Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu found out that she had a place in the Tokyo Olympic dressage individual final just hours before she headed up the centre line aboard All In.
The Canadian rider was first reserve for the freestyle, where the individual medals were contested, following their performance in the grand prix on Sunday (25 July). When US rider Adrienne Lyle withdrew, Brittany got the call.
“I knew I was the first reserve for sure and with horses, you never really know [what might happen so] you always have to be prepared,” said Brittany, who heard at this morning’s horse inspection that she had a place in the final.
She added her first thought was that she felt “so sorry for Adrienne”, and she spoke to the US rider about what she had achieved in helping the US to team silver and told her how it was “incredible to witness” her performance in that team final.
Brittany and the 16-year-old gelding, by Tango, performed to an original composition by Joost Peters.
“Yesterday I went through parts of my freestyle, just to practice because when I was training at home I was mostly concentrating on the grand prix, not so much my freestyle,” she said.
“I was so excited to ride tonight and you know All In loves dancing to the music and it was everything that I’d dreamed of.
“[Joost] wanted to connect it to the Canadian artists so that’s why we had Celine Dion’s I’m Alive in bits and pieces running through my freestyle,” she said, adding the music suited All In “very well”.
“The majority of my test felt amazing. He was a little tense in the piaffe tonight, but overall, just so thrilled to be here and be competing against the top in the world and, like, as a Canadian it’s very hard to make the top 18. So I’m so happy.”
The pair finished 18th on a score of 76.40%.
Brittany has competed all over the world with the Tango gelding, who she describes as “like family”.
“He’s taken me to the Pan Ams, WEG [World Equestrian Games] and the Olympics – he’s taken me to so many Nations Cup teams,” she said.
“He’s like family, he’s going to be with me forever. This horse owes me nothing and I’m going to do what’s best for him. Whenever he tells me that he’s had enough, he will retire.”
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