Czech children rider Anna Marie Krizova has been riding on the crest of a winning wave this 2023 international show season.
Aboard the Dutch warmblood mare Diamantina she dominated the Children division and produced a hattrick aboard Diamantina.
Born in 2009, Anna Marie grew up in a horsey family with mom Barbara Leiterova being an international dressage rider while dad Milan Kriz has a passion for horse racing. She already sat in the saddle on horses as a toddler, but Anna's first pony that whetted her appetite was the grey Rachel, which she got at the age of 9 and competed in Pony Club.
She started riding at the Panska Licha riding club and so far, the 13-year old Anna has competed no less than five horses, including the versatile Pippa Fun, which she also jumped, Royce in Love, and Franz. However, the key horses in her career are seemingly pony Figo and horse Diamantina.
Ponies and Children
Kirzova developed a taste for dressage sport with Figo. Anna Marie remembers the first day she saw him.
"I had already tried another pony, and Figo came into it completely by accident," Anna Marie told Jezdci.cz. "I didn't want to go or look at him. I had no idea what he would look like. We were supposed to try him out, and when I dared to go look at it, there was a chestnut, scared pony with five centimeters of hair standing in the box. Such an orange ball. I had to decide between Figo or the other pony and after the first ride it was clear. He was absolutely perfect."
The pair won the 2022 Czech Championship for 11-13 year olds but never competed at international pony level.
Instead her first international horse was the Hanoverian gelding Franz (pedigree unknown) as she stated she had grown out of ponies. The pair made its CDI debut at Children level in Olomouc (CZE) and placed third and fifth. Their second CDI start in Samorin didn't go as well as planned and they were rung out.
The Kriz family went in search of a second horse for Anna's Children's career and found the 8-year old KWPN mare Diamantina (by Vivaldi x Gribaldi) in Hungary. The mare is originally named Kyra and is bed by G. Gijsbergs in The Netherlands. She is the full sister to international Grand Prix horse Dutch Design (Laurens van Lieren).
Previously owned by Slovakian Maria Anna Gabrisova and competed by Slovakian Adam Patocs, the black mare was selected to represent Slovakia at the 2020 World Young Horse Championships, but the event got cancelled due to Covid. The mare was in training in Hungary, where she stayed after Anna's family bought her.
"I sat on it for the first time in the summer of last year," Anna reminisched. "Since the competition season was in progress, Diamantina and I jumped right into it. She stayed in Hungary through the season and I commuted there four times a week to train. She is very nice and the hardest working horse I have ever ridden. She always wants to please me in everything and works to the maximum until the last minute."
The pair made its CDI debut in the Children category at the CDI Brno, where they booked a double victory. They were nominated for the 2022 European Children Championships in Pilisjaszfalu and finished 24th in the team test. They finished the year gaining experience at the CDI's in Zakrzow and Motesice.
Five CDI Victories in 2023
Since 2023, Anna and Diamantina are on a roll and have won every single international class they have entered in.
Their winning sweep began in Gössendorf, where they clocked a double win, while in Olomouc they recorded three victories in a row. They scored 80.536% in the preliminary test, 79.200% in the team test and 78.005% in the individual test.
In an interview with Jezdci.cz, Anna Marie said that her "dream and goal this year is the European Championship and I would like to complete the international dressage competition in Hagen (GER). The long-term goal is to learn to ride as well as possible."
When asked who her role model is, Krizova replied Cathrine Dufour. "I really like how she rides and how she works on herself. I also like that she takes good care of her horses," Anna stated.
Photos © István Lehoczky - László Kontli
Scores: 2023 CDI-W Olomouc