Wellington, FL- Olympic hopeful Todd Flettrich and his equine partner, Otto, are hard at work getting ready for the USEF Olympic Dressage Selection Trials in Gladstone, NJ. The selection trials will decide which horse and rider teams will represent the United States in dressage at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The trials will be held at the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation headquarters June 8-10 and 13-14. In order to get closer to New Jersey, Flettrich and Otto recently returned to their summer home in Pennsylvania. The two had a successful winter show season in South Florida and were training in Wellington, FL, with Oded Shimoni, the U.S.-based Israeli coach who has proclaimed them both fit and strong. The dynamic duo of Flettrich and Otto remained in Florida as long as possible before the trials to stay acclimated to the heat and humidity.
"The weather in Pennsylvania is really nice this time of year, but it's hot and humid in New Jersey during the trails and we both need to be ready," Flettrich explained. "The heat and humidity in Florida will have us ready for whatever weather comes our way at the trials."
In other preparations for readiness, Otto, a 16-year-old Danish Warmblood, is back in a double bridle. Flettrich had been riding him in a snaffle since the Wellington CDI 5* Global Dressage Festival in March but the rider said it's time to take it up a notch in preparation for the selection trials.
Not to be left behind, Flettrich has been working with a personal trainer to increase his fitness level as well as doing Pilates five times a week and running.
Both athletes are working smarter and Flettrich has been able to cut the pair's warm-up time in the arena. He attributes that to their ever-growing sense of partnership.
"Rapport is what makes us a team," he said. "Through all this, we have become really good together and I think our relationship has developed into much more of a partnership."
The dynamic duo will keep their fans updated on their journey to the Olympics with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. For more daily updates about Team Todd & Otto "like" them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ToddFlettrichAndOtto. Or follow their Tweets at @toddfletandotto. And don't forget to check out their boards on Pinterest at pinterest.com/toddfletandotto.