BRITISH world champion dressage rider Lottie Fry delighted her home crowd when winning both the Grand Prix and FEI Dressage World Cup Freestyle to Music at last week’s five-star London International Horse Show with Glamourdale.

Irish eyes were also smiling when Abigail Lyle, made her debut at the level with her World Championship mount, the 11-year-old gelding Giraldo, landed two personal best scores to finish seventh and 10th. Her score of 75.250% in the Freestyle guarantees her membership of a very elite Irish equestrian club. She now joins Olympians Anna Merveldt and Judy Reynolds as only the third Irish dressage rider ever to score 75% or above in an international CDI Freestyle to Music class.

A fabulous extended trot, scoring 7.6 from the ground jury, was one of many highlights in the new freestyle floor plan. Reflecting on a wonderful two days in London, Abi commented: “I could not be happier, it was amazing. Everything I have been working on with Giraldo is now starting to show in the arena. Tom Hunt put together the Freestyle music and I worked with Clive Halsall on the floor plan.

“Tonight was the first time I rode the Freestyle as I only got the music a week ago. With the very cold weather, the outside arenas at home were frozen and the indoor was too small. Giraldo improved on the Grand Prix yesterday, he was more relaxed and the walk was better and the extended trot is also getting better.

“My trainer Carl Hester made sure we were much more active in our canter work this evening. With Farrell at home I am fortunate to have two Grand Prix horses. I plan to start my 2023 international season at Le Mans in France with another outing at the Belgian CDI in Lier next March. My main aim is to represent Ireland at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.”

Fry lands another gold

To the crowd’s delight, Lottie Fry and Glamourdale produced a score even better than the one which saw them win gold in Herning. Despite a blip in the one-time changes, the stunning black stallion rose to occasion to blow the competition out of the water an score a personal best of 90.995%. The crowd clapped then on the way down the final centre line to their fun ‘Best of British’ music.

“The support from the crowd tonight was incredible, and to end this amazing year here is wonderful!” Fry commented afterwards. “It is almost impossible to sum up 2022 - it has been incredible and coming to London and performing in front of my home crowd is the best feeling and the best way to end the year.”

Talking about Glamourdale’s performance, she added: “I had such an easy, fun ride. He is better than he was in Herning and we keep improving so I can’t wait for the years to come. Paris (Olympic Games 2024) is for sure the goal, and we will see how it goes until then”.

British national champion Gareth Hughes scored a personal best of 84.590% with Classic Briolinca for second place. Germany’s dual eventing and dressage superstar Ingrid Kilmke went straight to the top of the FEI Dressage World Cup Western European league standings on 55 points after placing third in the London leg on 83.170% with Franziskus FRH.