Todd Flettrich and Amadeus are Highest-Placed American Duo at Porsche Dressage Trophy Indoor Tournament in Paderborn, Germany
RELEASE: November 8, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Phelps Media Group
With three Americans competing at "Porsche Dressage Trophy," a German national indoor dressage tournament held in Paderborn, Germany, on November 2-4, Todd Flettrich of Coatesville, PA, and Wellington, FL, rode Amadeus to third place in the grand prix special, earning the distinction of being the highest-placed American in the FEI classes at the show.
"Amadeus did everything I asked. He was very good," said Flettrich of his grand prix special ride, which held the lead for most of the class. "I honestly feel it was the best test I've done." Flettrich and Amadeus, a nine-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Cherry Knoll Farm, have been partnered for two years.
Also competing at Paderborn were Sue Blinks and Robin Hood in the grand prix classes and Jan Ebeling with Sandrina 18 in the Prix St. Georges.
Flettrich and Amadeus started off the weekend show on Friday, contesting the grand prix against an international field of 26 horses. The duo scored 60.917% for 18th place. "Unfortunately, on the first day I had several mistakes. I had the worst score I've ever gotten in my career with him," said a disappointed Flettrich. He noted that he had to forego 15 minutes of his warm-up, which took its toll in the arena. The scoring was very strict, with Nathali Sayn-Wittgenstein of Denmark aboard Digby 2 claiming victory with 68.750%.
Judging the grand prix were Peter Mannheims, Michael Settertobulte, Dieter Scheermann, Klaus Storbeck, and Christoph Hess.
But Flettrich and Amadeus came back ready to redeem themselves on Sunday in the grand prix special. In an international field of 13 horses, Flettrich and Amadeus claimed third place with a score of 62.320%. Three of the five judges placed the duo second. "I was winning the majority of the day and ended up being third with only a 62.000%, but all the scores were low," Flettrich pointed out. The winning ride was again Sayn-Wittgenstein, who claimed victory with 66.200%.
"I had a very good go in the Special. I had no technical mistakes," Flettrich recounted. "I had a little hesitation for one pirouette, but I had a very good ride. The judges gave me 6s and 7s mostly. I was extremely happy. It was a very good test. Most of the horses were spooky in that arena, but Amadeus wasn't. He was looking, but he really was on my aids. My first piaffe was one of the better piaffes that I have done in the ring. The passage was very regular and consistent to the extensions—very nice. I was very happy with him."
Judging the grand prix special were Hans-Peter Schmitz, Reinhard Seim, Peter Mannheims, Michael Settertobulte, and Christoph Hess.
Flettrich and Amadeus have been training with Hubertus Schmidt in Germany for several months and recently started to compete at German shows. Paderborn was the third German show for the duo, having previously competed at Verden in August and Zierow in October. Hubetus Schmidt was on hand at Paderborn to coach Flettrich. "Hubertus said that I rode extremely well," Flettrich noted. "He said it's the best the horse could have gone at the moment."
Overall, Flettrich was pleased with his experience at Paderborn and was enthusiastic about the caliber of the show. "Paderborn is a show with quite a lot of charm and presence," Flettrich said. "There were a lot of spectators there. It was nice to have an audience. It was a wonderful show."
U.S. Dressage Chef d'Equipe Klaus Balkenhol attended the Paderborn show and watched Flettrich and Amadeus. Coach Balkenhol recommended the duo compete next at Odense, Denmark, and Appelhulsen, Germany, where he will provide coaching. After their European tour, Flettrich and Amadeus will return to the U.S. where they will compete in the Florida winter circuit qualifiers for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Selection Trials.