Britain’s chances of winning an Olympic dressage medal during the London 2012 Games are looking increasingly healthy following an impressive international performance from 20-year-old Laura Bechtolsheimer at last weekend’s World Cup Qualifier at Marianske Lazne in the Czech Republic.
Laura became one of the youngest riders ever to triumph in an FEI dressage World Cup qualifier with Douglas Dorsey, when she gain a convincing win in the grand prix kür, after being placed second in the grand prix. Accompanied by a compilation of Elvis songs, Laura scored 75.80% to win the kür ahead of her German trainer Marcus Gribbe, who scored 73.68% riding Polarion.
Laura said: “I’m really pleased. I thought the grand prix went well, with only one small mistake, but we didn’t have any mistakes in the freestyle and each of the five judges ranked me in first place.
“I’m definitely aiming to ride in the London Olympic Games in 2012, but if things go well I’ll be aiming for Beijing in the meantime.”
Laura is still eligible young rider competitions for one more year, but has already started to make her mark at senior level after successfully making the notoriously difficult transition to international grand prix competitions against her older peers.
Marianske Lazne grand prix
1. Alex van Silfhout, Nimbly, 70.58%
2. Laura Bechtolsheimer, Douglas Dorsey, 69.96%
3. Markus Gribbe, Polarion, 68.33%
4. Patricia Callaghan, Joy, 67.88%
5. Odile van Doorn, Parodie van de Wateringhoeve, 66.71%
6. Yuriy Kovshov, Mehol, 65.38%
Marianske Lazne grand prix kür
1. Laura Bechtolsheimer, Douglas Dorsey, 75.80%
2. Markus Gribbe, Polarion, 73.68%
3. Patricia Callaghan, Joy, 73.23%
4. Yuriy Kovshov, Mehol, 72.75%
5. Alex van Silfhout, Nimbly, 72.70%
6. Odile van Doorn, Parodie van de Wateringhoeve, 71.40%