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Lottie Fry impresses with recent faces at worldwide grand prix

  • World champion Lottie Fry has two more diamonds in her dazzling string of international grand prix rides – including one described as “Glamourdale 2.0”.

    Lottie, who took double gold and team silver at the dressage World Championships in Herning aboard the Van Olsts’ Glamourdale, contested the big tour at Leeuwarden CDI3* (14 to 15 October) on two relative newcomers to grand prix level.

    Lottie took home a clutch of placings with Don Joe, contesting only his second international grand prix, and international first-timer at this level Lars Van De Hoenderheide, who are both owned by her long-term employers, Van Olst Horses.

    She scored 70.76% and 71.5% with Lars and Don Joe respectively in the grand prix, finishing fourth and sixth in the final results. The 10-year-old stallion Don Joe, by Negro son Diego and out of a Lord Leatherdale mare, followed up with a score of 72.68% in the grand prix special for third place.

    “Don Joe just really surprised me this week with his character, and in the arena how he was really trying his hardest with everything,” Lottie told H&H.

    “I think he was even described as like Glamourdale 2.0, because he’s all black and he’s beautiful and he also moves really nicely. He really gave me two great rides this weekend.”

    Their performances attracted praise from judge Isobel Wessels, which Lottie said was “really exciting” to hear.

    “The grand prix special is quite a difficult test for a young horse and he really took it in his stride,” she said.

    The comparison to Glamourdale is something Lottie agrees with.

    “He’s like a smaller version [of Glamourdale]. He’s really cool and has such a great head on him. He’s really great to train and just loves to show off like the others.”

    Not to be outdone, his chestnut stablemate Lars impressed in the freestyle to earn a mark of 77.02% and also finish third.

    “He’s a gelding and he hadn’t done much previously – before he came to us, he did quite a lot of jumping and all-round stuff,” said Lottie, of the 11-year-old Negro son.

    “Anne [Van Olst] has been training him now for about two years and she was very nice to allow me to ride him in competition. I haven’t been riding him that long to be honest, only a few weeks, but she’s done such a great job of training him.

    “To be able to ride one of her horses is amazing because they’re so well trained – as you can see, I can just get on and ride a grand prix!

    “He did such a great job because he is inexperienced, but he is so talented. That was his first ever freestyle to music. We borrowed one of Anne’s old kürs and he just loved it.”

    The 26-year-old was speaking during a London International Horse Show media day and will be competing at this year’s show (15 to 19 December), for which she is an ambassador.

    The decision of which of her grand prix rides she will be taking will be made closer to the time.

    “I’m really lucky to be in that position, but then it means I don’t have to put the pressure on horses to make sure they’re ready. I can just decide which one is feeling the most ready at the time,” said Lottie, whose other grand prix rides include her Olympic team bronze and European silver medal-winning ride Everdale and her under-25 European gold medal-winning partner Dark Legend.

    She added that there are many factors to take into account, including the atmosphere and the journey, particularly as Brexit-related issues may add travelling time.

    Lottie will also be bringing a young horse over from her Netherlands base for the “Dressage Unwrapped: Back to the Future” masterclass at the London International on 15 December.

    You might also be interested in:

    With all eyes on Tokyo, the young but talented Lottie Fry is a very real contender for the British dressage

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