Dressage rider Laura Bechtolsheimer retired her national champion and championship team ride Douglas Dorsey, 17, from competition after contesting Dortmund CDI.

The pair finished sixth in the grand prix on 65.79% and eighth in the special with 65.04%.

“Douglas is fit and sound, but he lost motivation in the arena and wasn’t quite in front of my leg and that caused mistakes,” said Laura. “I’m not going to compete him anymore. Douglas has given me so much and Dad [Wilfried Bechtolsheimer] and I both said to each other afterwards, ‘let’s not push him’.”

The pair are due to give a demonstration at Burghley Horse Trials in September.

“He’ll love all that attention,” said Laura. “He loved being at the show, and was good in his way of going but he just went in the arena and seemed to say, ‘aw, not again?’. He’s been doing the same grand prix for seven years, he just doesn’t quite go for it anymore.”

Douglas will stay in work and go out in the paddock each afternoon.

Find out how other top British riders got on competing abroad in tomorrow’s Horse & Hound (27 March, ’08)