Todd Flettrich and Otto Make Their Musical Freestyle Debut Under the Lights at Dressage at Devon

October 2, 2009 Off By Roberta Johnston

Todd Flettrich and Otto Make Their Musical Freestyle Debut Under the Lights at Dressage at Devon

image0011Devon, PA – October 1, 2009 – Dressage trainer Todd Flettrich and his mount Otto, had a very successful weekend competing at Dressage at Devon, the world-renowned competition held each year at the Devon show grounds in Pennsylvania. This year’s competition was held September 22-27, 2009, and Flettrich and Otto showed in the FEI Grand Prix de Dressage and FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIW classes, which were held Friday and Saturday evenings under the lights in the famous Dixon Oval. Otto is owned by Cherry Knoll Farm, located in West Grove, PA, not far from Devon.

Todd Flettrich and Otto began their competition at Devon by earning the third place honors in Friday night’s FEI Grand Prix de Dressage with a score of 65.830%. The pair earned an impressive 69% from the judge at ‘M’ and received very complimentary comments across the board. The weekend’s judges included Leyman, Ernes, Zang, Gribbons, and Hess.

Flettrich explained that he and Otto had a bobble in the one tempis during their Grand Prix test and said that the halt rein back was not good, but he was very pleased with the performance overall. “When we I came into the arena I thought we were going to have a super ride, unfortunately I lost the connection and tension in the halt rein back,” Flettrich stated. “There was a nice sized crowd in the stands and this was our first time competing together in a bigger atmosphere at night under the lights, so although Otto got a little distracted by the environment, I was very happy with the ride overall.”

On Saturday evening Flettrich and Otto made their musical freestyle debut in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle class. The pair came in fifth place for their performance, receiving a 68.500% overall, and acquiring three individual high scores of 69% from the judges at ‘E,’ ‘H,’ and ‘M.’

Flettrich and Otto performed their musical freestyle to New Orleans jazz themed music including the upbeat music of ‘When the Saint Go Marching In.’ The freestyle was originally choreographed for Flettrich and his mount Amadeus, also owned by Cherry Knoll Farm. Flettrich and Otto are currently working on a brand new freestyle piece, but chose to go with the more familiar choreography this weekend.

“It is one of my favorite freestyles and it is really a crowd pleaser,” Flettrich smiled. “One of my favorite parts of the performance is the piaffe pirouette to the extended trot down the centerline for the finish. I really enjoy the first song as well when I am walking and then I trot into the arena to ‘When the Saints Go Marching In.’ That gives me goose bumps every time and I am originally from New Orleans, so it really reminds me of home.”

Flettrich noted that two of the judges thought that they may have had a little too much tension during the freestyle, but explained that their comments overall were very good. “In general I think that this was the best fifth place ribbon that I have ever received and I got many compliments,” Flettrich stated. “I felt that the piaffe and passage were spectacular, and there were a few small mistakes, but the judges were all very complimentary.”

“On Saturday night especially we had a very nice crowd and Otto was very excited with the music and the atmosphere,” Flettrich continued. “Throughout my ride I had many applause, which was much appreciated, although it added to the tension. Otto kept coming back to me with no problem at all and I think that he truly is a performer. He will absolutely do very well with the freestyles in the future.”

Flettrich will now spend the fall training and preparing to compete through the winter show season in Wellington.

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.


Todd Flettrich and Otto at Devon

Photo Credit: Todd Flettrich did very well with Cherry Knoll Farm’s Otto in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle and FEI Grand Prix de Dressage CDIW classes at this weekend’s Dressage at Devon. Photo (c) 2009 Susan J. Stickle. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.