult Amateur riders often balance their love for horses and dressage with their family obligations and full-time careers outside of the sport.
GK Elite has returned to honor Adult Amateur competitors at the 2018 Global Dressage Festival who appear to seamlessly weave together the varied components of their lives to achieve success in all that they do. This weekend, GK Elite presented Adult Amatuer rider PJ Rizvi with the GK Elite Adult Amateur Award.
PJ Rizvi, an Adult Amateur competing in the Grand Prix and FEI CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle at the Global Dressage Festival, was honored to be recognized for her efforts. Rizvi is currently competing on her own Dutch Warmblood, Breaking Dawn, known as “Edward” (by Akribori out of Eveline). “He’s 17 going on 5 years old,” Rizvi laughed. “He may not always be perfect, but he’s always exciting! He’s the horse of a lifetime.”
Every day, Rizvi focuses more on making improvements from her last ride than on achieving perfection. With this humble and hard-working attitude, she has risen to the big leagues of dressage competition at an impressively fast pace. “Honestly, if you had asked me a year and a half ago, i would never have thought I would be here,” she said. “I mean, just to have competed in Europe with Ashley Holzer and ridden in the same warm-up rings as Isabell Werth and Laura Graves and all these accomplished riders is amazing! When you have four children and you’re juggling your everyday life with riding, I try to make every single moment count. I really enjoy every second, because at the end of the day it’s a huge luxury and a privilege for me to be able to ride. I ride for the love of it!”
Rizvi points out that continuously finding the joy in riding is what makes it all worthwhile. When asked what advice she would give to other Adult Amateur riders who are working on moving up the levels in the sport, Rizvi said, “I would say to other Amateur riders, I competed in my first Grand Prix when I was 43 years old. To do your first Grand Prix at 43 and then to come out here to compete in your first CDI’s at about 47 years old is definitely a challenge. So I would say, if I can do this, anyone can do this. I give my trainer [Ashley Holzer] all the credit in the world, because it’s one thing to get a professional to the ring, but it’s another story to get a mother of four who didn’t even grow up riding to the show ring!”
GK Elite echo Rizvi’s sentiment that anyone with a passion for the sport, an excellent work ethic, and a drive to succeed can progress as an Adult Amateur in equestrian sports. GK Horses rewarded Rizvi’s accomplishments with an engraved photo frame and commemorative GK Elite Adult Amateur Award ribbon.
The GK Elite Adult Amateur Award will continue to be presented to devoted Adult Amateur riders at the 2018 Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida for the remainder of the winter show series. To learn more about GK Elite and the outstanding horses owned by the organization, visit http://www.gk-horses.com/. To learn more about Piaffe Performance and the show ring successes that Piaffe trainers Cesar Parra and Katie Riley have with GK Horses and Adult Amatuer riders, visit http://piaffe-performance.com/.
Text by Johnny Robb
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