Meet Lottie Fry’s H&H cover star Everdale: ‘He is like a machine underneath you’

  • The 2022 dressage special issue of Horse & Hound hits the newsstand this week, and it seemed only fitting that it should be the standout British combination of Lottie Fry and Everdale gracing the cover.

    Lottie and Everdale were members of the British team at both the Tokyo Olympics and the European Dressage Championships in 2021, bringing home Olympic team bronze and European team silver. Although Tokyo was Everdale’s first ever championship, this lovable stallion captured hearts around the world, for the stunning performances he produced under his exceptionally talented young rider.

    Everdale was born in 2009, bred in Tilburg, the Netherlands, by Piet Kluytmans, and was bought as a youngster by Gertjan Van Olst. The black stallion is by Lord Leatherdale and out of Aliska K, a daughter of Negro, the famous sire of Valegro.

    Everdale’s early successes included winning the 2013 Pavo Cup, and he also qualified for the finals of the 2014 KWPN stallion competition, where he was ridden by none other than Carl Hester to finish fourth.

    Lottie Fry and Everdale first teamed up in 2016, after Lottie moved to the Netherlands to base herself with Gertjan and Anne Van Olst. The pair developed an enviable partnership, winning at small tour before making their grand prix debut in 2019, when Everdale was 10 years old.

    “We’ve really kind of grown up together and built a really good partnership. He’s so fun to ride and I love every day riding him,” says Lottie.

    “Everdale loves to work and is one of the most trainable horses I know. He would happily work all day and he never says no. He also has this incredible power but at the same time he is so light to ride, and you can feel his elegance – he is like a machine underneath you,” she told H&H.

    Success came thick and fast once they hit top level – the combination were grand prix freestyle winners at Compiègne CDI3* 2019, then finished third in the World Cup qualifier at Olympia CDI-W 2019, scoring 82.63% to sit just behind Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester. Everdale and Lottie began their 2020 campaign with a ninth place in the very hotly contested Amsterdam World Cup qualifier, with 78.25%, before the pandemic hit.

    Their next outing was at Hagen CDI4* in April 2021, where it became clear that this young pair were hot contenders for the British Olympic team. They continued to show their form throughout the selection period, with wins at Exloo CDI3* and Compiègne CDI3*, securing their slot on the Tokyo team alongside Charlotte and Carl.

    Out in Tokyo, Lottie and Everdale kept their cool amidst enormous pressure to help secure a fabulous bronze medal for the British team, scoring 77.09% in the grand prix and 76.85% in the special.

    “Everdale has tried his heart out out there, and has given me everything,” said Lottie after her grand prix special.

    The pair also finished 13th individually in the grand prix freestyle, scoring over 80% for “the best test he’s ever done”, according to Lottie at the time.

    Lottie Fry and Everdale: going from strength to strength

    Just two months later, Lottie and Everdale were back in a championship arena, this time riding alongside Gareth Hughes, Carl and Charlotte at the Europeans in Hagen, Germany.

    Even in such a short space of time, the pair had clearly benefited and grown from their Tokyo experience and as well as helping Britain to silver, they finished fifth in every one of the three tests, posting a personal best every time.

    “That was the best feeling Everdale’s ever given me in a test,” exclaimed Lottie after receiving 78.15% for their special. “He was so concentrated and he just gave me this massive canter. The changes were only just fitting in the arena – they were huge. He gave everything he had in there and it was a really cool feeling.”

    Their best-ever score to date came later that week in the freestyle, where they finished fifth behind Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (TSF Dalera BB, gold), Cathrine Dufour (Bohemian, silver), Charlotte Dujardin (Gio, bronze) and Isabell Werth in fourth on Weihegold OLD.

    “I got three personal bests this week, so I can’t be disappointed and Everdale is such an exciting horse for the future,” said Lottie.

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