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Todd Flettrich and Otto in Aachen

Todd Flettrich and Otto in Aachen

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Todd Flettrich Excels at CHIO Aachen with Talented Grand Prix Mount Otto

Written by: Lauren Fisher
Client: Todd Flettrich
Release Date: 2010-07-21

Wellington, FL – July 21, 2010 – Dressage rider Todd Flettrich and his grand prix mount Otto arrived back to the United States this week after a very successful competition in Germany at The World Equestrian Festival at CHIO Aachen. The pair competed in the Grand Prix CDIO on Thursday, July 15th and scored a 67.812% to finish 17th against many of the best horses and riders in the world. They then went on to compete in the Grand Prix Special CDIO on Saturday, July 17th and scored a 66.875% to finish in the 21st position. Flettrich was very pleased with the competition and is now home and ready to prepare for the Selection Trials for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG).

Otto is a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Cherry Knoll Farm. Flettrich and Otto have been very successful throughout the year competing in the United States, and were greatly looking forward to the opportunity to gain exposure on the world stage and experience championship competition on the international level at Aachen. The original plan was to compete in Fritzen, Austria and Falsterbo, Sweden in order to prepare for Aachen, but when Otto arrived in Europe with a cold, the pair was forced to withdraw from those competitions. Despite the unexpected time off and missed practice shows, both Flettrich and Otto were ready to compete in time for Aachen, and did very well throughout the weekend’s competition.

In Thursday’s Grand Prix CDIO, Flettrich and Otto received many high scores and great compliments from the esteemed panel of judges, and the pair finished in 17th place with a score of 67.812%. The pair received a 71.915% from the judge at ‘C’ Win Earnes (NED); a 69.149% from the judge at ‘C/M’ Andrew Gardner (GBR); a 67.660% from the judges at ‘M’ Gary Rockwell (USA); a 67.021% from the judge at ‘B’ Gustav Svalling (GER); a 67.021% from the judge at ‘H’ Jean-Michel Roudier (FRA); and a 66.170% from the judge at ‘C/H’ Leif Tornblad (DEN).

In Saturday’s Grand Prix Special CDIO, Flettrich and Otto scored a 66.875% to finish in 21st place. The pair received a 66.458% from the judge at ‘C’ Leif Tornblad (DEN); a 66.667% from the judge at ‘M’ Susie Hoevenaars (AUS); a 67.917% from the judge at ‘B’ Katrina Wust (GER); a 65.625% from the judge at ‘E’ Gustav Svalling; and a 67.708% from the judge at ‘H’ Win Ernes (NED).

Flettrich commented on his rides, stating, “I think it was good. I unfortunately had two little glitches in the first test. For the rein back I had three steps instead of five, and I went to my last one tempi and missed, but it was good. A 67.8 is great; one judge had me at a 71, and there was one that had me at a 65, but in general I know they had to crucify me on the mistakes. They all basically had good comments though and I think they wanted to give me the scores.”

“The second day, in the Special, I was told that I was at 69 and 70 percent until I had a bauble at the end,” Flettrich continued. “I do not know what happened, but he had a bauble right before the pirouettes. I was trying to do the pirouettes a little tighter and you never know exactly what happened, but I do not feel that it was my mistake; it was just an unfortunate moment. After that happened it took us a little bit to get back on each other’s wavelengths and get back on track, but overall I was very pleased.”

Flettrich had a great support team cheering him on in Aachen with the help of Cherry Knoll Farm owner Margaret Duprey, friend and groom Allyson Rogers, U.S. Dressage Team Technical Advisor Anne Gribbons, trainer Hubertus Schmidt, and rider and previous trainer Steffen Peters. They were all very pleased with the tests as well and Flettrich had a great experience with their encouragement.

“I loved the atmosphere there and Otto is a trooper, he loved it too,” Flettrich stated. “Considering I had not shown in a little bit and it was our first time being at Aachen, it was just really cool. I was not nervous, but I was definitely concerned that I had not been showing. Other than that it was great and there were so many great people that were very complimentary to us.
Robert Dover even came up after my Special and said that he thought that there were some places that the judges could have been more generous and that he thought I did a super job.”

Anne Gribbons has watched Todd and Otto compete throughout the year and was very pleased with their results in Aachen. Gribbons stated, “I thought that Todd showed a lot of fortitude, because we had planned things differently and he was supposed to do two shows before Aachen. Unfortunately, the horse arrived with a cold after the long flight and was miserable and coughing for over two weeks, so the first show was definitely not an option and the second one would not have been good to go to either. Fritzen and Falsterbo were supposed to be the warm ups, so it is very difficult to come to Aachen as your first show. I think that under the circumstances, Todd really got himself together, and I am glad he did, because he made a very good impression.”

“The horse has some very strong features, in particular his piaffe and passage and the trot work,” Gribbons continued. “The canter work was very good as well, and as a matter of fact, that has improved greatly with the training. I have watched them get better every day because they are training so well together.”

Gribbons shared her perspective on the two classes, noting, “In the first class he had a pretty good score and he ended up placing in the middle of a very difficult class in the Grand Prix. We were very pleased with that and then he made the Special, which was the goal of course. The next day he started out with an even better test and as soon as he came down the centerline for the first pirouette he was sitting around 70%. I was really excited to see that, but then they had a little glitch and there was a little misunderstanding, and then after that the canter work was tense. Then the scores started to slowly come down, but that happens, tests are not always perfect. They still had a great score and still looked good in the end.”

“The comments from the judges afterwards were generally very positive,” Gribbons acknowledged. “They really liked the combination, they liked the way they worked together, and they really liked the horse. Otto is quite sure of his lessons; he knows exactly what is required and what is expected of him, he is very well trained, and he is very ambitious. He wants to please Todd and you can see that, so if we can just avoid some mistakes and sharpen up some transitions and a few things, I think he is going to look good for the trials.”

Otto and Flettrich have both arrived back in the United States and are now ready to start preparing for the WEG Selection Trials, which will be held at the 2010 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions. The competition will return to the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey, for two consecutive weekends of extraordinary competition, August 6 – 8 and 13 – 15, 2010.

Todd Flettrich is based in Wellington, FL, has earned his USDF Silver and Gold Medals, and is a graduate of the USDF ‘L’ Judge Program. Flettrich competed at the North American Young Riders Championships (NAYRC) four times and won the Individual Gold Medal and Team Silver in 1991. Flettrich served as Region 1 Coach and Chef d’Equipe at NAYRC from 1988 through 1994. His student Catherine Malone won the Individual Gold in 2005. Flettrich’s current mounts are owned by Cherry Knoll Farm. For more information, call Todd Flettrich at 484-459-2749.

Photo Credit: Todd Flettrich and Otto competing at CHIO Aachen. Photo © 2010 Ken Braddick. Photograph may be used free of charge only in relation to this PMG press release.


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