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Todd Flettrich and Amadeus on Track for 2008 USEF National Grand Prix Championship/Olympic Games Selection Trials

WELLINGTON, FL - May 15, 2008 - "He's the best horse I've ever had," said Todd Flettrich of his partner, Amadeus, an 11-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Cherry Knoll Farm. "I've believed in him as an Olympic candidate since I got the ride on him two-and-half years ago. It's really been a very focused plan in terms of training, showing, and traveling for the past year to qualify him for the Olympic Selection Trials."

Based in Coatesville, PA, and Wellington, FL, Flettrich began riding Amadeus in 2005, competing in the small tour. In 2006, Flettrich and Amadeus made their Grand Prix debut. During the summer of 2007, the yearlong qualifying period leading up to the Olympic Selection Trials began, and Flettrich developed a plan to prepare for the qualifiers, the trials, and ultimately the Olympic Games.

Flettrich's plan initiated with a trip to Germany during the summer of 2007 to train with German Olympian Hubertus Schmidt. During their six months in Europe, Flettrich and Amadeus competed in European shows including Verden, Zierow, and Paderborn in Germany, and Odense in Denmark. "Those scores did not count towards my overall average to qualify for the selection trials," explained Flettrich. "It was an opportunity to have Hubertus coach us and to show Amadeus in front of top European judges."

The second part of Flettrich's plan was to compete in all three CDIs in Florida that were qualifying competitions for the Olympic Games Selection Trials. Flettrich and Amadeus returned to the U.S. in December and began competing in January. The duo competed at the Gold Coast Opener CDI-W; the PhelpsSports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W; and the Zada WEF Classic CDI 3*. Flettrich and Amadeus earned ribbons at every outing and achieved an overall average of 65.835%. With one drop score allowed in the USEF National Grand Prix Dressage and Selection Trial Ranking List, currently Flettrich and Amadeus have earned an overall average of 67.543%.

At present, the duo’s score places them among the top combinations on the USEF National Grand Prix Dressage and Selection Trial Ranking List. Only the top 12 combinations will be invited to compete in the USEF National Grand Prix Championship/Olympic Selection Trials, which will be held June 21-22 and June 28-29 at the 2008 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

Now Flettrich must make the decision whether he will let his current average stand or compete in one more CDI. The qualifying period ends on June 1. "It's a matter of deciding if my current average is sufficient or whether I should try to raise it by competing at the Raleigh CDI at the end of May. I know there are several top riders who are still accumulating scores, and that could alter the current standings, so that's a factor in my decision," said Flettrich. "It's strategy at this point. I want to keep travel time down to a minimum for Amadeus in order to keep him fresh for the trials, but I also know that the cut-off for the top 12 will be decided by fractions of a point and I might want the insurance of one more score."

At their last outing in Florida, Flettrich and Amadeus debuted their Grand Prix Freestyle and received 70.70%. Judge Cara Whitham of Canada awarded the duo 75%; Bernard Maurel of France scored 72.75%, and Axel Steiner of the U.S. agreed with 72%.

"We ended our qualifiers on a very high note," said Flettrich. "Amadeus keeps getting better and better every day and is well prepared for California. I feel that my plan over the past year paid off and that we're on track for the Olympic Games Selection Trials."

Todd Flettrich

Todd Flettrich, based in Wellington, FL, and Coatesville, PA, 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 has also previously coached professionals including Silke Rembacz and Lauren Sammis. For more information, call Todd Flettrich at 484-459-2749.

PHOTO CAPTION: Todd Flettrich and Amadeus at the Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic CDI3*. PHOTO CREDIT: Susan J. Stickle. This photo may be used only in relation to this press release.


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