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Betsy Fritz: “I have grown to love the breed, Just do it and apply for the High point Program”


Welcome to our interview series spotlighting riders who have excelled through the USPRE High Point program. These interviews explore the stories of riders and their horses, from their motivations to their triumphs.

Today let’s Introduce Betsy Fritz and Isaias CDF, who took home the USPRE High Point Award at the VADA/Nova Spring Dressage Competition Show in Leesburg, VA on April 5 and 6. Riding Training Level Test 2, they scored 67.069%.

Can you tell us more about your horse?
His registered name is Isaias CDF and his barn name is Izzy. I purchased him from Coves Darden Farm in Aiken, S.C. from Miguel Coves and Dorothea Darden. I had recently sold my Holsteiner as he grew to 17 hands and being 5’4” was just too big. My friend, Kelly Rose, had purchased a mare from Coves Darden Farm 1 1/2 years ago and I had gone with her to try horses at Coves Darden Farm and the horses were so easy to handle and had such a great start in their training, I knew I wanted to see what they had that might work for me. I think I tried about 6 horses and although they were all really nice, Izzy had the adjustability, temperament and desire to please that I was looking for. Izzy will turn 5 in June 2024 and I ride on trail rides alone, or with others, and he is super, as well as his first recognized dressage show.

What initially drew you to the PRE horse breed, and what aspects of the breed do you particularly admire or enjoy?
Being an older rider at 67, I wanted a horse that had smooth gaits, an easy to sit trot, was sensible, easy to handle and that I could have fun with. Kelly let me ride her superstar, Hinojosa CDF, in several lessons and she was such a fun ride, I knew I wanted to investigate the breed. My barn mate, Kathy Glockner, purchased Fritz CDF a year after Kelly and I had the opportunity to ride him as well and found him to also be sensible and a fun ride. I had the opportunity to take Fritz CDF on his first roading with the Delabrooke Hunt Club and he was super.

What motivated you to participate in the USPRE High Point program?
I have grown to love the breed and was excited to see that my first show with Isaias CDF was offering the USPRE high point program and it was easy to apply for the award and best of all, it was free!

Can you share some highlights from your experience competing in the USPRE High Point shows?
My first show with Izzy was the VADA/NOVA Show at Morvan Park in Leesburg, Virginia. It was the first time this show had offered the USPRE High Point award. It was his first time overnight at a show and he handled it like a pro. I was a bit nervous showing him for the first time with 20 mph winds. We had a few hiccups, but we got through it. My second class was indoors without the wind and my score was enough to secure the high point award. I received the beautiful ribbon about a week after the show.

How has winning the USPRE High Point award impacted your riding journey?
I am excited to have won the USPRE High Point award at my first show with Isaias CDF. I am looking forward to the next show that offers the high point award and furthering my training with Isaias CDF.

Finally, what advice would you give to other PRE riders who are considering participating in the USPRE High Point program?
Just do it. It’s an easy application process and you never know; you may win it!

Photos provided by Betsy Fritz and Barbara J. Kirchner