Dressage World Champion Charlotte Fry will perform to live music at “Horse & Symphony”

It is going to be a world champion event and typically British: The Dressage World Champion Charlotte Fry will perform to the live sounds of the Aachen Symphony Orchestra at the “Horse & Symphony” concerts. An interview with the 26-year-old British dressage star.

Great Britain is the official partner country of the CHIO Aachen this year. Is that something special for you?

Of course, it is really exciting. Great Britain has so many distinctive facets, it is going to be fantastic to experience Aachen surrounded in British flair.


You will be performing a freestyle routine to hits by Elton John, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay during the “Horse & Symphony” concerts – accompanied by the live music of the Aachen Symphony Orchestra. How excited are you?

They are going to be two very special evenings and I am looking forward to them immensely. It is simply fantastic riding to live music. I even get goosebumps just thinking about it.


Last year you were crowned as the double World Champion in Herning, Denmark. It came as a surprise for many, was it a surprise for you too?

…yes, it was. A few months have passed in the meantime, but to be honest, I still have to pinch myself every now and again to believe that we really won the World Championship title there. And if that doesn’t help, I take a look at the medals. Watching them twinkle and holding them is simply a totally incredible feeling every time.


When did you come into contact with horses for the first time? 

I grew up on the dressage yard of my family. I actually started  riding before I could even walk. So, it was on the cards that I  would become a rider myself – just like my mother.


In 2014, you left your home country Great Britain and found a new home in the Netherlands…

…yes, I have been at Van Olst Horses for eight and a half years now. For me it is a very special place with very special people and in the meantime it has become my second home. I am deeply grateful for the incredible opportunities they offer me here, for the many fantastic horses I am allowed to ride and for the wonderful support I receive.


Carl Hester discovered your huge talent and established the contact to Anne van Olst. Looking back on it, was it exactly the right way?

Definitely. There is a very close bond between Anne van Olst and myself. Over the years, she has become much more than just my trainer. She is always there for me, we can talk about everything and her way of training is always inspiring time and again. I have already learnt so much from her. She places great importance on precise basic training and helps me find out what each horse needs in his daily work.


A normal day in the life of Charlotte Fry, what does that look like?

I love getting up early. I am normally at the yard at 6 a.m., I feed the horses and then I start riding. 12 to 14 horses are on my schedule a day. There is everything represented – from the three-year-old youngster through to the fully-trained Grand Prix horse – this diversity makes my work particularly exciting. My day finishes around 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Then, I take my dog “Bami” out for a small walk, then we go home so that I can rest ready for the next day.


You seem to have a very special relationship to “Bami”…

The two of us are inseparable. He was a gift from Anne for my 21st birthday. He has been at my side ever since. He is a real sunshine, travels to the shows with me as my talisman – and he loves cameras. He always knows exactly how to pose (laughs).


One says you carry out special rituals before important competitions…

It might sound a bit mad, but I always brush my teeth just before mounting. And I use a huge amount of hairspray. I think my hairdo would last for days without just one strand of hair getting out of place (laughs).


You are only mid-twenty and are already a double World Champion. Where does it go from here?

I simply want to make sure myself and my horses continue having fun doing our sport together. Nobody can take away what we have achieved together. But of course there are still a few goals I would like to achieve.


Winning the Deutsche Bank Prize at the CHIO Aachen is still missing from your list of victories…

Yes, that’s right. It would be cool to read my name on the winners’ board one day.


Tickets for “Horse & Symphony” on June 23rd and 24th, as well as for all other events of the CHIO Aachen 2023 are available online in the ticket shop or on +49-241-9171111.

Charlotte Fry, the double World Champion in dressage. Photo: CHIO Aachen/Arnd Bronkhorst

Charlotte Fry, the double World Champion in dressage. Photo: CHIO Aachen/Arnd Bronkhorst