Herning, Denmark—Aug. 8
Charlotte “Lottie” Fry and Glamourdale smashed their own personal best score by over 1.5 percentage points on their way to an individual gold medal in Monday’s Grand Prix Special at the Blue Hors FEI Dressage World Championship on a mark of 82.50%.
“This is an incredible feeling,” Fry said after learning she’d won gold. “I literally have no words right now. I’m probably going to burst into tears any minute. It’s just unreal.”
Fry cited her extended canter work and her changes as her favorite part of her mistake-free test. She followed hometown favorite, Danish rider Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour, in the order, who had just put in a lovely test with Vamos Amigos marred only by a mistake in the two-tempi changes.
“As I was coming into the arena the crowd was going wild,” said Fry, 26. “I was listening to the scores coming out, and I was like, ‘Wow, I really have to do something now.’ And Glamourdale just rose up to it. He could feel the atmosphere; it was incredible in there today. He was trying so so hard with everything. It felt much better than yesterday. A lot of things improved, and he was just incredible. He gave me the most incredible feeling throughout the test—he was trying his hardest doing everything I asked, and I couldn’t have asked for much more from him today.”
Fry, 26, said she was a bit unsure of her pirouettes Sunday in her Grand Prix test, but they were spot on in the Special.
“I think Anne van Olst, my trainer, was up the entire night … worrying about how we’re going to fix those pirouettes,” Fry said. “I had a great tip from Isabell [Werth] as well, on how to get around them, and with the combination of both of them, we got there today.”
Watch their winning test, courtesy of FEI TV:
On Fry’s way out of the arena Werth, who was riding in for her test on DSP Quantaz, gave her a high five. The gesture touched Fry, who said she’s looked up to the German Olympian since she was 5 years old.
Fry paired up with the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Lord Leatherdale—Thuja, Negro) five years ago when he was 6, and they won the FEI World Championship For Young Horses (the Netherlands) the next year.
“That was when we really knew he was a showman,” she said. “He wants to go into the ring. The more people the better; he wants to show off. He loves the attention.”
Fry already picked up a silver medal for Great Britain in team competition, and her performance Monday relegated Sunday’s top scorer and Danish team anchor Laudrup-Dufour to silver (81.32%). Dutch rider Dinja van Liere and Hermes earned bronze (79.40%).
After receiving her medal Laudrup-Dufour took one final turn around the ring on her longtime partner Atterupgaards Cassidy, who enjoyed a ceremony to commemorate his retirement from international competition.
“I was really pleased with ‘Vamos’ today,” she said. “The feeling was better than yesterday. There was a better outline, and the connection was improving a lot today. I had a feeling of riding ‘Cassidy,’ and I tried to copy and paste that. I want to say that [Vamos] felt great in the ring today. Of course that little blip in the two tempis—that’s just the sport, and we all try to go for it.”
Van Liere was thrilled with Hermes, especially as the Dutch Warmblood stallion is only 10, and she sees a strong future ahead of him. Despite her joy at the medal, she said she was disappointed to just miss the 80% mark, scoring 79.40%.
“We had a job to do, and we really wanted to do a nice test without big mistakes, so I was really happy that I could do that,” said van Liere, who at 31 was the oldest rider on the podium. “He spooked twice a little bit, but he was really fast focusing again, and he was doing a really good job. He’s just so young and so talented, and I was really really happy with my test that he did so well, and it’s also an honor to be here next to these guys.”
Mixed Results For U.S. Riders
U.S. rider Adrienne Lyle put in a clean performance with Salvino, riding him to ninth place with a 75.69%. She said she felt happy to improve upon Sunday’s performance.
“That’s the first Special we’ve done since we did the [Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI5* (Florida)] in February, so I was really happy with him,” she said. “He felt even better than the Grand Prix—a bit more relaxed, looser, able to show himself off more in the piaffe and passage today. He didn’t put a foot out of place so can’t complain about much.
“Overall, he felt very honest,” she added. “He was going really well on his own; I didn’t have to use much leg. It’s really fun to feel him when he has that kind of energy and drive to do it, and I can just sit up there and pilot him around. We’ve been focusing so much on the Grand Prix because that was a team test. That just shows what a good character he is—he has to go in there and be able to do the changes off the different leads, do all these things we haven’t really been focusing on, and he is just right there when you need him.”
Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper had a small blip in their test and finished 17th, just outside of the top 15 that will advance to Wednesday’s freestyle. Peters said he was disappointed with his mark of 73.70%.
“I thought the test was a little better [than Sunday’s],” he said. “Unfortunately there was that one little balance problem from the passage to the medium trot. The rest felt better, but the judges saw it very different tonight. It’s OK; it’s part of the game, and I would certainly accept that.
“The extensions felt great again,” he continued. “I thought he was a bit more active in the piaffe today; that made him sway a little bit less. He did beautiful pirouettes. And even though I had him a little bit more fired up today, he still walked nicely, so overall I’m very, very happy with him. I wish the results would be better.”
Lyle is excited to represent the United States in the freestyle.
“It’s the one that we did at the [FEI World Cup Final (Sweden)] in 2019,” she said. “We changed a few little parts of it, added a little bit more degree of difficulty, but I love his music. I think it’s really powerful but really elegant as well. I think it’s going to be fun in this stadium full of people.”