‘She’s done it!’: How Britain’s Lottie Fry was crowned world champion with Glamourdale in Herning

  • Britain’s Lottie Fry rode the test of her life to be crowned world champion in Herning, topping the Blue Hors FEI World Dressage Championships results in the grand prix special.

    Lottie and the phenomenal 11-stallion stallion Glamourdale scored 82.5% to move ahead of the home favourite, Denmark’s Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour, and claim the gold medal for Britain. Their score was over 1.5% higher than their previous best in this test, as they rose to the occasion in formidable fashion and scored a plethora of nines and 10s, particularly in the canter work.

    This is the first time Britain has had an individual gold medallist at any championship since Valegro won gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016 with Charlotte Dujardin.

    “This is an incredible feeling, I have no words right now and I’m probably going to burst into tears at any minute; it’s just unreal,” said Lottie, moments after it was confirmed that she was the new world champion with Van Olst Horses’ fabulous black stallion.

    Hopes have been high for Glamourdale eve since he won the seven-year-old title at the World Breeding Championships in 2018, under Lottie. He has been produced steadily through to the top level since, and this week he has truly come of age.

    This horse’s canter is something to behold – with the crowd letting out loud gasps of appreciation at various points during the canter tour. But it wasn’t just the canter that earned them the top marks from the seven judges: Lottie and Glamourdale banked a 10 right from the off for their foot perfect entry and square halt. The two-time changes – so huge and scopey they barely fit on the diagonal line – received five 10s; the extended canter earned six 10s.

    The pirouettes slightly let the pair down in the grand prix, but Lottie said she hoped she could fix them by the special, and fix them she did, earning eights and even a nine for them today as Glamourdale kept much better balance in both.

    On their final centre line, the crowd, who had just about managed to restrain themselves at the end of the pair’s grand prix, could hold back no longer and burst into applause. But this pair are not ones to be fazed – Glamourdale loves the atmosphere, producing even more lift in his last bout of passage, before executing a perfect halt – banking himself a further pair of 10s to help edge them further up the leaderboard.

    “To get 82.5% at world champs is what dreams are made of,” said Lottie. “He was incredible, he went in there and just did everything I could ask.

    “Everything was better – I didn’t believe it could be better but it was. The changes were bigger than yesterday, the pirouettes were better than yesterday, the piaffes were better than yesterday and he was just so ready for it today. The feeling he gives when he goes in the arena is like no other; he is such a massive showman and he takes me with him in that.

    “That extended canter and those changes – it’s just the best feeling in the world when he’s doing that.”

    Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour had to settle for silver, after scoring 81.32% with the 10-year-old Vamos Amigos, owned by the British Pidgey family, with the Netherlands’ Dinja van Liere and Hermes scooping bronze with 79.4%.

    The 2018 world champion, Isabell Werth, was the final rider into the arena, following Lottie, but couldn’t quite get onto the podium, finishing fourth with DSP Quantaz on 79.07%. Her compatriot Benjamin Werndl was fifth, with Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin sixth on Imhotep after scoring 77.52%. In fact, all three Brits in the special finished in the top seven in the World Dressage Championships results, with Gareth Hughes seventh on Classic Briolinca.

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