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Portrait: World champion Charlotte “Lottie” Fry

Portrait: World Champion Charlotte “Lottie” Fry
Portrait: World Champion Charlotte “Lottie” Fry

From the moment she was born, Charlotte Fry, also known as Lottie Fry, was already a part of equestrian sports. Her mother, Laura Fry, competed in the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992 and won a European Championship silver the following year with the British dressage team. This silver was, at that time, the greatest achievement ever for the British dressage team. Laura Fry's peak period of success took place 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 coached by her mother and was already riding both ponies and her mother's Grand Prix horses at a young age. At the age of 14, she took a significant step in her career by participating in the Pony European Championships for the first time. Two years later, Laura Fry passes away at the age of 45 after a battle with breast cancer.

In 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 part of the riding, particularly on Remming, the horse that Laura rode in her last competitions. Carl Hester, Laura's Barcelona Olympics teammate, took over as Lottie's coach. After an impressive period, Lottie was offered a permanent job with Hester, and shortly after this, a new opportunity in the form of Van Olst Horses in the Netherlands. Van Olst is himself an experienced dressage rider, who has competed 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 recent dressage history.

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Breakthrough as a senior rider

As part of Van Olst Horses, Lottie Fry really started to make her mark in competitions for young riders and young horses. After more than 4 years in the Netherlands, Lottie had her big breakthrough in 2018. That year, she won both the World Championship for young horses with Glamourdale and the European Championship for riders under 25 years with Dark Legend. After these results, Lottie's support continued to the top of the dressage world.

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Charlotte Fry (GBR) & Everdale - Dressage – Grand Prix Special; Team Final - Equestrian Park, Setagaya City, Tokyo, Japan - 27 July 2021 Photo: BEF / JON STROUD MEDIA

In 2019, she was part of the British team that finished fourth at the European Championships in Rotterdam. Here 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 with the British team, exactly as her mother did almost 30 years earlier, again together with Carl Hester. In addition to the Olympics, 2021 also brought a silver medal at the European Championships and another gold medal at the World Championship for young horses.

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World champion Lottie

Even before the World Championships in Herning in 2022, expectations were high for Fry. But when the opponents in the individual competition include Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour, Isabell Werth, and compatriot Charlotte Dujardin, there are no guarantees for success. But Lottie performed phenomenally with Glamourdale and won both gold in Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle, while she had to settle for silver with the British team in the team competition. The World Championships also marked a breakthrough for Glamourdale, who had just left the youth category a little over a year ago.

Since the World Championships, Fry and Glamourdale have established themselves as one of the most dominant partnerships in dressage at the moment. They have won every competition they've participated in together since their victory in Herning, and there's no doubt there are more great achievements in their future. On a personal note, Lottie still resides in the Netherlands and continues to be part of Van Olst Horses. Charlotte “Lottie” Fry is a name that you can expect to hear many times in the future if you follow dressage.

Read also: “I am an ordinary rider – I just do everything without equipment”


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