Exclusive! Lottie Fry’s Life in Holland and Isabell Werth’s Help to Capture Two World Championship Gold Medals–Part 2
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Aug. 22, 2022
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Charlotte “Lottie” Fry not only earned the respect of Isabell Werth for the performances of the British rider on Glamourdale at the world championships but tips to fix mistakes in pirouettes in the Grand Prix helped her to win individual and Freestyle gold medals.
Lottie’s success at the age of 26 was about the same stage in the career of Isabell capturing individual gold at her first world championships in 1994, though the German was on the team gold squad and earned individual silver on Gigolo at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona that has led to the most successful career in the history of equestrian sport. The 1992 Games was also, coincidentally, the competition highlight for Laura Fry, Lottie’s mother, who was also on British teams at the 1994 World Equestrian Games and the 1991 and 1993 European Championships.
“This little girl on these big stallions,” said Isabell who at 52 is twice as old as Lottie, “I think she did a fantastic job in the past already and if you see the history, to lose her mother at 16 to keep on going and to fight for her own career I have to say I have a lot of respect for this. I really like her, and you only have to like her, her way of riding, her personal charisma and her positive attitude. She’s so nice and she looks like a child, she’s small and you get the feeling to take care of her, but she’s so strong. I have a lot of respect and I like her. She deserved to win.”
Lottie, had been “definitely dreaming of it from a very young age… of the Olympic Games, of medals.”
“But actually when you get older it becomes more reality,” she told dressage-news.com, “very difficult to be among the four best of your country. The top three of the world to be able to get medals. It becomes something of a reality that it’s not something that can just happen. It takes a lot of hard work and luck and dedication and everything else that comes with it.”
She has a reputation of complete focus when she riding, but able to let it go and relish life off horses.
Although she says she didn’t think ahead of time about the results, she was of the mind, “I want to make it happen as much as possible. I worked really, really hard.”
“I get up in the morning and I look forward to being in the stables with the horses,” Lottie said. “I love the horses and I take as best care of them as I can. I’m pretty much in the stable every day of the week as long as possible. It’s crazy but I think we’re all crazy in this sport.
“I enjoy the days as a whole. Probably one of my favorite things is when I first get to the stables and feed the horses. I’m always alone then. No one else starts at that time. That’s a really nice quiet time; just me and the horses, just chill and it’s quiet. I’m definitely a morning person. Gets to the evening I eat and fall asleep. I’m not very good at being sociable in the evenings.”
Anne van Olst, who rode at the same 1992 Olympics, one of four Games for Denmark, as Lottie’s mother, has been her coach for the past eight years. There is no difference, she said, in the training methods of her mother, Carl Hester that she trained with until she was 18 and now Anne who was recommended by Carl.
“Anne is watching me riding every day, training me on those Grand Prix horses every day and that’s invaluable to have someone on the ground that knowledgeable every day. The amount of knowledge she has as a trainer is literally unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like it. She can work all different sorts of horses, many different techniques.”
Not surprisingly, Glamourdale, an 11-year-old KWPN stallion, is one of her “few favorite” horses right now. As well as Everdale, the 13-year-old Dutch stallion, that she rode on Britain’s bronze medal team at the Tokyo Olympics. And there’s Kjento, another KWPN stallion that she won the world six-year-old championship last year and is entered for this year’s seven-year-old championships next month.
Lottie likes the youthful medals podium at the world championships–herself at 26, Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour of Denmark on Vamos Amigos at 30 and the Netherlands’ Dinja van Liere on Hermes at 32.
“I think it’s so exciting,” she said. “It’s really great because we drive each other on. You can really feel the support. When we’re a similar age it’s much more fun. It definitely makes the sport more exciting.”
One of her dreams, she said, is to go to the United States. She qualified for the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in 2020 but the annual championship was canceled.
Lottie plans some indoor shows that could lead to an invitation to the World Cup Final in Omaha next April.
“I’d love to go to Wellington,” she said. “We talk about it every year but it’s so difficult when we have such a big business at home. I’d love to do it one year. It’s dream, that’s for sure.”