Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu Sets Canadian Freestyle Record at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
By Equestrian Canada
Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu of Saint-Bruno, QC, and All In (Tango x Damiro), made Canadian history in the Dressage Individual Grand Prix Freestyle, held July 28, 2021, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
After executing a clean test on July 25 in the Grand Prix and Team and Individual Qualifier, Fraser-Beaulieu, 32, and the 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding she owns with her father, Craig Fraser and her husband, Marc-Andre Beaulieu, sat just outside the top 18 moving on to the Freestyle, which decides the individual medals. But when Adrienne Lyle and Salvino of the United States withdrew during the morning’s horse inspection, Canada’s leading combination found themselves suddenly back in medal contention with just hours to go until competition.
First in the order of go, Fraser-Beaulieu and All In made a dramatic entrance to the resounding lyrics of Celine Dion’s “I’m Alive.” Their freestyle music, designed by Joost Peters, featured clips from the Canadian songstress that set a spirited, upbeat tone to match the presence the dark chestnut commanded in the ring.
“We wanted the beginning and end to really highlight the extended trot and the passage on the entry,” said Fraser-Beaulieu of her accompaniment. “We have the music set to show off All In’s power but also make him look a little bit lighter-footed at the same time. I think the music really suits him and when he gets in there, he thrives off the music and it’s so fun to feel that.”
Strong extensions in the trot and canter, a smooth pirouette and an above-80 percent score for artistry led to 18th place with a final score of 76.404 percent for the duo. This breaks the previous record for highest Canadian score in an Olympic Free style of 71.450 percent, set by Fraser-Beaulieu’s coach, Ashley Holzer, at Beijing 2008.
Speaking of her partner of 11 years, Fraser-Beaulieu added, “All In brought me to Pan Ams, the World Equestrian Games and the Olympics. He’s brought me to so many Nations Cup teams. He was the top horse on every team he was on. He’s like family; he’s going to be with me forever.”
“I am just so proud and elated for Brittany, All In, Ashley and groom, Katie Hess,” said Christine Peters, Canadian Dressage Team Chef d’Équipe. “What this team accomplished on the biggest stage in their first Olympic Games experience is a moment to cherish forever. With how high their artistry and final scores were tonight, I cannot wait to see this combination join the 80 percent club. It’s only a matter of time.”
Canadian Dressage Team Results
Fraser-Beaulieu, 32, and her partner, All In made a statement in their first Olympic appearance on July 25 during the Dressage Grand Prix Team and Individual Qualifier. The Dutch Warmblood gelding impressed the judges with his expression in movements such as the extended trot and tempi changes. The combination’s consistency and presence led to a final score of 71.677 percent from the judges.
Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu and All In competing in the Dressage Grand Prix Team and Individual Qualifier on July 25. Photo: MacMillan Photography & Media Services
Lindsay Kellock of Toronto, ON and Sebastien (Sandro Hit x Fidermark), the 15-year-old Rheinländer owned by Enterprise Farm Equestrian, LLC, earned a score of 65.404 percent in the Dressage Grand Prix Team and Individual Qualifier. Kellock produced individual movement scores of 8.0 for the half-pass and passage, skillfully managing the 15-year-old gelding in his first major games appearance as he began to show the effects of his long journey to Tokyo.
Lindsay Kellock and Sebastien. Photo: MacMillan Photography & Media Services
On July 24, Chris von Martels of Ridgetown, ON made his Olympic debut in the Dressage Grand Prix Team and Individual Qualifier with Eclipse (Apache x Olympic Ferro), the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood that he co-owns with Barbara Soederhuizen. They earned their highest marks in the piaffe. The judges at H and C each awarded the movement 8.0, marks that further benefitted from a coefficient of two due to its degree of difficulty. A solid canter pirouette also contributed to the pair’s final score of 68.059 percent.
Chris von Martels with Eclips. Photo: MacMillan Photography & Media Services
“We had expensive mistakes that cost us quite a few points but overall, I’m thrilled with him and think he’s an exceptional horse,” said von Martels of Eclips, whom he acquired in December 2019 and began showing at the international level one year later. “It’s his first real year of Grand Prix so obviously I was hoping for a different result but that’s also part of the sport. I do feel like we have a very good friendship. It’s sort of a green-ish combination but there’s a lot of great things we’ve had together in a short period of time.”
Of the Equestrian Park, a 1964 Olympic legacy venue, von Martels commented, “Even without the spectators, there’s still a lot of atmosphere in there.”
Fraser-Beaulieu and Kellock’s scores combined with that of von Martels for a total score of 6605.5 to place Canada 11th in the team competition, below the top eight cut-off needed to move on to the Grand Prix Special on July 27, which would decide the team medals. From there, the top 18 horse/rider combinations who qualified in the Grand Prix moved forward to the Freestyle on July 28 to compete for individual medals.
The Canadian Dressage Team was supported at the Games by Peters; Holzer; Team Veterinarian, Dr. Alan Manning; Equine Therapist, Dr. Usha Knabe; and Equestrian Team Lead, James Hood.
For more information on equestrian events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games please click here.
Main Photo: Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu and All In competing in the Dressage Individual Grand Prix Freestyle on July 28, 2021. Credit: MacMillan Photography & Media Services