Ocala, FL (June 25, 2012) – Todd Flettrich and Otto had a great run at the USEF Festival of Champions at Gladstone, where they qualified as the US Olympic Dressage Team alternate after an impressive performance. Acting in the best interest of the horse, Flettrich and Otto’s owner, Margaret Duprey of Wellington, have decided to retire the Grand Prix horse instead of putting him through the stress of two transatlantic flights. Thanks to the Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation Center, Flettrich and Otto’s journey to be named to the US Team became a reality, and it was possible to retire the horse comfortably. Duprey and Flettrich prepared Otto for the tough competition at The Sanctuary’s state-of-the-art equine center, where his ‘prehab’ conditioned him to perform at the highest level and helped to keep him healthy and prevent injury.
“Preventative medicine is an investment I really believe in,” Flettrich said. “Otto hit himself in the jog at the 5* and although he was never lame, we decided to give him some time off. Margaret and I wanted him to be as prepared as possible for the USEF Olympic dressage trials at Gladstone, so he visited The Sanctuary three times a week to use the Aqua Pacer, which is an underwater treadmill, and the Cold Water Leg Spa.”
Flettrich and Duprey are pleased to report that Otto’s “pre-hab” at The Sanctuary kept the talented horse on the right track, allowed him to compete successfully and be retired comfortably. “It’s really amazing to watch his muscles move when he is in the aquatic treadmill and when he gets out, riding him feels like he has had a massage. His muscles are nice and loose. He has great legs anyway but after his aqua therapy, he has the legs of a three-year-old!” Flettrich said.
Brenda McDuffee, General Manager of The Sanctuary, said the Aqua Pacer was a wonderful way for Otto to stay in shape during his time off. “The Aqua Pacer is an above-ground underwater treadmill with a revolutionary design that allows for much safer, more effective exercise than comparable machines. The Aqua Pacer provides 40-60% buoyancy while giving the horse an easier range of motion than traditional exercise,” she said. “The mild impact of the underwater treadmill stimulates additional bone and cartilage growth while allowing for a low-impact, full-body exercise with natural resistance that is lighter on legs and joints.”
McDuffee added, “Otto also used The Sanctuary’s Cold Saltwater Spa, which is great for treating minor injuries and bruises and strains that would otherwise slow down training and prevent peak performance. The equine spa uses modern technology to improve the natural healing effects of seawater and cold running water.”
“We are so pleased to hear of Todd and Otto’s success, and that the horse has been happily retired. Everyone at The Sanctuary was cheering them on during the trials!” McDuffee said.
The Sanctuary has built a solid reputation on their ability to condition and rehabilitate equines of all disciplines. “Our Ocala facility has had great success over the years with helping to rehab horses and get them back in the show ring or condition horses that are competing,” McDuffee said. “The great thing about all of our therapies for horses is that they are based on methods used for human rehabilitation. Just like human athletes who work hard to condition their bodies, our horses deserve to be in the best condition so that they can compete at the top of their game.”