Lottie Fry puts Britain into silver medal position at European Championships

Britain’s Lottie Fry made a phenomenal senior championship debut this morning (19 August), shooting Britain into the silver medal position after the first round of team riders at the Longines European Dressage Championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Lottie and the 11-year-old Zucchero gelding Dark Legend performed a smooth, fault-free test to score 74.32%, enough to edge her ahead of Sweden’s first rider, Antonia Ramel and Brother De Jeu, who posted 74.22%. Lottie currently sits second behind Germany’s Jessica van Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB, who scored 77.17%.

“He felt nervous going in — it’s a big arena to go into and we couldn’t go straight in but had to stop on the way. Once he was in there he felt amazing,” Lottie, 23, told H&H. “He had a lot of confidence in his work and gave me a really good ride. I’m really happy with the whole test.

Coming here didn’t really sink in until I actually arrived — it was always happening ‘next week’. I’m really enjoying just being here with the team,” added Netherlands-based Lottie, last year’s under-25 European champion, who is still in her first year competing in senior ranks.

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At this early stage, Germany hold the gold medal spot, followed by Britain and Sweden. Denmark sit fourth following a solid performance from Britain-based Anders Dahl and Fidelio Van Het Bloemenhof, with the Netherlands in fifth.

The grand prix continues today with the second round of team riders. Gareth Hughes will compete next for Britain, riding the 13-year-old Trento B mare Classic Briolinca at 3.50pm (2.50pm UK time).

Carl and Charlotte will ride in the second section of the grand prix tomorrow (Tuesday, 20 August). Carl and the 11-year-old Diamond Hit gelding Hawtins Delicato are on at 11am (10am UK time), with Charlotte riding last for Britain at 2.50pm (1.50pm UK time) with the 10-year-old Fidermark mare Mount St John Freestyle.

Don’t miss our extensive preview of the European Dressage, Para Dressage and Showjumping Championships, with rider profiles, medal predictions and detailed analysis, in this week’s issue of H&H (dated 15 August).