Wellington, FL – May 28, 2010 – Dressage rider Todd Flettrich rode in a Steffen Peters clinic at Carol Cohen’s Two Swans Farm recently, continuing to stay at the top of his game in preparation for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). Based in Coatesville, PA, and Wellington, FL, Flettrich has had a fantastic season with his mount Otto, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Rambo X Rampal), owned by Cherry Knoll Farm. The pair has earned several top placings throughout the country and is qualified to compete in the Selection Trials for the Games, which will determine who rides on the Team in Lexington, KY, this fall.
Flettrich spent two winters training with Steffen Peters in California earlier in his career, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to get some tips from the renowned rider during this important show season. “I think that Steffen is a super rider and trainer, and I feel that he has so much to offer to the sport,” Flettrich noted. “Steffen commented on similar things that I work on with Hubertus [Schmidt] and Oded [Shimoni], but he doesn’t see us on a regular basis, so his attention was brought right to our problems and he addressed them quickly. I rode Otto the first day in a snaffle and I rode him the next day in a double, and I thought the horse went great. Everything Steffen said was very helpful and I feel like I got so much out of working with him.”
Loxahatchee, FL – May 27, 2010 – The Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center (VTRC) recently returned from the Special Olympic State Equestrian Games, held May 21-22, where 16 of their top students had the opportunity to compete. This year’s competition was held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, FL.
VTRC took home five gold medals, nine silver medals, nine bronze medals, five fourth place ribbons, two fifth place ribbons and one sixth place ribbon. The team representing VTRC included 16 riders who participated in 19 events. The events included English and western equitation, trail ride competition, dressage, and pole bending. VTRC had numerous riders compete in the level ‘A’ classes that requires them to walk, trot, and canter unassisted. Pole Bending proved to be one of the most successful events for VTRC as all of the athletes maneuvered exceptionally well through the poles.
25 May 2010 – The FEI has launched its first ever official video channel on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/feichannel as part of SportAccord’s The Sports Hub. This unique internet destination and comprehensive multi-sport platform provides a single access point for a whole range of sports and multi-sport events.
The Sports Hub includes a series of independently operated sub-channels categorised by sport and discipline, making it easy for sports enthusiasts to watch videos of their favorite sports and events.
With its fully customised look and feel, the new FEI channel offers equestrian fans around the world the chance to view constantly updated official equestrian videos.
Loxahatchee, FL – May 18, 2010 – Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center (VTRC) is currently preparing to participate in the Special Olympic State Equestrian Games, which will be held May 21-22, 2010, in Tampa, Florida. Sixteen riders qualified for the Games after competing at the Area level March 27, 2010, in Ft. Pierce, FL.
During the Special Olympic State Equestrian Games riders will have the opportunity to compete in English and western equitation, trail ride competition, dressage, and pole bending. The riders representing VTRC range from needing full support with a leader and two sidewalks to independent riders who walk, trot, and canter on their own. They also have several riders competing in the training level dressage tests.
The qualified riders have been working on dressage test, equitation skills, pole bending, and barrel racing to prepare for the exciting competition. In addition to the 12 students traveling to the Games, six horses and 17 volunteers will be in Tampa for the event to support VTRC.
If your horse’s shoulders are stuck, it’s like having a kink in a water hose. The energy can’t flow from behind, over the back, into your hands where it can then be recycled back to the hind legs.
Here are two shoulder suppling exercises for you to try with your stiff horse.
1. Make a 20-meter box with 4 corners in the walk.
To give you more control of your horse’s shoulders, do the exercise in counter flexion. (That is, you’ll just barely see his outside eye or nostril.)
If you’re going to the left, ask for right counter flexion with your right wrist. Stay in counter flexion during the entire exercise.
At the first corner, bring both hands to the left to swivel your horse’s shoulders around the corner.
Then, soften the contact without letting the reins get loopy.
After the corner, walk straight ahead in counter-flexion.
At the next corner, bring both hands to the left again.
Do this in all four corners.
As your horse’s shoulders become more supple, it’ll get easier to spin his shoulders around the turn without meeting resistance.
You can tell there’s no resistance when the weight in your hands stays the same as you swivel your horse’s shoulders around the corner.
2. Ride down the long side of the ring, and move your horse’s shoulders slightly to the left and right.
Walk down the long side of arena.
Flex your horse at the poll opposite the direction you’ll be moving his shoulders. For example, when riding to the left, ask for a counter flexion to the right by turning your right wrist. Then, take both hands to left to slide your horse’s shoulders over. Move the shoulders over only 1-2 inches.
Now change to correct flexion by turning your left wrist.
Move both arms to the right to pop the shoulders back out to the track.
Smoothly and fluidly move the shoulders back and forth as you work your way down the long side.
11 May 2010 – The new Annex (XIII) created by the Working Group that produced a revised FEI Stewards Manual on warm-up techniques for Dressage has now been completed, following the production of three diagrams to illustrate permitted positions of the horse’s head and neck during pre- and post-competition training.
One of the key stipulations in the Working Group’s report was that all unacceptable training methods and techniques must be stopped immediately. The Working Group was also insistent that abuse of the horse must be avoided and, in particular, stressing the horse, aggressive riding and inflicting pain and/or discomfort on the horse must be prevented.
12 May 2010 – British-based riders have their first chance to earn points in the valuable HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing series at Chatsworth (GBR) this weekend (May 15-16), and five nations are represented in the entry of 33.
Paul Tapner (AUS), fresh from his thrilling Badminton success, is two-handed with Kilfinnie ll and Tiger Flynne, and is joined by fellow Australians Bill Levett with Sea Oro and Sam Griffiths, having his first major international competition this year with Happy Times, third at Badminton and Burghley last year.
The Chatsworth CIC***-W has often proved a pointer to future international success, and Clayton Fredericks (AUS), who won this class in 2006 on Ben Along Time, is riding his smart new acquisition Bendigo lll, a German-bred horse proven in Grand Prix Dressage and Jumping which has been taking the national season by storm.
Wellington, FL – May 10, 2010 – 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.”
Wellington, FL (May 10, 2010) – It was standing room only at Sho Clothes dressage boutique’s recent “Shop Talk,” thanks to an energetic crowd eager to hear six-time Olympic Dressage rider Robert Dover speak. Dover, the new coach for the Canadian Dressage team, has earned more honors than any other US Dressage rider, competing in six consecutive Olympics as well as representing the United States in four World Championships and seven World Cups.
Dover, who served as the Captain for the US Equestrian Team during all six of his Olympic experiences, charmed the audience during “Shop Talk.” The monthly get together for equestrians is presented by Sho Clothes at their Wellington boutique in association with the Gold Coast Dressage Association.
“This was our final ‘Shop Talk’ until the fall and having Robert speak was a great way to end our season. In addition to being one of the best dressage riders of our generation, Robert is a wonderful speaker and it was a treat for everyone,” said Betsy Rebar Sell, who co-owns Sho Clothes with Michele Hundt.
6 May 2010 – HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing takes place at opposite ends of the globe this weekend (7-9 May), with the third and fourth events in the 2010 series taking place at Sydney (AUS) and Marbach (GER).
A new reciprocal arrangement between the organisers of last month’s Kihikihi CIC***-W (NZL) and Sydney has meant that Australian and New Zealand riders have received funding to travel across the Tasman Sea to compete in these events.
As a result, two New Zealanders, Clarke Johnstone, currently lying equal fifth in the HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing standings, and Jenna Mahoney, ninth, will be contesting Sydney. Blair Richardson, the third Kiwi entered, already lives in Australia.