Tag Archives: Charlotte Fry

Dujardin Delights with Freestyle Win as British Dominate at Olympia

Charlotte Dujardin with Mount St John Freestyle. (FEI/Jon Stroud)

Charlotte Dujardin produced a superb victory with Mount St John Freestyle before an ecstatic home crowd at the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League qualifier in the Grand Hall at Olympia, London (GBR). And to put the icing on the British Christmas cake, her compatriots Carl Hester and Charlotte Fry lined up in second and third.

It was an evening of great theatre, with Dujardin’s charming 10-year-old mare producing a stunning test for a mark of 87.520 to take the lead when fourth-last to go, only for a technical hitch to delay the scores of the three who followed. Still waiting for the final result, the riders were all sent back to the stables while Santa took over the arena for his Christmas Finale. But finally, the red carpet was rolled back out again, and it was Dujardin who led the British victory gallop.

She was delighted with the performance of her mare who has clearly matured a great deal since showing her massive potential at last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA where she claimed two bronze medals. Freestyle’s freshness and freedom of movement, the elegance and height of her passage, and the expressiveness of her extended canter were just some of the highlights. And the horse really seemed to be enjoying herself, her big ears pricked as she gave her rider her full attention.

“It’s only her third time doing that test; she’s very inexperienced at Freestyle and I’m so pleased with her. The atmosphere was buzzing, it was a full house, and I could really feel it when I rode in. But she’s coping better and I couldn’t have asked any more from her!” said the winning rider who, though still only 34 years old, is a legend of the sport following her world-beating career with the now-retired Valegro.

Her friend and mentor, Hester, followed her into the ring and put a score of 84.470 on the board with a lovely performance with Hawtins Delicato. “A personal best – I can’t believe that at my age!” laughed the 52-year-old who has long been a huge influence in this sport. He was sitting back in the stable area when he learned his result – “One of my girls texted me and said you got an amazing score – it was a bit of a weird way to hear about it!” he added.

Fry was second-last to go, and the 23-year-old, who alongside Dujardin and Hester was a member of the British side that finished fourth at this summer’s FEI European Championships, produced a score of 82.620 with the 10-year-old stallion Everdale. This was good enough to pip the final partnership, and last year’s Olympia winners, Germany’s Frederic Wandres and Duke of Britain who finished a close fourth with 82.550 this time around.

Hester said that although he was happy with the way things turned out, he realises he needs to put more pressure on himself, because he continues to have big ambitions. “It was clear after the Grand Prix test yesterday that this horse needs to get out more. I know I need to get myself committed – this happens before every Olympics!” said the man who has competed at five of them, taking team gold with Uthopia at the London 2012 Games, and team silver with Nip Tuck at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Dujardin confirmed that she has both the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final 2020 in Las Vegas, USA in her sights now. So her plan? “Just to carry on doing what I’m doing and see how we go as we prepare for Tokyo. I’m hoping to get to Vegas in April, so I’ll go to the qualifier in Amsterdam in January and maybe another after that,” she explained.

She was twice winner of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ title with Valegro, taking her second title in Las Vegas in 2015. This result sees her move up to eighth on the Western European League table from which the top nine will qualify for the 2020 Final, so she may need another good result to ensure she makes the cut.

There are still five legs of the Western European series left to go, the next taking place at Mechelen, Belgium on 29 December.

Result here.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Fry Cooks Up a Storm at Exloo

Jil-Marielle Becks GER (silver), Charlotte Fry GBR (gold), and Lisa Maria Klossinger GER (bronze) at the FEI European Dressage Championships U25. FEI/Leanjo de Koster, DigiShots,

Exciting British newcomer, Charlotte Fry (22), posted her second sensational victory of the past two weeks when winning the Freestyle at the FEI European Dressage U25 Championships 2018 in Exloo, The Netherlands. Just days ago, the Dutch-based Yorkshire rider, who trained with British legend Carl Hester during her teenage years, claimed the 7-Year-Old title with Glamourdale at the Longines FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships in Ermelo (NED). She added another gold medal to her collection when posting a great score of 82.145 with the lovely 10-year-old gelding, Dark Legend, to be crowned U25 Freestyle champion.

The result ensured she went home with a full set of colours, having posted the biggest individual score in Wednesday’s Team Championship to boost Great Britain to bronze medal position, and slotting into silver medal spot behind Grand Prix winner Jil-Marielle Becks (20) from Germany.

“I’m in shock – this is all really unexpected!” — Charlotte Fry (GBR)

Becks was joined by Bianca Nowag (Fair Play), Juliette Piotrowski (Sir Diamond), and Lisa-Maria Klossinger (FBW Daktari) to top the team standings with a score of 219.706 which left them well ahead of their Dutch rivals in silver medal spot. Carlijn Huberts (Watoeshi), Maxime van der Vlist (Bailey), Denis Nekeman (Boston STH), and Jeanine Nieuwenhuis (TC Athene) racked up a final tally of 212.765 for The Netherlands. But the British foursome of Fry, Ryan Todd (Charlex Eskebjerg), Rebecca Jane Edwards (Headmore Delegate), and Claire Gallimore (Annette Ballerina) were hot on their heels in bronze when posting 212.118.

Becks, who with her 10-year-old chestnut gelding Damon’s Satelite was an individual bronze medallist at the Young Rider Championships in Valencia (ESP) in 2016, won the Grand Prix with a score of 75.385, while Fry took silver when posting 75.308. Bronze went to Denmark’s Victoria Vallentin (20) who rode Ludwig der Sonnenkoenig to a mark of 74.000.

Fry turned the tables, however, when pinning Becks into silver in the Freestyle, and it was the German rider’s team-mate, Klossinger (25), who scooped bronze this time around with FBW Daktari.

“I trained with Carl when I was 14 to 17 years old, and then moved to Holland when I just turned 18. Carl actually suggested I should come over to work with Anne Van Olst who is my trainer now, so he put this opportunity my way and I’m very grateful for that!” — Charlotte Fry (GBR)

She said that Dark Legend is a very nervous horse. “This is the first show he felt confident in the ring, so he peaked at a good time!” she pointed out. “Today was a really good test; he couldn’t have been better; he really rose to the music and danced to it!” she added.

And her plans for the future? “To compete at the Olympic Games someday – but for now I just want to get my feet back on the ground and start training again!” she said.

Everyone was singing the praises of the venue at Hippisch Centrum Exloo where the Organising Committee stepped up to the plate at very short notice following the withdrawal of Roosendaal. And the quality of the performances from the Dressage world’s rising stars left even the judges in awe. “What we saw here this week was almost at the same level as senior riders, and it’s really very exciting!” said Ground Jury President, Francis Verbeek-van-Rooy.

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46