Wellington, Fla.—Feb. 7
Oftentimes in dressage, once a horse becomes proficient at the level, it’s about micro-improvements. A half a percentage point here, another half a percentage point there, and slowly it starts to add up. For Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu, this year is all about making those micro-improvements.
She’s pregnant with her first child, and due in June, so big goals like the Pan American Games (Peru) are out of the question. All of her hard work is paying off when her 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding All In (Tango—Leontine, Damiro) topped the CDI5* Grand Prix for the freestyle during Week 5 of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival with a 71.30 percent.
“I was really pleased with my test today,” said Fraser-Beaulieu, who said it’s possible this will be her last show until after the baby is born. “I wanted to take the time to perfect some of the movements I’ve been struggling with over the past couple of years.
“I’m focusing on nitpicking the moves apart, and it’s paying off,” she continued. “This and my last test were probably my best Grand Prix [scores] that I’ve ever had.”
Hot on her heels—and eager to challenge her in tomorrow night’s freestyle—was Katherine Bateson Chandler with her 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood Alcazar (Contango—Polina, Ferro). They scored a 70.69 percent to take second.
Alcazar had the summer off from competition after he sustained a small injury following the winter season last year, so Chandler has been taking it slow.
“He felt really good coming out,” she said. “I had done two shows in a row because I wanted to get in a show before the five-star and I want to save him for Europe. I don’t want to do a lot here, and I’ve been very strict about not overdoing it.”
Alcazar isn’t the only one who had a long break from the show ring. Third-placed rider Yvonne Losos De Muniz spent quite a bit of time out of the tack after torn tendons left her shoulder immobile in May. She got back in the swing of things in November, but she felt she was still catching up fitness-wise with her mount Foco Loco W.
“The test today felt a little better than what I expecting; I’m not in 100 percent shape; I’m just trying to stay in the saddle,” she joked. “He’s there and really ready to go. I’m being a little greedy that I’m jumping into the ring so fast. I need to get in better shape in extensions, but I’m really happy with the way he’s going.”
We’ll be on site all week for the five-star at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Stay tuned for beautiful photos and stories on all the big winners.