The Canadian Hanoverian Horse of the Year Award is given to a horse bred within Canada and is open to all Hanoverian and Rhinelander competition horses. This award is given to a horse who achieved noteworthy performances through competition, and demonstrated exemplary temperament, a willingness to perform and a strong work ethic. In these ways, this horse positively impacts the equestrian discipline it participates in and serves to underscore the quality of the Hanoverian breed. The 2021 award recipient is Totem, an example of all the positive qualities that embody the Hanoverian horse.
Totem, the 2012 Hanoverian gelding by Totilas, out of Elite and Canadian Champion Mare Denebola (Donnerhall/Dynamo), was bred by Patricia Close of North Gower, Ontario, Canada. Purchased as a foal, Totem has been trained and ridden by Grand Prix rider Karen Pavicic, a member of Canada’s 2014 World Equestrian Games team, now riding for Croatia.
Totem has had a spectacular dressage career to date, winning multiple FEI classes presented at the Florida Adequan Global Dressage Festival from the age of 4 to 7, with scores in the 70s. He was selected as one of 3 young dressage horses in North America for the Dressage Showcase at the 2017 FEI Omaha World Cup. Subsequently, Totem was featured in Isabell Werth’s training video and her article in The Chronicle of the Horse (04/1/2017). Totem also appeared on the cover of Dressage Today (05/2017). As an 8-year-old, he won his first CDI Prix St George Test at Adequan with a score of 71%. Then at 9, Totem finished the 2021 Florida season winning both the Intermediaire A and Intermediare II 3*. Totem and Karen went on that fall to win the CDI3* Grand Prix at the Desert International Horse Park in California with a score of 69.391%.
“There are two essentials to producing an exceptional horse like Totem”, says Patricia Close. “While there are many wonderful horses now being bred in Canada, I believe the most important aspect of breeding is the broodmare line. There are many fabulous dressage stallions available, but similar broodmares are few and far between. When I started to breed, I purchased the SPS mare, Dukate/Dynamo, who won mare shows in both Germany and in Canada. Breeding her to Donnerhall resulted in our Canadian Champion Elite mare Denebola, who was not only featured in the Verband magazine (The Hanoverian No:5 2000) as “Quality with the Maple Leaf” but proved herself as a show horse. Totem, like his dam, was an exceptional foal. At his foal inspection he was judged as a stallion prospect. Prior to gelding, Totem’s semen was collected, and he now has breeding approval in several stallion registries. The second critical aspect to producing an exceptional horse is developing its quality, which in the case of Totem meant finding the right owner/rider. I was thrilled to have Karen Pavicic buy and campaign Totem.”
According to Karen Pavicic, “Every day with Totem is a gift! Not only is he extremely talented, he comes out every single day with a willing attitude and wanting to work. He never says no! I am so grateful to Patricia Close for breeding this wonderful horse. It has been an honour to develop and train him from a young horse up to Grand Prix. Now at 10 years old, Totem is just coming into his prime and the future is really exciting!”
The Canadian Hanoverian Society is pleased to award Totem with the distinct honour of 2021 Canadian Hanoverian Horse of the Year, and wish both Patricia Close, his breeder, and Karen Pavicic, his owner and rider, all the best in the following years. Both breeder and owner will receive an engraved pewter plate and monetary gift from the Society to be awarded at the spring Annual General Meeting.