‘I sent Anne Van Olst a message all in capitals’: Lottie Fry on the moment she found out she was world number one

  • British dressage rider Lottie Fry enjoyed a dream end to last year when she learnt she had become world number one on New Year’s Eve 2022. 

    With Lottie heading the rider rankings and her World Dressage Championships gold medallist Glamourdale topping the horse leaderboard in January, it was the first time a British dressage rider or horse had headed the FEI world rankings since Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro held the position in 2016.

    But how do riders actually find out that they have become world number one? You might think they would be notified by the FEI, but in fact, Lottie found out after seeing it on social media.

    “I saw it on social media and someone sent me a message, so I looked at the rankings online and thought, ‘Oh my god, it’s actually right, I am and Glammy is world number one as well’,” laughed Lottie, on episode 133 of The Horse & Hound Podcast, supported this month by NAF – Five Star for the Best Performance Worldwide.

    Her next challenge was alerting Anne and Gertjan Van Olst, Glamourdale’s owners at Van Olst Horses, where Lottie is based in the Netherlands. 

    “I texted Anne but she wasn’t looking at her phone,” recalls Lottie. “I’d sent her a message all in capitals saying ‘Me and Glammy are number one’, but she was out at dinner for New Year’s Eve, so I had to text a friend who was there to tell Anne to look at her phone. Of course then she panicked thinking it was an emergency, but when she saw the message it was so exciting.”

    The FEI split its dressage world rankings last autumn. It previously listed the top-ranked horse and rider combinations, but now humans and equines have their own respective lists. The rankings are updated monthly. 

    Lottie, 27, and the 12-year-old Lord Leatherdale stallion scored double gold at the 2022 World Dressage Championships in Herning and ended the year with double victory in front of a home crowd at London International Horse Show.

    “It’s just incredible. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the rankings and I still can’t believe it to be honest,” said Lottie, who remains at number one in February 2023, although Glamourdale has dropped down the rankings having not competed in January. “I feel as though it is a bit of a once in a lifetime thing, so I just want to enjoy it while I am up there.”

    Don’t miss Lottie chatting about her 2022 success and what she’s aiming for in 2023 on this month’s episode of The Horse & Hound Podcast, supported by NAF – Five Star for the Best Performance Worldwide.

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