Lottie Fry smashes 80% barrier on Tokyo Olympic freestyle debut

  • Britain’s Lottie Fry has broken the 80% barrier at her first Olympic Games with an expressive performance in the freestyle with her team bronze medal-winning ride, Everdale.

    US rider Sabine Schut-Kelly (Sanceo) heads the provisional standings, after the first two groups of riders in the individual dressage final, with a score of 84.3%. Denmark’s Carina Cassøe Krüth and Heiline’s Danciera hold silver (83.329%) with Britain’s Carl Hester and En Vogue in provisional bronze (81.818%).

    Lottie, 25, and the Lord Leatherdale son showed exceptional poise through the sustained suspension of their piaffe/passage work that formed a solid chunk of the first part of their test.

    A miscommunication in the canter pirouette, prior to the zig zag, will have been costly. But the pair recovered to show some spectacular canter work to a magical soundtrack, featuring riffs from Rhianna’s Diamonds. The track also featured in their grand prix special, linking their performances through a sparkling musical thread.

    “It felt amazing. It was really the best test he’s ever done. It was such an incredible feeling,” said Lottie.

    “It was just a shame when we went into canter, he got really excited right next to the speaker and put in a little jump, which unfortunately cost us, but the rest of the test he was just amazing. So with me and it is the best he’s ever felt.”

    The pair’s tempi changes were a real highlight and they ended strongly, exploding down the final centre line in extended trot to halt. The judges awarded the pair a technical mark of 75.714% and an artistic score of 85.514%, giving them an overall percentage of 80.614%. This put them in provisional eighth place at the end of the second group of riders.

    Lottie added it is going to take her “a long time” for it to sink in what she has achieved at these Games. 

    “But I think the main thing I’m going to take away is just how much I love being in that arena and how much Everdale loved it and I can’t wait to get back in the arena at the next Games hopefully,” she said.

    “[Putting the kit on and being here was] just a really proud moment and I feel so honoured to be able to be here representing my country and being able to do what we love.”

    Explaining the bond she has with Everdale and the other horses she rides, Lottie said: “I think that the main thing is that the breeding is so good.

    “They’re all bred for their character and they all want to please, but they also want to show off at the same time, so putting that together is perfect. They have so much respect for me when I ride them and I have so much respect for them, and it just works really well.”

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