Lottie Fry finishes best of the British contingent at Compiègne CDIO5*, with two horses shaping up as serious Olympic prospects...
Lottie Fry has strengthened her bid for a place on Britain’s Tokyo Olympic dressage team with her performance at Compiègne CDIO5*, France. In 2019, Lottie made her Nations Cup team debut at this show as the rookie of the British team; this year she returned to produce the best results of the British contingent.
Riding alongside Emile Faurie and Louise Bell on the Nations Cup team, the Netherlands-based Lottie piloted her 2019 European championship team ride Dark Legend to finish fifth in the grand prix and third in the special, both with scores over 75%.
With Emile and Dono Di Maggio taking 14th and sixth respectively, and Louise riding Into The Blue to a top-10 placing in the grand prix freestyle, the team finished third behind winners Sweden and second-placed Portugal, who edged ahead thanks to better grand prix results, despite finishing on the same score as the Brits.
“Dark Legend is going really well; he has matured so much over the past year, put on so much muscle and got a lot stronger,” Lottie said of the 13-year-old gelding by Zucchero x Tango. “Despite a little spook at the beginning of our first test, we went on to do one of our best grands prix ever, and one of our best specials the following day, too.”
For much of the competition, it looked as though Nations Cup glory would come down to a battle between Sweden and Denmark. However, the unfortunate elimination of Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and Bohemian in the special, after the 11-year-old took fright and refused to enter the arena, cleared the way for Patrik Kittel on Well Done Da La Roche CMF to lead Sweden to a resounding victory.
“It was great to be back on a Nations Cup team again, and to be surrounded by other British riders,” added Lottie, who relocated to the Netherlands in 2014 and is based with Anne Van Olst. “On the podium in 2019 they all ganged up on me and gave me a champagne shower, but luckily that didn’t happen again this time,” she laughed.
Lottie also spearheaded the British contingent contesting the CDI3*, riding the 12-year-old Lord Leatherdale x Negro stallion Everdale. She and Cathrine Dufour, riding the Pidgleys’ Vamos Amigos, traded places across the two tests, with Lottie triumphing by 3% in the grand prix, and the Dane having the edge in the special, thanks to two bonus one-tempi changes in the second line from Everdale.
“Everdale is improving every time out and finds it all so easy. For me, the second test was better despite the mistake – he was more concentrated and trying so hard throughout,” said Lottie, who has both horses in the running for an Olympic team place.
“Both horses are producing very similar scores – there is a bit of healthy competition between them in the stable,” she added.
Britain’s Laura Tomlinson competed her top horse, the 12-year-old Rose Of Bavaria, for the first time in 2021, after the Bordeaux mare became unwell earlier this year. The pair showed some fantastic work for two plus-70% scores in the CDI3*s, with just a few ring-rusty moments, including an error of course in the special.
Richard Davison and Bubblingh also put in two solid performances for top 10 placings, while Fiona Bigwood used the show to further consolidate her new partnership with Hawtins Delicato, Carl Hester’s world and European championship ride.
This report is also available in H&H magazine, on sale Thursday 3 June, 2021
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