Todd Flettrich Returns to U.S. Following Successful European Training and Dressage Show Tour
RELEASE: January 24, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Phelps Media Group
Todd Flettrich of Coatesville, PA, and Wellington, FL, has returned to the United States after a six-month stint in Europe where he resided in Germany and trained with German Olympic Team Gold medalist Hubertus Schmidt. Flettrich brought seven horses with him to Europe, ranging from FEI five-year-olds to grand prix. Aboard his grand prix mount Amadeus, a nine-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Cherry Knoll Farm, Flettrich competed in a tour of four European dressage shows. Flettrich is currently in Wellington preparing to compete in the upcoming Concours de Dressage International (CDI) competitions on the Florida winter circuit. His goal is to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Selection Trials.European Show Tour Wrap-Up—Verden, Zierow, Paderborn, Odense
Flettrich started his European show tour at the prestigious CDI*** in Verden, Germany, August 2-5, 2007. He rode Amadeus against a class of 65 top-notch international horses. "It was the horse's first show in almost a year," noted Flettrich. "I did it at Verden because I wanted to have help from Hubertus while I was in Germany. We had mistakes, but the horse looked very good."
One month later, Flettrich competed Amadeus in two grand prix classes at an indoor national horse show in Zierow, Germany, on October 6-7. Flettrich successfully improved his scores and finished in the top three on both days.
On Saturday, Flettrich and Amadeus contested the short grandpPrix and finished with 65.70%, placing third in a field of 14 horses. On Sunday, Flettrich and Amadeus competed in the grand prix, earning 66.70% for second on the roster of 14 contenders.
Assessing his ride in the short grand prix, Flettrich said, "I was a little concerned that Amadeus might be spooky because this was an indoor show and they had bleachers along the kickboard, but he went in the arena and was not spooky at all. I rode conservatively, but I made no obvious mistakes, which was my goal. I was delighted with the test."
In the grand prix, Flettrich was edged out of the win by only 24 points. "I tried to go for it a little bit more—to ride a little bit more expression in his movements," Flettrich noted. "At the beginning of my two-tempis I had a few ones, but Amadeus was really on my side. It was just a miscommunication. He was really trying to please. He was very eager."
With three Americans competing at "Porsche Dressage Trophy," a German national indoor dressage tournament held in Paderborn, Germany, on November 2-4, Flettrich 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 ride, which held the lead for most of the class. "I honestly feel it was the best test I've done."
Flettrich and Amadeus started off on Friday contesting the grand prix against an international field of 26 horses. "Unfortunately, on the first day I had several mistakes," said Flettrich, noting that he had to forego 15 minutes of his warm-up, which took its toll in the arena. But Flettrich and Amadeus came back in super form on Sunday in the grand prix special. In an international field of 13 horses, Flettrich and Amadeus claimed third place. Three of the five judges placed the duo second.
"I had a very good go in the special. I was winning the majority of the day and ended up being third," Flettrich said. "I had no technical mistakes. The judges gave me many 7s. 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."
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