Laura Tomlinson, British dressage rider

Olympic Games Dressage 09.08.12

Laura, born on 31 January 1985 in Mainz, Germany, is a British dressage rider who now lives in Gloucestershire.

She is the daughter of former British Dressage director and international dressage rider Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer and began riding at the age of three.

She initially focused on eventing, winning the national schools one-day event at Stonar aged 12.

By the age of 13, Laura had redirected her attentions towards dressage.

She won a silver medal at the Pony European championships the following season.

Laura graduated from Bristol University in 2007, where she read philosophy and politics.

She made her Olympic debut in Hong Kong as part of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, but struggled to contain Mistral Hojris (aka Alf) who got spooked by the big screen.

At the 2010 world championships in Kentucky Laura won indivdual and team silver in the grand prix and individual silver in the grand prix freestyle.

She was also part of the gold medal winning team at the 2011 European championships in Rotterdam.

At Olympia in 2011 she lead the freestyle with Alf in the fourth leg of the World Cup dressage series.

Laura and Alf won team gold and individual bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Alf had to be withdrawn from the 2013 European Championships after he sustained a slight injury.

Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk