Lottie Fry helps Britain to early team lead at dressage European Championships

Aimi Clark

Great Britain has taken an early lead at the FEI Dressage European Championship in Hagen, Germany, following two brilliant tests from Gareth Hughes and Lottie Fry.

Gareth and Sintano van Hof Olympia posted 74.394 while Lottie and Everdale — her Olympic bronze medal-winning ride in Tokyo — scored 77.671.

“I woke up 30 times last night, it feels like we have been building up to this for three months,” said Gareth, who travelled to Tokyo as team reserve.

“It was great to be in Tokyo but emotionally it was really difficult because you have to prepare to ride and then you don’t ride. Your adrenalin goes up and down. It’s weird because you didn’t get what you want to do which is help the team. And then we had the build-up to this.”

Lottie, who claimed the six-year-old title at the FEI Dressage World Breeding Championship aboard Kjento last week, added that she’s just “running on adrenalin”.

“It’s been a great few months and Everdale has been amazing”, she said. “He came home so fresh from Tokyo, excited and ready to go again. He had a week off last week; I got back on on Sunday and he was feeling great still.

“His energy never runs out, he goes all day and he loves to work,” she added.

Lottie added that the horse has “grown up” since competing in Tokyo and feels more secure in the arena.

“He hasn’t been tired at all, and today it really felt like we could just wait and enjoy it,” she said. “I could take my time a bit more. It was a really nice feeling.”

Lottie’s Tokyo teammates — Carl Hester (En Vogue) and Charlotte Dujardin (Gio) — will ride their tests tomorrow.

Team Denmark lies second after day one ahead of Germany, Olympic team gold medallists in Tokyo.

See the full timetable and results

Main photo: Lottie Fry and Everdale. Credit: FEI/Liz Gregg

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As the editor of Your Horse Online, Aimi oversees all our digital content. She has worked in equestrian media for over 15 years and joined Your Horse as editor in 2017. Aimi has owned and ridden horses all her life. She grew up on a farm in Devon and was a Tetcott & South Tetcott Pony Club member, joining with her first pony — a New Forest called Prudence — before moving on to a Danish Warmblood called Marcus and competing in all activities, but particularly enjoying eventing. She has rehomed and retrained more than 10 ex-racehorses and dabbled in point-to-pointing. There have been plenty of bumps, setbacks and heartache along the way, as well as a lot of fun and many successes. Aimi has two young children and she still loves ex-racehorses. You can often find her hacking her Thoroughbred in the Oxfordshire countryside, flying the flag for Your Horse's #Hack1000Miles challenge.

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