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Double World Championship gold for Driffield’s Charlotte Fry

Driffield dressage rider Charlotte Fry completed an amazing week at the FEI World Equestrian Championships in Denmark after winning freestyle dressage gold – her third medal of a truly remarkable week.

The Netherlands-based former Driffield School & Sixth Form student, who won a bronze medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, had already finished in the silver medal position alongside her Great Britain teammates in the team event aboard 11-year-old stallion Glamourdale.

Just a day later, the 26-year-old lined up in the Grand Prix Special and an outstanding personal best of 82.508% put the combination on top of the podium as the pair defeated the world’s best riders.

Fry and Glamourdale won by a margin of more than one percent, with what onlookers described as the ‘test of her career so far’.

Glamourdale, aided by his rider, was awarded 16 tens from the judges, with the extended canter and two-tempis proving to be the highlights of the test as the crowd watched on in stunned silence.

It seemed a question of not if, but how far Charlotte and Glamourdale would go into the lead and the pair soon discovered they had smashed their personal best by 1.529%, putting them top of the leaderboard.

With one performer still to compete, Charlotte faced a wait to discover whether she had done enough to earn the gold medal.

And it was whilst she was midway into an interview with Swedish television that she found out the fantastic news.

Charlotte has dressage in her blood thanks to her late mother, Laura Fry, who represented Great Britain at the 1992 Olympics.

Driffield’s new world champion described the Grand Prix Special victory as a ‘dream come true’.
“It feels unreal, it’s just unbelievable right now,” said Charlotte.

“I feel like I’m about to burst into tears any minute, but I’m also the happiest person in the world right.
“Glamourdale gave me everything in there, the atmosphere was incredible, the crowds were amazing and he really rose to it and gave me the most incredible test I’ve ever felt.

“The sky is the limit for Glamourdale, he’s always been so special.

“He’s one in a million really and to ride him here at the World Championship is a dream come true.”

Attention then turned to the finale of the dressage section at the World Championships – the Grand Prix Freestyle test to music.

With two medals already safe in her suitcase, could Charlotte and Glamourdale add to their haul?

The duo were one of the last pairings to enter the arena and premiered their new musical test.

A rock rendition of God Save the Queen in the halt preceded the pairing’s perfect synchronicity to Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust.

Charlotte had put together a complex floorplan which showed off Glamourdale’s best moves to some brilliant British classics – Let Me Entertain You (extended trot), Millennium (extended canter), Land of Confusion (canter), She’s the One (pirouettes), Bittersweet Symphony (two-time tempis) and Hey Jude (one-time changes).

The final salute had the capacity crowd on their feet, even more so when the scores were revealed.
Charlotte and Glamourdale were awarded 90.654%, with the seven judges awarding 24 tens, enough for victory again.

It meant Fry became only the third rider in history to win both individual dressage world titles at one championship, following in the footsteps of teammate Charlotte Dujardin and Dutch rider Edward Gal.

“It’s absolutely incredible, like unbelievable,” Charlotte continued.

“I just had the best feeling in there I’ve ever had.

“I had so much fun and he had so much fun and we were literally just loving it the whole way round.

“It’s just a really nice, relaxed feeling, the crowd were seriously amazing. Glamourdale went in there and knew what he had to do and he could feel the atmosphere.

“If there’s a lot of crowds, he’s going to show off even more, I can just sit there, it felt so easy and he was just bouncing through his music.”

“I didn’t dare to imagine this. I know everything is possible with Glamourdale, he is the best horse in the world, but to be able to show off what he did tonight is amazing.

“I guess there is more pressure today, but I love the music and he loved the music, and my main thing was I wanted us both to enjoy it.

“Hopefully, this is just the beginning. It’s his first major championships and I think the next few years will be really exciting for him.

“Getting a +90% is something all my idols do and I didn’t expect to do it.

“I was loving every second, as soon as the music started, I could hear the crowd.

“Some were even singing along to it; it was just the most incredible feeling.

“I could really sit up and relax and he was enjoying it and it was just the most amazing feeling in the world.

“I picked the lines to show off his incredible extended canter, but there is so much.

“It took weeks to get a floorplan to fit inside the time because I wanted to do a 10-minute freestyle and that’s just not possible.

“It really captured all his amazing points. I’m speechless about the music.

“We knew we wanted a special British theme and he’s heard these songs at stallion shows before, so he basically picked them out for me.

“He really danced to it tonight. What Glamourdale did was just out of this world, I was loving every second,”

A second gold and third medal overall, at the Championships was the perfect end to a remarkable week for Charlotte that also saw Great Britain qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, which surely can’t come around soon enough for her and Glamourdale.

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