Lottie and Glamourdale rock with new PB in London

  • Written By: British Dressage | Joanna Bowns
  • Published: Sat, 17 Dec 2022 01:58

Lottie Fry and Glamourdale continued their domination at the London International Horse Show as they soared to a resounding victory in tonight’s London CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle, supported by Horse & Hound. Glamourdale’s first-time appearance on British soil has met every expectation, and more, with another captivating performance and a new PB in front of a home crowd at the iconic Christmas show.

Presenting their “Best of Britain” freestyle, Lottie and Van Olst Horses’ flagship stallion once again showed their brilliance. A performance of exceptional quality and controlled power was unanimously deemed the winning ride of the night by judges, Susanne Baarup (DEN), Jacques van Daele (BEL), Stephen Clarke (GBR), Peter Storr (GBR) and Magnus Ringmark (SWE). Tens across the board were awarded for the extended canter and music and interpretation, with the final mark - a new PB of 90.995% - planting them firmly at the top of the London leader board.

Their now world-famous programme, produced by Joost Peters and featuring music by a number of British rock greats, raised the roof of the Docklands venue. It opens and concludes with Brian May’s rendition of the national anthem and, as we saw at the World Championships where they became double World Champions, it’s the ultimate musical backdrop for the 26-year-old British star and Glamourdale the showman.

The eleven-year-old Lord Leatherdale x Negro stallion is in his element in front of a crowd where he exudes charisma and presence together with great technical mastery. He is the superlative performer.

Speaking at the FEI press conference Lottie said, “It was amazing in there. To be able to end Glamourdale’s year competing here in London is just incredible, and I didn’t actually realise it was our highest score so far, which is also really exciting. Some things feel so much better than in Herning – he’s strengthened up so much and improved on so many things. I was really, really happy with him.

“For sure, the second you enter that arena, the atmosphere in there is incredible. The audience tonight was just amazing, they really got behind me. I think they loved it as much as I did. And as soon as the music started, it was just so much fun.

“I really feel like he’s getting better all the time,” said Lottie when asked about Glamourdale’s extraordinary potential. “He’s already improved since Herning, and I feel like we can still keep improving, which is just really exciting. I can’t wait for the next few years.”

Reflecting on her achievements over the past 12 months Lottie said, “I’m just walking on a cloud.” And on the future, “For sure Paris is the goal, and we’ll just see what happens, we’ll see how it goes up until then.”

Summarising her 2022, Lottie added, “It’s what dreams are made of. It’s been incredible and to be able to come here to London and perform in front of a home crowd is just amazing.”

The top five placings remained unchanged from yesterday’s Short Grand Prix, with Lottie’s closest challenger being fellow British teammate Gareth Hughes with his own, wife Rebecca, daughter Ruby and Julia Hornig’s mare, Classic Briolinca (Trento B x Royal Dance). Briolinca continues to charm and impress in equal measure. The pair won hearts at the World Championships with a stunning performance to finish fifth with their Madonna freestyle programme, and it was a privilege for the London crowd, and those watching from home, to be able to witness it again tonight. The final mark of 84.590% - a new PB – placed them second.

“That was a win for me. To come second to a World Champion, with the form they're in and what they've achieved this year, is incredible” said Gareth. 

“Briolinca’s amazing. She’s found the atmosphere really difficult in the past, so we’ve never done an indoor show - I’ve never put her in this sort of environment,” continued Gareth. “We’ve kept her for the championships, but she felt so good after the Worlds, she’s 16 and I know I only have so many competitions left in her, so we thought we’d give it a go here. She never ceases to amaze me.”

About competing at the London International Horse Show, Gareth added, “You go through the doors, and you just hit a wall of heat and atmosphere, and the crowd is amazing but they’re not just amazing for us British riders, they’re so supportive of the riders from other countries. It’s a fantastic show.”

Completing the top three was Germany’s Ingrid Klimke and the 14-year-old stallion Franziskus FRH (Fidertanz 2 x Alabaster), winners of the recent Stuttgart CDI-W. A beautifully executed and upbeat programme was awarded 83.170% to put them third and place them at the top of the Western European League after a very consistent season.

“I also feel like a winner tonight, because being third behind these two is like winning,” smiled Ingrid. “I am very happy to be here, and really proud of Franziskus, because he also has really developed very well from Herning to now. In Stuttgart I felt that the freestyle was fun and today it was faultless, so for me I am very proud of him.”

All five Brits finished top ten, including a notable performance by Andrew Gould and Indigro. Drawn second to go, Andrew and Tatiana Skillman’s Negro x Jazz stallion set the bar at 78.065% to take an early and long-time lead, eventually finishing sixth. Andrew competing at his first ever FEI World Cup show and Indigro, the youngest horse in the field at just nine years old, displayed all the requisites of a world class combination.

“It was a memorable moment,” commented Andrew. “Just to ride at this show was a memorable moment. I’ve been waiting 30 years to have this opportunity, and to bring a young horse here with no experience, and myself not having experience here… I couldn’t be happier.

“I had the most amazing ride,” he continued. “He (Indigro) gave me a really good feeling and I love the music, which always helps doesn’t it. It’s just so overwhelming.”

Emile Faurie posted a fantastic 76.130% with his own and Diana Rose’s talented 11-year-old mare, Bellevue (Bordeaux 28 x Brentano II). Riding to a Dionne Warwick/Burt Bacharach programme they showed much potential, with more to come, to take eighth place. While Richard Davison with his own and Gwendolyn Sontheim’s Bubblingh (Lingh x Picandt) showed some super highlights performing their popular Gangsta’s Paradise programme to earn a strong 75.575% for ninth place.

Summarising the standard of competition over the past two days, judge at C, Stephen Clarke commented, “You think it can’t get better and then it does. It’s such a high level and so exciting. We have a great team of judges here and for us it’s so exciting to be able to give those high scores.

“The sport, wherever you go, is improving worldwide, but here it’s just taken off,” he added. “The riders, the normal everyday riders, are so inspired by what they see that the base of the sport is getting wider and wider and that’s only good for the future.”

1. Charlotte Fry and Glamourdale, 90.995% (GBR)
2. Gareth Hughes and Classic Briolinca, 84.590% (GBR)
3. Ingrid Klimke and Franziskus FRH, 83.170% (GER)
4. Helen Langehanenberg and Annabelle, 82.135% (GER)
5. Hans Peter Minderhoud and Glock’s Dream Boy, 79.305% (NED)
6. Andrew Gould and Indigro, 78.065% (GBR)
7. Simone Pearce and Fiderdance, 76.320 (AUS)
8. Emile Faurie and Bellevue, 76.130% (GBR)
9. Richard Davison and Bubblingh, 75.575% (GBR)
10. Abigail Lyle and Giraldo, 75.250% (IRL)
11. Caroline Chew and Tribiani, 74.775% (SGP)
12. Morgan Barbancon and Bolero, 74.010% (FRA)
13. Marc Peter Spahn and Elias, 73.315% (BEL)
14. Naima Moreira Laliberte and Statesman, 73.225% (CAN)
15. Alejandro Asencio Mendez and Focus, 71.805% (ESP)


Photo © FEI | Jon Stroud