From the moment she was born, Charlotte Fry, also known as Lottie Fry, was already part of the equestrian world. Her mother, Laura Fry, participated in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and won the silver medal at the European Championships the following year with the British dressage team. At that time, winning the silver medal was the biggest achievement ever for the British dressage team. Laura Fry’s most successful period occurred while she was riding the gelding Quarryman. The year 1996 proved to be a significant turning point as it marked both Quarryman’s retirement and Lottie’s birth.
The early years
Lottie began riding as soon as she could and started her sports career at the age of 10. During this period, she was trained by her mother and rode ponies as well as her mother’s Grand Prix horses at a young age. At the age of 14, she took a big step forward in her career by participating in the Pony European Championships for the first time. Two years later, Laura Fry passed away at the age of 45 after a battle with breast cancer.
During the period leading up to her mother’s death, Lottie’s career began to gain momentum. As her mother no longer had the same energy to ride, Lottie took over some of the riding, especially on Remming, the horse Laura rode in her final competitions. Carl Hester, Laura’s teammate from the Barcelona Olympics, took over the training of Lottie. After an impressive period, Lottie was offered a permanent position with Hester, and shortly after that, a new opportunity arose at Van Olst Horses in the Netherlands. There, she began working for and being trained by Danish rider Anne van Olst. Van Olst herself is an experienced dressage rider who has participated in the Olympics five times and won a bronze medal with the Danish team in 2008. The collaboration between Fry and van Olst laid the foundation for one of the greatest successes in dressage in recent times.
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Senior Career Breakthrough
As part of Van Olst Horses, Lottie Fry began to make a name for herself in competitions for young riders and young horses. After over 4 years in the Netherlands, Lottie had her breakthrough in 2018. That year, she won both the World Championships for Young Horses with Glamourdale and the European Championships for riders under 25 with Dark Legend. Following these results, Lottie continued towards the top of the dressage world.
In 2019, she was part of the British team that finished in fourth place at the European Championships in Rotterdam. There, she was reunited with Hester, who was also part of the team. She was then selected for the Olympics in Tokyo, where she won a bronze medal with the British team, just like her mother had done nearly 30 years earlier, again alongside Carl Hester. In addition to the Olympics, 2021 also brought a silver medal at the European Championships and another gold medal at the World Championships for Young Horses.
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The World Champion Lottie
Even before the 2022 World Championships in Herning, expectations were high for Fry. However, when the opponents in the individual competition include Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour, Isabell Werth, and fellow countrywoman Charlotte Dujardin, there are no guarantees for success. But Lottie performed phenomenally with Glamourdale, winning gold in both the Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle, while settling for silver in the team competition with the British team. The World Championships also marked the breakthrough of Glamourdale, who had only been out of the youth ranks for little more than a year at that time.
Since the World Championships, Fry and Glamourdale have established themselves as one of the most dominant partnerships in dressage right now. They have won all the competitions they have participated in together since their victory in Herning, and there are likely more significant results in their future. Privately, Lottie still resides in the Netherlands and is still part of Van Olst Horses. Charlotte “Lottie” Fry is a name that you can expect to hear for a long time if you follow dressage.