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Bettina is one of Germany’s best eventers with a long history of international success and a notable reputation as an outstanding dressage rider.

Her early achievements include team bronze at the 1981 Los Angeles Olympics and team bronze at The Hague World Equestrian Games in 1994.

She capped these with individual gold at the Burghley European Championships in 1997 on the grey Watermill Stream.

In 2004 in Athens Bettina almost became the first woman to become Olympic eventing champion, but she lost her team and individual gold medals on a technical fault in the show jumping – the worst of a series of near-misses at the top level which dogged her around this time.

But in 2005 she achieved the four-star win which had eluded her for so long when she took the first running of Luhm ¼hlen at this level with her Athens partner Ringwood Cockatoo.

With the same horse she has since won team bronze at the Blenheim European Championships in 2005, team gold at the Aachen World Equestrian Games in 2006 (Ringwood Cockatoo) and individual bronze at the Pratoni del Vivaro European Championships 2007.

In 2008 they won Pau, France, becoming the first pair to top both continental four-stars.

Bettina (n ©e Overesch) was born in 1962 and was married to Australian Olympic triple gold medallist Andrew Hoy, but they are now separated.

They were based in Gloucestershire at a yard rented from Mark Phillips for many years, but couldn’t find a suitable home in Britain when they left there, so moved to Germany for the 2009 season.

During the 2010 season, they moved back to Britain, basing themselves on the Farley Estate, near Reading.

At Blenheim in September 2011 Bettina came third on the 12-year-old Trakehner Lanfranco TSF, behind Piggy French and Tiana Coudray.

Earlier in the year Bettina’s former four-star horse Ringwood Cockatoo moved back to England to enjoy his retirement at the Lincolnshire home of commentator Justin Llewelyn and his wife Claire, who also have Leslie Law’s former four-star and championship horse Shear H20.

In early 2012, Bettina was named in Germany’s B squad for the London Olympics with Lanfranco TSF.

To read our full interview with Bettina and more about her hopes for London 2012 see H&H’s 1 March 2012 issue

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