Brittany Fraser is one of the Canadian dressage riders, competing in the winter season at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, with the aim of qualifying for the Canadian Team for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon NC. this September. Here are her responses to my questions.
What age were you when you started riding? I started riding ponies when I was four years old. My family was involved with horses so it was natural I would start riding. I continued to ride ponies and in 2001 rode in my first CDI (Concours Dressage Internationale) in the FEI pony classes. I then moved on to horses and rode in the FEI Junior and Young Rider classes.
When did you decide you wanted to be a professional rider? I went to university for a year and a half but I was always at the barn and not going to classes. So I started by getting involved in buying and selling horses.
What big competitions or championships have you ridden in? I’ve ridden in the North American Young Rider Championships, the Mexico Invitational, Two Nations Cups in Florida in 2013 and 2014 winning bronze and silver medals. I rode on the Canadian Team for the Pan American Games, where we won team silver. Last summer I rode in Europe in competitions in Austria and also at Aachen.
Tell me about the horse you are competing with this winter season that you hope to qualify for the Canadian Team for WEG. ‘All In’ is the horse I am competing with. I got him as a five year old at auction. He is now 13 and we have come up the levels from 1st level up to the Grand Prix. For me he is the horse of a lifetime! He has a lot of energy and is a hot ( excitable and energetic) horse. That is the best horse for me. He is very big at almost 18 hands. I have a connection with him that I have never had with another horse. In the past I was always having to sell horses that I was riding but we have been able to stay together. He has a huge heart. ( Meaning he will try his hardest for his rider.)
What is the most difficult thing about a competition season like this one, leading up to WEG team selection? The expense. It is very expensive here in Wellington and I have had to leave all my clients ( students) at home in Montreal. Also I have had to leave my husband behind at home. He has just started a new job but he tries to come down once a month. I’ve been coming down here for ten years now and my coach, Ashley Holzer, is here and I have so many friends here. They are like a second family for me.
If you had not become a professional rider what other career might you have chosen? I love riding and horses so much I can’t think of anything else I would like to have done. Maybe something to do with criminal forensic science?
If you could ride any other horse, alive or dead and of any discipline….who would it be? Valegro! ( Charlotte Dujardin’s Olympic gold medal winning horse in 2012 and 2016)
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me Brittany! All the best of luck for success in this competition season.