Laura Bechtolsheimer and her European bronze medallist Mistral Hojris beat Germany’s Isabell Werth by more than two per cent on home turf to win the grand prix special at Lingen CDI**** (4-6 June) with 79.46%.
Laura has been out of competition recovering from surgery. She said: “I haven’t been out competing in a couple months and ‘Alf’ hasn’t been out since January, so to come back with such a solid performance is reassuring and motivating for the rest of the season. It was so warm in Lingen and was a great way to prepare for summer competition.”
Laura also won the grand prix (for the special) riding Alf (76.89%) and the grand prix for the kür riding Andretti (71.66%). “Andy” was then second to Ashley Holzer and Pop Art in the kür with 76.3%.
“Andy performed really well in the grand prix and helped get me back in the swing of things,” said Laura. “Alf had more of a rough start as I think some sweat got in his ear and he started to shake his head quite violently before the test. I began to think it was game over, but luckily he got his concentration back.
“It wasn’t until the next day in the special that he really came into his own. Despite a mistake in his one-tempi changes, he felt amazing — better than he did at Windsor [Europeans]!”
Fellow Brit Emile Faurie also contested Lingen, improving from 11th place in the grand prix (68.43%) with Elmegardens Marquis to place ninth in the special on 69.75%. The 11-year-old gelding is by Michellino — as is Mistral Hojris. This was only their second international.
For full report see Horse & Hound 17 June issue