‘He won’t want to hold my hand’: Lottie Fry on prepping Glamourdale for Herning and the food she eats before she competes

  • The World Dressage Championships kick off in Herning next week and for one member of the British team, Lottie Fry, this will be her first world championship.

    Lottie made her senior championship debut in 2019 at the European Championships in Rotterdam, riding Dark Legend, and she admits she “hardly remembers a thing” from that show.

    “I was mostly just in shock that I was actually there,” she says, on episode 113 of The Horse & Hound Podcast. “But since the Tokyo Olympics and the Europeans last year, I have really felt myself start to enjoy it a lot more and really treasure every moment, and I’m hoping I will be able to do the same this time.”

    Lottie will ride the Van Olsts’ 11-year-old Lord Leatherdale x Negro stallion Glamourdale at the dressage World Championships, alongside Charlotte Dujardin (Imhotep), Gareth Hughes (Classic Briolinca) and Richard Davison (Bubblingh). This will be Glamourdale’s first major championship – although he proved he can rise to a big occasion and thrives under pressure when winning the seven-year-old title at the World Breeding Championships in 2018. 

    “He wouldn’t like me to hold his hand in Herning, that’s for sure,” laughs Lottie of the eye-catching black stallion. “He wouldn’t want to be seen holding my hand!”

    Lottie is based at Van Olst Horses in the Netherlands and trains with five-time Olympian Anne van Olst.

    “We’ve been doing a lot of basics in training recently, making sure all the aids are there,” Lottie says. “We have had a few runs through the tests to check we’re ready and Glammy is feeling great every day. We’ve also done lots of hacking and he has been going out for grass so we’re just keeping him happy.”

    And what about Lottie’s preparation when she actually gets to these big competitions – what does she get up to on test day?

    “If I’m competing later in the day I like to watch a few go in the class, and I would like to have got on and walked around, given him a leg stretch and focused on the tests while I’m walking,” she says. “Then later, before I get back on, I spend quite a lot of time looking at old videos of me riding the test on that horse, going over every little thing. I’ll then sit down with Anne and we will go through the test together, talk about the different lines and all the things I need to be thinking of at that time. We’ll discuss the warm -up and how we’re going to structure it.

    “Then the last thing I do is brush my teeth before I go. I’ve always done it and I have no idea why, but it always makes me feel much better.”

    Lottie also says that there is one particular type of food she likes to eat before riding at a major event.

    “I always try to find some pasta,” she reveals. “Hopefully I’m riding later in the day and I don’t have to make that breakfast, but if it has to be, it has to be. I just always have to have pasta.”

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