‘He’s getting better all the time’: how Lottie Fry and Glamourdale ruled London with a new personal best

  • Lottie Fry produced the best test of her life so far to win the London International Horse Show (LIHS) dressage World Cup freestyle, supported by Horse & Hound. The 26-year-old British rider and the fabulous Lord Leatherdale stallion Glamourdale scored 90.99% – beating the score that won them individual gold at the World Dressage Championships in Herning in August.

    And this was a performance that deserved it – Glamourdale has improved in almost every aspect of his work over the past four months. The combination’s score was the highest ever seen at LIHS – aside from the world records set there by Totilas (2009) and Valegro (2013 and 2014).

    “A lot of things were so much better than in Herning. He has strengthened up and improved in so many areas,” said Lottie. “I could feel he was much stronger and really taking me, and we were bang on with the music too. It felt easy to ride, which is always nice.”

    This 11-year-old stallion’s highlight will always be his canter, and the judges poured out the 10s for his enormous extended canter and sublime two-tempi changes. There was a small error in their first line of one-tempis – as in Herning – but Lottie rode a flawless joker line of twos straight into clean ones, which helped to make up for it.

    Their piaffe-passage work, and the pirouettes, was better here than we‘ve seen before from this horse, receiving nines from the judges. And the stunning soundtrack, created by Joost Peters, dazzled judges and spectators alike just as it did at the worlds, featuring music from Queen, Robbie Williams, Genesis and the Beatles, amongst other beloved British legends.

    Lottie Fry: ‘The London Horse Show dressage atmosphere is incredible’

    This was the first time this Dutch-bred stallion, who is owned by Van Olst Horses in the Netherlands where Lottie is based, has competed on British soil and Lottie relished the opportunity to showcase him in front of a home crowd.

    “The atmosphere in there was incredible, from the moment you enter the arena. The audience were amazing. They really got behind me and I think they enjoyed it as much as I did,” she said.

    “To be able to end Glamourdale’s year competing here is incredible.”

    The Paris Olympics in 2024 is the goal for this brilliant pair, both born performers who love to rise to a big occasion, and the fast-approaching European Championships in 2023 an important step along the road to Paris.

    “He’s getting better all the time – I can’t wait for the next few years,” said Lottie.

    In second, with a personal best score, were Britain’s Gareth Hughes and Classic Briolinca, while Germany’s Ingrid Klimke and Franziskus were third. All three horses at the top of the leaderboard were competing at LIHS for the first time.

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