Riding the Van Olst Horse’s breeding stallion Everdale, 25-year-old Lottie, who is originally from Scarborough, was the first British combination down the centre line at the Equestrian Park.
A smooth and harmonious test saw them take a commanding lead of Group A with a score of 77.096 per cent, a personal best for the duo at international Grand Prix level.
With the top two athletes from each group qualifying for the individual finals, Lottie said she was “really, really happy” with the results.
Saying it “couldn’t have gone better”, Lottie picked out the extended movements and canter pirouettes as personal highlights.
“Everdale was really with me and was concentrating so hard – I think he had a shock at the end when he realised that there were people watching.
“He definitely knew it’s a big occasion, he’s been concentrating so hard today because he knew what was coming. I enjoyed every second of it and Everdale really felt as though he was enjoying it, too.”
Based in the Netherlands at Van Olst Horses, a position Carl Hester helped secure for her, Lottie has been riding the 12-year-old stallion, she co-owns with the Van Olsts, since he was a seven-year-old.
Lottie and Everdale, with Carl Hester and En Vogue and Charlotte Dujardin and Gio, finished the qualifying Grand Prix in second place behind Germany but with the scores wiped clean for the final, there was still everything to play for.
Carl was the first out for the team final scoring 78.344 per cent, just a fraction off their personal best at international level.
“I’ve struggled with his nerves and finding the right ride together,” said Carl of En Vogue.
“If I get him too forward then he’s too tense, but if I don’t ride him enough then we make mistakes – I just had a great balance tonight.
“It’s an old cliché, but I feel that he arrived here in Tokyo as a boy and went in there tonight as a man.”
Lottie and Everdale scored 76.854 per cent in a test which saw Everdale break into canter instead of passage. “We had the mistake near the beginning, but I picked him up after that because I knew we couldn’t afford to lose any more marks, and he listened and gave everything from that point on,” said Lottie.
Two-time individual Olympic Gold medallist, Charlotte Dujardin rode last for Team GB on Gio.
Like En Vogue, Gio’s relative inexperience at this level showed a little in his test. However, the score of 79.544 per cent secured the podium finish for Team GB behind Germany in Gold and the USA in Silver.
“I was really pleased with him – that’s only the second time he’s done the Special,” said Charlotte after the test.
“He had a little mistake in the ones and I think I just overrode the piaffe into the walk, but apart from that, I was absolutely thrilled with him.
“He’s tried so hard over the past few days and he’s only ten-years-old. For what little competition he’s done, I couldn’t ask for more and it might be a bronze, but it’s like a gold medal because I feel as though he’s given me absolutely everything.”
Lottie said she was “pretty speechless” at winning her first Olympic medal.
“I’ve just had an amazing time and I’m so happy with Everdale. He’s really tried his heart out for me out there.”