Laura Bechtolsheimer proved more than a match for her elders at the British Dressage national championships when wins in the Grange Hotels Grand Prix and Maui Jim Grand Prix Freestyle on Douglas Dorsey saw her crowned national champion at the age of just 20.
Former champions as well as Olympic riders were among those Laura beat to the prestigious title. Going into the freestyle, just 2.5% separated Laura on 71.54% from Henriette Andersen and Maria Eilberg, while Emile Faurie and Peter Storr remained in close contention.
Laura coped admirably with the pressure and produced another strong performance for 77.50%, with the piaffe and passage tours among the highlights of the test.
“He’s a special character and he has mood swings, but I know when to leave him alone. He’s great fun, an amazing horse and I’m so lucky to ride him,” Laura told Horse & Hound.
Laura began riding Douglas Dorsey last year and the pair won their first world cup qualifier in the Czech Republic three weeks ago.
Henriette Andersen and her own 11-year-old stallion Astonish finished second with scores of 69.96% in the grand prix and 73.83% in the freestyle.
Another young rider who has successfully made the transition to senior ranks is Maria Eilberg who finished third with Two Sox on scores of 69.00% and 73.43%.
Meanwhile, Carl Hester brought his 2005 season to a brighter end, following the sale of Escapado and the recent sad loss of his five-year-old Rhinegold champion Negretto, when he won the Equestro Intermediaire I and Easibed Intermediaire I Freestyle with the stallion Pro-Set.