Lottie Fry and Everdale lead the way in Riyadh

  • Written By: British Dressage | Joanna Bowns
  • Published: Wed, 17 Apr 2024 19:43

Lottie Fry and Everdale secured a clear victory in the Grand Prix on the opening day of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final in Riyadh (16 – 20 April 2024). The British reigning world champion brought her A-game to the Saudi Arabian capital, riding her Tokyo 2020 partner Everdale to a unanimous win on 75.388%.

Charlotte Fry and Everdale c FEI/Martin Dokoupil

Lottie and Van Olst Horses’ 15-year-old stallion Everdale (Lord Leatherdale x Negro) lead the field with an accurately ridden test showing super energy and fluency. Metronomic rhythm though the piaffe and passage tour earned plenty of the higher marks, as did their impressive canter work featuring supple, ground-covering lines of changes amongst the many other highlights.

“He loves arenas like that and sometimes he can barely contain his excitement, but he just about managed it today,” said 28-year-old Lottie, talking at the press conference. “He loves to go in and show off and he loves his job, so it’s an honour to be able to ride him in arenas like this.

“It’s pretty special,” she continued. “We make a really good team together because we love events like this. It’s just so much fun for both for us!”

The field of 17 starters featured no fewer than eight riders making their World Cup debut, including the USA’s Benjamin Ebeling, who at 24 is the youngest competitor in the field, and Germany’s multi-gold medal U25 rider, Raphael Netz. Netz (25) presented a super test with the diminutive Great Escape Camelot (Johnson x Turbo Magic) to earn 72.003% for eventual fifth place.

At the opposite end of the scale, Riyadh marks the 25th World Cup Final appearance for German titan Isabell Werth. This afternoon, she and her ‘s-Hertogenbosch CDI-W winning partner DSP Quantaz (Quaterback x Hohenstein 4) scored 72.236% for fourth place on the leaderboard. Some costly errors pulled the score back today, but they will no doubt put up a strong challenge for Friday’s Freestyle in a bid to claim the sixth FEI Dressage World Cup™ title of Isabell’s career so far.

Sweden’s three-time Olympian, Patrik Kittel, who was third in the Western European League coming into the Final, took second place on 73.292% with the 12-year-old gelding Touchdown (by Quaterback), while Denmark’s Nanna Skodborg Merrald claimed third place on the podium with the 16-year-old stallion Blue Horse Don Olymbrio (Jazz x Olympic Ferro) scoring 72.904%.

The Grand Prix Freestyle, which will decide the 2024 World Cup Champion, takes place on Friday 19 April at 15:15 BST.

1. Charlotte Fry and Everdale, 75.388% (GBR)
2. Patrik Kittel and Touchdown, 73.292% (SWE)
3. Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Blue Hors Don Olymbrio, 72.904% (DEN)
4. Isabell Werth and DSP Quantaz, 72.236% (GER)
5. Raphael Netz and Great Escape Camelot, 72.003% (GER)
6. Matthias Alexander Rath and Destacado FRH, 71.180% (GER)
7. Flore de Winne and Flynn FRH, 70.575% (BEL)
8. Borja Carrascosa and Sir Hubert NRW, 70.062% (ESP)
9. Justina Vanagaite and Nabab, 69.441% (LTU)
10. Kevin Kohmann and Duenensee, 69.332% (USA)
11. Melissa Galloway and Windermere J’Obei W, 68.603% (NZL)
12. Larissa Pauluis and First-Step Valentin, 68.494% (BEL)
13. Anna Marek and Fayvel, 68.354% (USA)
14. Morgan Barbançon and Sir Donnerhall OLD, 68.292% (FRA)
15. Benjamin Ebeling and Indeed, 65.140% (USA)
16. Alisa Glinka and Abercrombie, 62.873% (MDA)
Thamar Zweistra and Hexagon’s Ich Weiss (NED) EL

Charlotte Fry and the Van Olsts’ Everdale were sadly eliminated this evening before the start of their FEI Dressage World Cup Final Freestyle test by the head judge under the blood rule. Everdale has been examined by vets and is fine and well and back in his stable in Riyadh.

The Van Olsts and Lottie gave this update:

“We are of course upset with the elimination, but the horse’s welfare always comes first and foremost so completely respect the decision.

“Everdale was checked over by the FEI vet team straight away and they couldn’t find any sign of a cut or abrasion in the mouth and then our own vet has also given him a thorough check with no obvious cause. The most important thing is he’s fine and there is no injury. We were really happy with the warm up where he was relaxed, we took his bandages off and gave him a final check before heading in to the arena and can only think he maybe just caught his front lip as we went around the arena. It’s a disappointing way to end our FEI World Cup campaign but we have a happy horse to take home for another day.”

The World Cup Final 2024 was won by Sweden’s Patrik Kittel riding Touchdown, ahead of Nanna Skodborg Merrald on Blue Hors Don Olymbrio, with Isabell Werth third on DSP Quantaz.

1. Patrik Kittel and Touchdown, 81.661% (SWE)
2. Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Blue Hors Don Olymbrio, 81.429% (DEN)
3. Isabell Werth and DSP Quantaz, 81.404%(GER)
4. Matthias Alexander Rath and Destacado FRH, 77.850% (GER)
5. Raphael Netz and Great Escape Camelot, 76.482% (GER)
6. Flore de Winne and Flynn FRH, 76.139% (BEL)
7. Morgan Barbançon and Sir Donnerhall OLD, 75.336% (FRA)
8. Justina Vanagaite and Nabab, 75.104% (LTU)
9. Anna Marek and Fayvel, 74.518% (USA)
10. Melissa Galloway and Windermere J’Obei W, 73.807% (NZL)
11. Borja Carrascosa and Sir Hubert NRW, 73.036% (ESP)
12. Larissa Pauluis and First-Step Valentin, 72.929% (BEL)
13. Benjamin Ebeling and Indeed, 72.511% (USA)
14. Kevin Kohmann and Duenensee, 72.364% (USA)


Photo © FEI/Martin Dokoupil