Laura Bechtolsheimer is British Olympic Association’s (BOA) equestrian athlete of the year.

The 25-year-old dressage rider has had a very successful 2010, culminating in winning three silver medals at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in October.

She was chosen for the BOA honour by the British Equestrian Federation.

Performance director of the BEF Will Connell said: “The award is for athletes in Olympic disciplines only and is presented by the BOA to mark outstanding performances for the year.

“We use the individual results from the annual championships as a guide to who we nominate.

“This year was a great for the Lottery funded British equestrian teams with both William [Fox-Pitt] and Laura winning individual silvers and helping their respective teams to team success, with Laura winning individual silvers in both the grand prix special and the grand prix freestyle.

“We are blessed with many talented athletes who are supported by great owners and they all deserve mention and recognition.”

Modern pentathlete Sam Weale was chosen to represent his sport. He was in the British team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Laura was also one of six people presented with a medal of honour by the BEF at Olympia on Thursday (16 December).

Also receiving medals at Olympia, were vaulter Joanne Eccles; eventer Nicola Wilson and para-equestrian dressage rider Sophie Wells.

Senior eventing team farrier, Brendan Murray and Corinne Bracken, coach and chef d’equipe to the children, junior and young rider showjumping teams, received their medals alongside the four British riders.