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Charlotte Fry and ‘one in a million’ Glamourdale eye second world dressage gold

Dressage rider Charlotte Fry (British Equestrian/Jon Stroud Media)
Dressage rider Charlotte Fry (British Equestrian/Jon Stroud Media)

Great Britain’s Charlotte Fry will go for double gold at the FEI World Dressage Championship on a horse she describes as “one in a million”.

Fry produced an inspired display aboard 11-year-old stallion Glamourdale to land the grand prix special crown at Herning’s Stutteri Ask Stadium in Denmark.

Freestyle gold on Wednesday is now in her sights, and she would become only the third rider in dressage history to win both individual world titles at one championship if she accomplishes it.

Her Great Britain team-mate and double Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin achieved the feat in 2014, emulating Dutch rider Edward Gal’s achievement of four years earlier.

Not since Dujardin, whose stellar career has seen her capture 21 major championship medals, burst on to the scene ahead of London 2012 has such excitement surrounded a British rider in any of equestrian’s three Olympic disciplines.

And with the Paris Games just two years away, Scarborough-born Fry has a further opportunity to showcase her credentials.

“Glamourdale was incredible, the atmosphere was incredible and he did just everything I could ask,” Fry said, of the combination’s grand prix special display.

“He was just ready for it, and the feeling as he goes into the arena is like no other.

“He is just a massive showman, and he takes me with him on that. It is an incredible feeling to sit on Glamourdale.

“He gave me everything in that arena, the crowd was amazing and he really rose to it and gave me the most incredible test I have ever felt.

“The sky is the limit for Glamourdale – he has always been so special. He is one in a million, really, and to ride him at the World Championship is a dream come true.”

Fry used to train with Carl Hester, Dujardin’s mentor, whose own illustrious dressage career has delivered 13 medals on the Olympic, world and European stages.

And it was Hester who found 26-year-old Fry a place with his friend and five-time Olympian Anne van Holst in the Netherlands, where she has been based since 2014.

“It was a sensational performance,” Hester said.

“She came into the arena, and the quality of her horse – having watched a class of 30 of the best horses in the world – Glamourdale still stands out a mile.

“Of course, it’s one thing having an amazing horse, but you have to ride it, you have to ride with risk and without mistakes, and she was able to do that.

“She delivered with the best performance of her life.”