Welcome to the first Adequan® Global Dressage Festival Rider Spotlight for the upcoming 2023 season, which is just six weeks away! We’re kicking off our Rider Spotlight Series with Ella Fruchterman, who has had quite the year in 2022. Ella Fruchterman was a triple gold Junior Rider medalist at the North American Youth Championships this summer. She then continued her championship reign at the Festival of Champions and the US Dressage Finals. Continue reading to find out more about Ella’s summer, her horses, and her plans for 2023!
Where did you grow up, and when did you start riding?
I grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and started riding when I was five years old at the barn next to my elementary school. For the past 5 years, I have been training with Angela Jackson in Henderson, Kentucky.
When did you decide that Dressage was what you wanted to do?
Initially, my trainer entered me in some hunter rail classes, but she was also a dressage trainer and quickly entered me into some intro classes. I’ve stuck with dressage ever since!
What are your goals for 2023?
I age out of the Junior Division this year, so I will be stepping into the Young Rider Division with both of my horses, Holts Le’Mans and Hannah Montana W. Ideally, we will make the North American Youth Championship (NAYC) team or qualify for the Festival of Champions (FOC). I am also looking forward to being involved in the Emerging Athlete Program through USEF!
How did you feel after hearing that you won triple gold at North American Youth Championships and gold at the Festival of Champions?
Honestly, I felt like I was on cloud nine! I felt so grateful, and I was filled with so much joy and felt so much support from my friends and family.
Tell me about your horses!
Le’Mans is the sweetest cuddle bug. He has a stuffed llama that he loves to snuggle with, and he loves his treats. He’s a hard worker and loves to show off in the ring. Hannah Montana is a spicy redhead mare who acts like she never wants attention, but in reality, she does. She’s also a very hard worker that knows when it’s time to show off in the ring.
How were both your NAYC and FOC experiences?
Both competitions were a lot of fun! At NAYC, I knew most of the girls and was already very close with most of them. But I got to meet a lot of new people at both competitions and make new friends. It’s always fun to meet new people at bigger shows, and to hear everyone’s stories and the paths that they took to get to where they are!
What are you most excited about for showing at GDF?
I love the Global grounds; they are beautiful! Being able to just haul over and compete in the national show is super convenient. I also love running into a bunch of friends while I’m competing or running over and supporting them when they’re competing.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Yes, I always put on my lucky lip gloss before I compete! I also always put a ring my brother gave me in my left pocket.
If you could choose anyone as your mentor, who would you choose and why?
I would love to ride with Cathrine Dufour. I have been following her for years. I am a big fan of Bohemian and Vamos Amigos and how she trains. I also love how she always puts the horses above anything else, how open she is about sharing her training process with young horses, and how it isn’t always perfect.
Look for Ella Fruchterman in the upcoming Young Rider classes at AGDF 2023! Thank you, Ella, for being our first rider spotlight and we wish you the best of luck this season!