Britain’s youth dressage medallists – who are they and where are they now?

  • Britain has a new youth European dressage champion in Annabella Pidgley, who made history by winning double gold at the Dressage European Championships for Young Riders last week.

    Annabella, riding her mother Sarah’s nine-year-old mare Espe is the first British dressage rider ever to win an individual medal in the young riders division.

    It comes off the back of silver and bronze medals Annabella won at junior Europeans in 2021 and 2022, but with so many of her successes having been a first for Britain, it highlights how few youth dressage riders we have had in the medals at Europeans to date.

    So, who are the other Brits with youth or under-25 medals to their name? And what are Britain’s youth dressage medallists up to now?

    Lottie Fry, 27

    Lottie Fry was a stalwart of British youth teams from ponies right up to under-25s. She became under-25 European champion in 2018 riding Dark Legend, winning freestyle gold and individual silver that year, and leading the team to bronze. They were Britain’s first ever under-25 medals.

    Lottie became the leading rider at Van Olst Horses in the Netherlands, where she has been based since 2014. She graduated to the senior Europeans team the following year, and her star has carried on rising since.

    She helped Britain win Olympic bronze and European silver in 2021 on Everdale, and most notably of all, was crowned world champion with Glamourdale in 2022. Lottie is currently ranked number two in the world, having held the world number one spot earlier this year.

    Phoebe Peters, 24

    Phoebe Peters and her superstar pony SL Lucci were the face of British youth dressage between 2013 and 2015, when they picked up no fewer than five individual medals, and led Britain to a place on three consecutive pony team podiums too.

    Phoebe became the first British dressage rider ever to win an individual medal at a youth Europeans when she claimed pony double gold in 2013. She took freestyle silver the following year, and returned in 2015 to win double individual gold – breaking their own world records along the way – and leading Britain to team glory too.

    Phoebe went on to compete on junior teams and up to national prix st georges, before gaining a degree in French and German. She spent several months based with Klaus Balkenhol in Germany during the first part of 2022, before moving to become assistant rider at Van Olst Horses in the Netherlands in May 2022, working alongside Lottie Fry and competing at under-25 grand prix.

    Alex Hellings, 24

    Alex partnered the renowned dressage pony Der Kleine Lord to team silver at the 2014 pony Europeans, and also won individual bronze the same year.

    She continued to progress though youth ranks with Uvender V, riding at the junior Europeans in 2016 and young riders in 2019. Nationally, she and Uvi competed together up to grand prix level until the gelding was retired at the end of 2022.

    Alex is another young rider with a first class degree to her name, having graduated in mathematics in 2020. She is now a professional rider and coach based in Derbyshire, with a string of horses she is bringing up through the levels.

    Britain’s youth dressage team medallists

    While Britain boasts just four individual medallists – Phoebe Peters, Alex Hellings, Lottie Fry and Annabella Pidgley – youth teams have fared well in recent years, with six team medals since 2013.


    2013 – bronze
    Rebecca Bell with Valido’s Sunshine
    Rose Hugh-Smith with Holsteins Derwisch
    Phoebe Peters with SL Lucci
    Erin Williams with Dynasty

    2014 – silver
    Rebecca Bell with Valido’s Sunshine
    Alex Hellings with Der Kleine Lord
    Bethany-Rose Horobin with Gigolo
    Phoebe Peters with SL Lucci

    2015 – gold
    Rebecca Bell with Valido’s Sunshine
    Isobel Berrington with DHI Langar
    Clare Hole with Rembrandt DDH
    Phoebe Peters with SL Lucci


    2022 – bronze
    Myles Graham and Nibleley Union Hit
    Sophie Wallace and Rosalie B
    India Durman-Mills and Escade
    Annabella Pidgley and Espe

    Young riders

    2023 – bronze
    Annabella Pidgley and Espe
    Lily Laughton and Skovborgs Romadinov
    India Durman-Mills and Escade
    Jessie McConkey and Lady Gaga


    2018 – bronze
    Lottie Fry with Dark Legend
    Rebecca Edwards with Headmore Delegate
    Claire Gallimore with Annette Ballerina
    Ryan Todd with Charlex Eskjeberg

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