Carl Hester on what Lottie Fry and Charlotte Dujardin have in common

  • He’s the man behind the incredible success of Britain’s dressage darling Charlotte Dujardin, and Carl Hester also helped Lottie Fry on the way to her star-studded career, which reached new heights this summer at the World Dressage Championships as she won two individual gold medals.

    Having matched Lottie with her now long-term trainer Anne Van Olst, when he suggested she take up a job with Van Olst Horses in the Netherlands back in 2014, it’s understandable that Carl has followed Lottie’s career closely in the years that have followed.

    And he recognises the qualities shared by both Charlotte and Lottie, Britain’s leading ladies of dressage, which were made especially evident this year as they brought home team silver from the world championships in Denmark, in addition to Lottie’s two individual golds.

    “Watching Lottie in Herning was absolutely brilliant for all of us,” said Carl, on episode 129 of The Horse & Hound Podcast, this week supported by NAF – Five Star for the Best Performance Worldwide.

    “Lottie gives you that same sort of calmness while watching her that I finally learnt to get with Charlotte. They are so good at their job, so good at competing, that I don’t feel nervous or worried for her while watching.

    “You never feel as though the situation will affect Lottie; it totally does not overwhelm her, and she is able to rise to the pressure. In fact, she rides better under pressure, just like Charlotte does. She loves it.”

    Carl Hester: ‘There is a lot of Laura in Lottie’

    Being a part of Lottie’s journey, and riding alongside her on teams as at the Tokyo Olympics and European Championships in 2021, is extra special for Carl, who also rode alongside Lottie’s late mother Laura Fry on British teams, including at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

    “Laura’s work ethic was very well known, but it would be fair to say that Laura didn’t have quite the same talent that Lottie has,” added Carl. “Laura had to work very hard for everything with every horse that she trained; she spent all her life working on her seat and position and trying to better that, whereas Lottie has that by nature. All Lottie has had to do is become physically stronger.

    “But there is a lot of Laura in Lottie. They share this quiet, calm demeanour, being understated and just lovely to be around.”

    To hear Carl Hester chatting more about Lottie Fry and her world champion ride Glamourdale, as well as his plans for his own top horse En Vogue, tune in to episode 129 of The Horse & Hound Podcast, this week supported by NAF – Five Star for the Best Performance Worldwide.

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