Meet the ‘chatty’ world champion stallion whose canter will make you gasp

  • History was made at last weekend’s World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses in Ermelo, the Netherlands, when Lottie Fry became the first British rider ever to win the seven-year-old title at these prestigious championships.

    Lottie, 22, who works and rides for the Van Olst stables in the Netherlands, piloted the impressive KWPN stallion Glamourdale to a euphoric victory. Once the dust had settled, we caught up with Lottie — daughter of the late British Olympic rider Laura Fry — to find out more about the world champion stallion everyone’s talking about.

    1. He has some pretty impeccable bloodlines

    Glamourdale is by the successful sire Lord Leatherdale, a son of the bundeschampion Lord Loxley, but it’s his damsire who commands the most attention, being Negro, the sire of Valegro. Glamourdale’s dam, Thuja (Negro x Ahorn), is also the full sister to Spencer Wilton’s grand prix ride Numberto, so there’s no doubt that Glamourdale carries all the breeding credentials to be a top dressage horse.

    2. He’s a multi-tasking stallion

    As well as his dressage training, Glamourdale is in demand as a breeding stallion, with semen collected from him a couple of times per week. He has already proved popular with breeders all over the world, and as far afield as Australia.

    3. His canter will make you gasp

    Without doubt Glamourdale’s biggest strength and highlight is his enormous, uphill canter, which scored 10s in Ermelo.

    “His canter feels amazing to sit on, like you’re flying,” says Lottie, who was in total shock when her scores came in at the championships. “We all knew at home that his canter deserves 10s but we didn’t know if the judges would agree with us.”

    4. Crucially, he also finds collection easy

    “He finds everything in canter really easy, including collection, which horses often struggle with if their paces are big,” says Lottie. “His hindleg is very active, so we can make it quick, and when you bring him back for a pirouette he can really sit and produce the same canter as when he’s extending.”

    5. He loves to work, especially when there are people watching him

    Lottie says that Glamourdale is always ready to work, but he particularly thrives on big atmospheres.

    “He takes everything in his stride, and finds it really exciting to learn new things, but he’s also brave,” says Lottie. “In the big atmosphere in Ermelo, he went in the arena, looked around and just rose to the occasion.”

    6. When he’s at home, he loves to chill

    “He’s such an easy horse; he loves to go outside and hack through the fields,” says Lottie, who reveals she can ride him on the buckle out hacking as he’s so relaxed. “He also goes out in our sand paddock every day, and goes on the water treadmill twice a week.”

    7. He enjoys ‘chatting’ on the yard

    “He’s very chatty, and always whinnying, especially if you have an apple,” laughs Lottie. “He’s so sweet, and loves cuddles.”

    8. The grand prix training is coming easily to him

    Although Lottie and the Van Olsts haven’t made any definite plans for his competition career, Glamourdale is likely to come out to compete at small tour, though he is learning the grand prix work at home already.

    “He has a very correct walk, which is good for teaching piaffe, and he is already learning how to piaffe,” says Lottie. “He’s taking well to the one-time changes too — they’re huge and he loves doing them.”

    Watch this space!

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