Wellington, FL – Based in Coatesville, PA, and Wellington, FL, Todd Flettrich has had a successful dressage career and is well on his way to qualifying for this year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). Anne Gribbons, a renowned rider and trainer who has known Flettrich since the start of his career, has watched Flettrich as a young rider, has competed with him and against him, and has judged him in competition for years. Now the United States Dressage Team Chef D’Equipe, Gribbons watched Flettrich and his Grand Prix mount Otto very closely this season and thinks that it looks promising for the talented duo to qualify for the U.S. Team that will compete at the WEG in the fall.
Cherry Knoll Farm purchased Otto, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Rambo X Rampal), in 2009 and he and Flettrich have since formed an excellent partnership and have earned several top placings throughout the country. Gribbons watched Flettrich and Otto ride in educational clinics put on by the United States Equestrian Federation in the fall and has followed every qualifier for the WEG that the pair has shown in. “I must say that Todd is blessed with a confident and experienced horse that is very ambitious and can do all of the movements very well,” Gribbons noted. “We have lovely horses coming along, but some of them at this point are still green and that is not Todd’s horse, his horse is very competent and confident, so that is great.”
“Todd and the horse seem to have a good relationship, which is very nice to watch, and Todd himself has really taken the things that we have discussed since the fall very seriously,” Gribbons continued. “He has really tried to get together with the horse, he has shaped up physically, and he has also shown some gusto and some get up and go. Other than having nice rounds in the qualifiers and most certainly being qualified for Gladstone for the Selection Trials, he also came to the Kentucky test event and showed his resilience when his horse was not in its best form. Otto had a back pain from shipping for a long time, which often happens. I thought that Todd would bow out and not go, but you know, we just had a little talk and he thought about it. I said, ‘if this was WEG, if you were on the team and it was something that isn’t actually going to hurt the horse’s future, and if you knew you were at a disadvantage, you would still have to go,’ and he looked me in the eye and said, ‘I’m going.’ Although the horse was not in optimum form, he rode the horse very well, and got as high a score as he had in some of the previous tests and qualifiers when the horse was at its best. I was so proud of him; I can’t even begin to tell you. I know that he now has the right spirit, and the courage to do what needs to be done.”
Gribbons is very positive about Felttrich and Otto’s chances of making it on to the U.S. Team for the WEG and hopes to form a competitive team that will do its best. “Todd is a good guy and he is very committed to the sport and he is also blessed with a nice sponsor who really cares about him,” Gribbons stated. “His biggest strength is the fact that the horse can do everything well. Many horses can do certain things and will have trouble with other things, and Otto has no real holes in him. I think that Todd’s passion for the horses and his ability to have a good relationship with the horses and make them work for him happily makes him a good rider, and I would be happy to have him on the Team.”
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. Photo by: Susan J. Stickle.