Sept. 30—Devon, Pa.
While Brittany Fraser came to Dressage At Devon with a relatively new freestyle for All In, she also came off the back of a win at the Saugerties CDI-W (N.Y.) last weekend.
Fraser just barely bested her Saugerties score (75.09%) tonight at Devon, taking home the win with a 75.50 percent ahead of Diane Creech and Chrevis Christo (73.15%) who’d topped the Grand Prix last night.
“That was really fun!” she said. “My horse was really focused on me tonight and really on my aids. This freestyle is newer for me. I’ve only done it four times, and each time I just feel it getting better and a little bit more secure. We changed the ending yesterday because we thought this ending would be a little bit better for him. I think the more practice I have with an ending like this the better it will get.”
Fraser rode to music inspired by the movie “Spirit.”
Fraser and the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Tango—Leontine, Damiro) led a Canadian sweep of the top three, with crowd favorite Jacquie Brooks and D Niro taking third on 70.87 percent.
“We have such great horses and such great riders, and our whole group of Canadians is so positive and incredible to be around,” said Fraser.“Competing at Devon is so fun, and it’s great to see familiar faces. It’s always such a great atmosphere.”
Interestingly, Fraser previously owned two horses in the class tonight. She had Jessica Jo Tate’s Faberge when he was six and sold Molly Paris’ Countess two years ago.
“It was cool to have two of my old horses in the Grand Prix class and see that they’re doing so well. Both have lovely homes,” she said.
Creech had a few errors in tonight’s test, but was still thrilled with “Christo’s first time under the lights. She rode to an instrumental version of Capital Cities’ “Safe And Sound.”
“I love the music. It’s so upbeat. It has a great rhythm for his passage,” she said. “He just pumps himself up a little bit and goes around. You can just tell he likes it. It’s a great feeling to come in the ring.”
Brooks was making her seventh trip down centerline in the Devon freestyle on D Niro, now 18.
She rode to Disturbed’s cover of “The Sound Of Silence,” which featured vocals throughout the whole performance. Tamara Williamson of Kurboom helped put it together.
“It took me a little bit to convince her that one song would work, but the technology now is amazing. You can do changes in tempo without changes in pitch. You probably noticed his voice never changed even though the tempo was constantly changing,” said Brooks. “What’s beautiful about it is you never leave the song. People can sing it start to finish. That was also one of the challenges to making it. It has to flow in a way that makes sense to the listener.”
Brooks sees a future in riding to music with more vocals.
“I’m happy I did it. I think it’s the future. As the Kurs go on, we have to become more like that, that the crowd is involved, you don’t question it,” she said. “Like ice skating has gotten. If somebody walked in here today from [the town of] Devon and saw ‘Goose’ doing that to that music, they’d go, ‘Wow, look at the horse go to that song.’”
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The USEF Network live stream can be found here.
Be sure to check out the Oct. 9 issue of the Chronicle for more about the winners at Dressage At Devon.