Todd Flettrich is living pretty much every person who rides dream. Or at the very least he is living my dream! He didn’t start riding until he was 12 years old (same age I started) and has pretty much been good at it ever since (not so much like me). What I love is that his rise to fame came because he worked hard and good people took him under their wing. At 14 years old he was already being a working student on the weekends to pay for his lessons. He kept up and even left his home town of New Orleans in the summers to work at barns in California and Atlanta.
When he graduated high school he dropped everything and went up to Pennsylvania to train with the very talented Jessica Ransehousen. While there he had the opportunity to be selected to go to NAYRC’s four times! FOUR TIMES!! Not only that, but he one year he even won the NAYRC gold medal in dressage. After bringing some young horses up though the levels he took a break from showing himself. After training with some top trainers (including Steffen Peter’s) he hit the show ring again and has had some great successes in the past decade.
In 2007 he took seven horses to Germany so he could work with them and the famous Hubertus Schmidt. When he came back to the states he had a great horse waiting for him. Margaret Duprey (one of his students and owner of Cherry Knoll Farm) had bought a talented horse named Otto from Heather Blitz. The pair have been working hard and came back from another training trip to Germany last year stronger and more focused. They keep getting better and better, and while they might not be standouts, they are always at the top of the pack.
I hope that someday Todd gets to go to the Olympics. Dressage can be such a money sport that it is frustrating to see people buy their way to the top. Todd Flettrich’s career is built on hard work and dedication so I know that I am not alone in wishing him the best of luck. I hope that he and Otto peak at the right time and take home a medal…for all of us little people out there who just love dressage.