She’s one of Britain’s top dressage riders, with no less than two Olympic medals and an MBE to her name, and today (31 January 2016) Laura Tomlinson (neé Bechtolsheimer) celebrates her 31st birthday.
To commemorate the occasion H&H has compiled a gallery dedicated to Laura’s illustrious equestrian career to date — from the days of baggy jodhpurs to big moments in the spotlight.
A four-year-old Laura holding her mum’s show hack turned dressage horse, Freddy. “I spent all my time at the stables and was always wearing my breeches, just in case I was allowed to ride something,” Laura says. “The fundamentals were all about the relationships I had with my ponies, rather than being under pressure to compete. Being relaxed around the horses and bombing around, falling off and getting back on again shaped me into the rider I am today.”
Laura and Duval’s Capri Sonne Jr at Bolesworth International in June 2015.
Laura hosts a masterclass at Olympia Horse Show in December 2015
Laura and Mistral Højris (Alf) competing at the European dressage championships in 2011 in Rotterdam where they won team gold and individual bronze.
Laura riding Polar Bear competing in the advanced medium open national dressage championships at Stoneleigh Park in 2012 where they won.
Riding Andretti H at Olympia, the London International Horse Show.
Riding Andretti H to victory at Addington Manor.
On the way to 4th place at Olympia with Alf in 2011.
Laura taking time out from dressage to enjoy a day’s hunting with the Duke of Beaufort in 2012.
Laura’s father Dr. Wilfried Bechtolsheimer has been instrumental in her stellar career — here he is pictured watching on while Laura schools Alf at home in Gloucestershire.
Smiles all-round as Laura clinches the grand prix title at the 2010 national dressage championships with Andretti H.
Laura and Alf at home.
Riding for Olympic glory at the 2012 Games in London with Alf
Celebrating an outstanding performance at the 2012 Olympic Games, where Laura and Alf secured individual bronze and team gold medals.
With team mates Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin on the podium at the 2012 Olympics.
Laura takes her boots off after a day of riding at home.
Laura and Charlotte Dujardin perform a pas de deux at the 2013 Longines Global Champions Tour, London.
Riding Unique VIII in the intermediaire 1 British Dressage national championships in 2013.
Laura trains her long-term stable jockey and successful dressage rider Lara Griffiths on Andretti H at home.
Laura schools Pamina at home.
Laura with her husband, top England polo player Mark Tomlinson and new-born baby Annalisa, who is now eighteen months old.
Laura schools exciting prospect Unique VIII at home.
Alf, who retired at Olympia in 2013, relaxing in the field. He now enjoys lots of hacking and some light work.
Laura and Lara share a joke while schooling at home.