Canada’s Brittany Fraser Makes History as First Official International Rider In New York’s Central Park Arena

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Brittany Fraser and All In at the Central Park Horse Show. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Brittany Fraser and All In at the Central Park Horse Show. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2016–Brittany Fraser made history when she became the first official international competitor at the Central Park Horse Show, riding her Canadian Pan American Games team medal horse All In amidst a lineup of Olympic and World Games riders.

Their third place finish with a personal best Grand Prix score of 71.060 per cent came in the third year of Central Park–the first two years of dressage at national level though with panels of top international judges. The show with a backdrop of towering skyscrapers has established itself as so iconic that riders around the world put it on their bucket lists.

The Central Park CDI4* came just over a year after Brittany and All In, a KWPN gelding now 11 years old,  was on Canada’s team that won silver behind the United States at the Pan American Games in Toronto after beginning the horse’s Small Tour in early 2013. That capped a run of 68 CDI starts over 2 1/2 years, with an occasional national show.

Two months later, the pair moved up to Grand Prix then spent the winter at Florida’s Global Dressage Festival with an eye on one of Canada’s two places at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro but that became a tussle between three combinations from the Canadian team at the 2014 World Games.

A happy Brittany Fraser on All In after the Cenral Park CDI4* Grand Prix. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
A happy Brittany Fraser on All In after the Cenral Park CDI4* Grand Prix. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Brittany, 28 years old, used the lack of pressure and few horse shows over the summer to work with her long-time coach Ashley Holzer, whose training center in the New York City borough of the Bronx, is less than a 30-minute trailer ride from Central Park in Manhattan.

Brittany, a lifelong equestrian who competed at the North American Young Rider Championships in 2007, said: “We just took our time this summer really working on basics and good training. He has been showing so much the past few years that I feel a big difference taking the summer off.”

At the first outing back, in Saugerties, New York a week before Central Park the training paid off with second place finishes in both the Grand Prix and the Freestyle with personal best scores to that time.

Now, Central Park has moved Brittany and All In, currently ranked fifth of Canadian combinations on the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) standings, to another level.

The World Cup Final in Omaha, Nebraska next year is on her radar. Two places are allocated to North America.

So, too, is the World Games in 2018, though they have not been allocated by the FEI after Bromont, Canada pulled the plug two months ago.