Fresh From Europe. Todd Flettrich & Otto Win Saugerties World Cup Grand Prix Special

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Todd Flettrich and Otto winning Saugerties, New York Grand Prix Special World Cup Event. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Todd Flettrich and Otto winning Saugerties, New York Grand Prix Special World Cup Event. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

SAUGERTIES, New York, Sept. 13–Fresh from three months in Europe getting back to competition fitness, Todd Flettrich and Otto claimed victory Sunday in the Grand Prix Special World Cup event at the New England Dressage Association’s Fall Festival World Cup event.

In their first CDI in the United States since Cherry Knoll Farm bought the 12-year-old Danish Warmblood nine months ago for Flettrich to compete and the first competition back to working with trainer Oded Shimoni, the pair won wth a score of 67.917 per cent.

Otto had previously been trained and ridden by Heather Blitz of the USA to prominence on the European circuit.

Denmark’s Olympic, World Championship and World Cup competitor Lars Petersen on Naomi who he trains at his Wellington, Florida base, was second on 67.667 per cent. Canadian Jacqueline Brooks on her 2008 Olympic mount Gran Gesto was third at 66.917 per cent.

Lars Petersen and Naomi in the Saugerties World Cup Grand Prix Special. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Lars Petersen and Naomi in the Saugerties World Cup Grand Prix Special. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The result was a payoff for Flettrich, 39, of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, who had gone to Europe with three horses–Otto, Amadeus and Danseur–to work with German Olympian Hubertus Schmidt after one and half years of not competing due to a combination of back problems for Flettrich and fitness issues with Amadeus.

Todd Flettrich and Otoo. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Todd Flettrich and Otoo. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.comPlus, he also had to learn to work with Otto who had been competed extensively on the West European circuit by his former owner, Heather Blitz of the United States.

Working with Schmidt at his Paderborn, Germany facility, Flettrich said, was “wonderful.”

“We competed in some German national shows that were really good for us,” he said. “But I would like to have stayed a little longer to iron out some of the issues that came out in the three months we were there.”

He said, however, that on their return to the U.S. he looked for coaching help and opted to go with Shimoni, an Israeli World Games competitor who is based in Wellington, whom he had previously trained with for 18 years.

Oded, he said, understood Schmidt’s training methods as he had also spent years working with Hubertus, plus he knew Flettrich from their long association.

Otto, Flettrich said, has surprised him in that “he is a lot more horse than I expected. He is powerful, hard working who will go with you if you get him on your side.”

Flettrich said he is taking it one day at a time with Otto and the other horses with Dressage at Devon in two weeks the next competition on the schedule. His longer term goal, he said, is to compete in the several CDIs during Florida’s winter circuit.

After that, he said, “I’ll fill in the paperwork” for the selection trials for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, but he will be looking for his horses to tell him whether to set the WEG as a goal.

Meantime, Lars Petersen said he believes there is “a lot more” talent in Naomi that he is working to develop in the nexy four to six months.

Lars Petersen and Naomi. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Lars Petersen and Naomi. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

“It will take a little while to get her round and through,” he said of the horse that came to him a year ago.

“In the next four to six monthd I think I will have her quite a lot better.”

Canada's Jacqueline Brooks and Gran Gesto. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Canada's Jacqueline Brooks and Gran Gesto. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Class: 484C – CDI Grand Prix Special
E: Clarke H: Gribbons C: Ernes M: McMullen B: Yukins
Ride Time Entry # Rider Horse Stat/Div Term Reason Test E H C M B Total % Pl. Verified
10:22:00 AM 7 Flettrich, Todd Otto Open No FEI Grand Prix Special 2009 331 334 322 319 324 1630 67.917% 1 No
10:46:00 AM 26 Petersen, Lars Naomi Open No FEI Grand Prix Special 2009 328 324 318 321 333 1624 67.667% 2 No
10:30:00 AM 15 Brooks, Jaqueline Gran Gesto Open No FEI Grand Prix Special 2009 331 333 310 320 312 1606 66.917% 3 No
9:40:00 AM 51 Creech, Diane Devon L Open No FEI Grand Prix Special 2009 326 325 321 317 315 1604 66.833% 4 No
10:38:00 AM 33 Konyot, Tina Calecto V Open No FEI Grand Prix Special 2009 321 319 312 326 326 1604 66.833% 5 No
10:14:00 AM 55 Trussell, Belinda Anton Open No FEI Grand Prix Special 2009 312 321 311 315 321 1580 65.833% 6 No