Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris were in action at the weekend for the first time since Olympia last December – winning the grand prix at the 2012 CDI Dortmund.

Laura and “Alf” performed well in Dortmund, (8-11 March) and took the grand prix with 81.170%.

Laura told H&H: “I was really pleased with Alf. More than 81% in both my tests is an excellent way to start the year.

“He felt fantastic in the arena. We have been working on his way of going and outline over the winter and I think it shows.”

Second in the grand prix was German rider Kristina Sprehe who scored a personal best of 79.894% with her black stallion Desperados (De Niro/Wolkenstein II).

But the 25-year-old German proved she’s one to watch with a victory in the Olympic grand prix special on Saturday.

Earning a score of 81.978%, Kristina narrowly beat Laura (on 81.044%).

Ulla Salzgeber and Herzruf’s Erbe took the third spot with 79.0%.

“It was my first time riding the grand prix special and I was concentrating on getting it right,” said Laura.

“I made a few little mistakes but am very pleased with the way he went.”

For a full report, see next week’s Horse & Hound (22 March).