British Young Rider team member Laura Bechtolsheimer can look forward to competing the talented Danish warmblood Mistral Højris, after her father Wilfried bought the horse from Hasse Hoffmann last week.
One of Michellino’s many sons, Mistral Højris is one of Denmark’s top prix st georges horses. As Eurodressage first reported last week, he was purchased after Laura lost one of her up and coming horses earlier in the year.
“We looked at a few horses and decided to buy this one. He is very athletic with a very active hind leg and he has the right attitude, the right temperament,” says Bechtolsheimer. “Laura got on really well with him. I think the most important thing is that it clicks between horse and rider, and that happened [with Mistral Højris].”
Former rider Hoffmann bought Mistral Højris from one of his students -a couple of years ago, and once called him “the most complete horse I have ever had.” The pair rode at Intermediaire I level in Denmark, where they scored in the 70% region, but Hoffmann thought the horse had international potential.
Bechtolsheimer wholeheartedly agrees. “He shows grand prix potential. The plan is for Laura to qualify him for the Young Rider Europeans and bring him on to big tour by the end of the year. So, in the first half of the year, she wants to establish herself in the small tour and slowly work towards grand prix.”
Hoffmann only had Mistral Højris for a couple of years, but Bechtolsheimer is not worried about inconsistencies in training. “The owner before was a student of Hasse’s, so the training was continuous even if Hasse only rode him for two years,” he says. “The basic training was done the traditional way and we can build on that. We are very careful because the foundation has to be right. There is always some thing you want to build, but with this horse it shouldn’t be a problem.”
Laura recently made her debut on the World Cup dressage circuit in Maastrict last month riding her top horse Douglas Dorsey. The youngest competitor in the field at just 19, she scored 65.416%. She also competed in the World Cup qualifier at Olympia. Laura is currently a member of the World Class Start Dressage Squad and was Britain’s highest placed rider at the 2004 European Championships in fifth.