‘The best feeling he’s ever given me’: Lottie Fry delivers another personal best for top five finish at European Dressage Championships

  • Lottie Fry claimed the best individual championship finish of her career so far when finishing fifth in this evening’s grand prix special at the European Dressage Championships in Hagen.

    She rode her own and the Van Olsts’ Lord Leatherdale x Negro stallion Everdale to a huge score of 78.15% – bettering their personal best in this test, which they achieved earlier this year. This was also a second personal best of the European Dressage Championships for Lottie Fry, who also achieved a personal best in the grand prix on Tuesday (7 September).

    Lottie found herself sandwiched between her teammates, with Charlotte Dujardin and Gio finishing fourth, and Carl Hester taking sixth place on En Vogue.

    “That was the best feeling Everdale’s ever given me in a test,” exclaimed Lottie afterwards. “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.”

    Lottie was visibly riding for every mark possible throughout her test – exactly what was needed in such exceptionally strong company.

    “I think when you go in after Cathrine Dufour and before Jessica von Bredow-Werndl you have to make sure you’re standing your ground,” laughed Lottie, who said she was also particularly pleased with Everdale’s half-passes, extended trots and his final centre line.

    “He loves a crowd too as he is a real show-off. It was quite exciting when we first went in and the whole arena was cheering Cathrine before us. He got excited but as soon as I went down the centre line he was concentrating and ready to do his job.”

    European Dressage Championships: who won the medals?

    It was Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and her Olympic gold medallist TSF Dalera BB who topped the podium, with the defending European champion Isabell Werth settling for silver – especially impressive when Isabell’s mind had been elsewhere with her top horse Bella Rose having just had colic surgery.

    But she was partnering her hugely 16-year-old experienced mare Weihegold OLD, a triple European gold medallist in 2017 and multiple World Cup champion.

    “I knew I had to fight to take all the risks I could take,” said Isabell. “Weihe is so experienced in this business – more in the freestyle than in the special, but this was really one of her best specials.

    “I was really pleased with the extensions today and especially the piaffe-passage and the last centre line I think was amazing. And there were no big mistakes,” she added.

    Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour added individual bronze to her team bronze from yesterday. This is Cathrine”s fourth individual European medal, but her first on this horse, the 11-year-old Bordeaux son Bohemian.

    The pair finished fourth individually at the Olympics after mixed performances in Tokyo, but the chestnut gelding was back on top form here.

    “I tried to take the pressure off Bohemian and just play with him in there; in Tokyo I felt I almost had to push too much,” said Cathrine. “He was really playing along together and it was a fantastic feeling. We found a good balance today and he was way more comfortable in there than in Tokyo.”

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