Disappointment for Lottie Fry as she copes brilliantly with tricky ride at the World Cup Final

  • There was heartbreak for Britain’s Lottie Fry in tonight’s FEI Dressage World Cup Final in Leipzig, Germany. Her grand prix freestyle with Dark Legend did not go as planned, and they finished well down the order with an uncharacteristically low score of 67.55%.

    With the stands packed with noisy crowds in the Leipziger Messe and the hospitality areas by the side of the ring bustling, it proved a very tricky environment for the hot Zucchero son, who put in a big spook just seconds before entering the arena. He proceeded to take fright on the first centre line of their toe-tapping “Let me take you dancing” routine, and Lottie said she had to improvise her floorplan to try to avoid the entire H corner of the arena that was making Darky afraid.

    The 26-year-old produced a masterclass of clever, sympathetic riding coaxing a very tense Darky through their routine, and showing plenty of flashes of brilliance between the spooks.

    “It was a shame it was today that he got scared, but I’m just glad that he could carry on and we got some confidence back and we could finish the test,” said Lottie, who finished eighth in the short grand prix on Thursday, the opening day of the Dressage World Cup Final.

    “I had to change my floorplan to avoid the corner. But we managed to get everything in and I was really proud of how we managed to carry on,” she added. “When you’re in that atmosphere, you don’t have time to think about if it’s good or not – you have just got to do it.”

    It was an unfortunate end to the winter season for Lottie and Darky, who have been racking up the plus-80% scores over recent months, with their best to date being the 83.68% they posted in Aachen in September.

    “It’s a shame that happened here, but I think we can get the confidence back and hopefully be out this season back in shape,” said Lottie.

    Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl claimed the title after a brilliant ride on her Olympic champion, TSF Dalera BB, while it was an emotional night for Isabell Werth as she performed her last test on the 17-year-old Weihegold OLD.

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