Laura Tomlinson (née Bechtolsheimer) says her Olympic mount Mistral Hojris will be retired later this year, despite a stunning return to competition at CDI Hagen**** (18-21 April).

“Alf” and Laura — who won individual bronze and team gold at Greenwich — dominated both the grand prix and the special last weekend, taking the latter with a score of plus-81%.

“I had a great time. It was just lovely riding him without the pressure of the past few years,” she told H&H.

This year is about enjoying every time I get on him, as he is 18 now.”

Laura hopes to take Alf to the European Championships to defend Britain’s team title in Denmark in August, but that would be his last outing at championship level.

“I definitely want him to go out when he’s feeling awesome, not when he’s looking old,” she said. “He is on great form and felt really good [at Hagen]; athletic, relaxed and moving well.

“But if at any time I think he’s not quite right, I will be backing off — he doesn’t owe me anything.”

At Hagen, Laura competed under her married name of Tomlinson for the first time.

She married the England polo player Mark Tomlinson in Switzerland in March.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (25 April 2013)