Featured Rider - Frankie Thieriot
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I remember the first time 12 years ago that I walked into his stall ÖÖhe was the biggest horse I had ever seen, and so beautiful! He tried to buck me off the first time I rode him, and looking back that was very typical of his personality, being playful and opinionated! It was over a decade ago that I met Fric Frac Berence, and I never in my wildest dreams would have guessed we would be getting ready to compete at Rolex all of these years later together.
I am a firm believer that each horse and rider takes a bit of a different path in their careers. Fric and I have many good times, and a bit of a rocky road at times too, being challenged by injury to say the least. We faced tendon injuries years ago and encountered a unique road block 8 years back when Fric lost vision in his right eye. He has adapted remarkably well over the years, and with the trust he has in me, along with how much he loves to jump, we have been extremely fortunate at how well he has adapted. He amazes me every day, and with the decision we made this off season to remove his eye because it was causing him pain, he now competes without an eye all together.
Fric and I have a bit of a different training program than most. Almost every upper level competitor I know rides as their profession, and is at the barn from sun rise to sun set. I am an Adult Amateur rider who holds a full time job as a Communications Director, and works part time for the USEA conducting on-camera interviews and covering shows, which is very exciting, yet extremely time consuming. Most days when I see Fric it is dark outside. I ride early every morning before work at 6:30am, and get back out to the barn for an evening hack following work, usually around 6:30pm.
On weekends, Fric and I make the drive from Walnut Creek, CA 2 hours north to Chocolate Horse Farm to ride with our trainer Andrea Pheiffer. In between our lessons on Friday evenings and Saturdays, Fric comes home to stay with me at my momís house. Fric and I love our weekend getaways, especially because Sundays mean beach gallops. I am incredibly fortunate to live only 10 minutes from Bodega Bay where we can gallop next to the ocean, and to have a barn for Fric to stay at where he can be turned out all day on green grass, and relax before itís time to head home every Sunday night. Working and Riding is challenging, but there is no doubt that working towards competing at Rolex with Fric which I have always dreamed of doing my whole life is worth it.