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All hail, Laura Collett! We celebrate the talented rider’s career to date…

Following her first five-star win at Pau Horse Trials, we take a look back at Laura Collett’s incredible career to date – she may only be 31 years old, but she has already achieved a great deal.

Laura Collett’s competitive equestrian career started in the show ring. In 2003, aged 13, she won the supreme pony title at the Horse of the Year Show. She kicked off her eventing career aged 15, winning championship medals in ponies, juniors and young rides before working her way up through the ranks to compete at five-star and represent Britain at senior championship level.

The pony who set the pathway…

Noble Springbok (pictured top and below) was the pony who kick started Laura’s eventing career. During their first affiliated season together in 2005, the pair never finished outside the top three. Their partnership culminated in an individual bronze medal at the pony European Championships at Pratoni Del Vivaro that year, before Laura made the transition onto horses.

A successful debut season…

Laura enjoyed success straight away on horses, primarily with Walnut and Fernhill Sox (pictured, below). During her first season affiliated, Laura won both the under-18 championships with Walnut and the CCI* (now CCI2*-L) with Fernhill Sox at Weston Park.

Laura won junior team silver and individual gold with Sox in 2006 and the following year took double junior gold on Rayef. She went on to win two team golds and one individual gold in young riders with Rayef, who also gave her her first Badminton completion (eighth in 2011).

Credit: Jo Prestwich

Another Noble horse…

Laura competed Noble Bestman for the Walker family, whose daughter Grace also won three pony medals with Noble Springbok. Laura and Noble Bestman enjoyed four seasons together, including clear cross-country rounds at both Burghley and Badminton.

‘A heart of gold’…

Grand Manoeuvre gave Laura her first senior championship completion when finishing 13th at the Blair European Championships in 2015. As well as Badminton completions, the pair achieved a number of top-10 three-star placings, the highest of which was in the CIC3* (now CCI4*-S) at Barbury in 2016 where they finished sixth. They were also long-listed for the Rio Olympics. The chestnut gelding, who Laura described as having “a heart of gold”, was put down aged 14 in 2018.

A regular within the pages of H&H…

Laura has graced the pages of H&H many times already during her 16-year eventing career, and in 2014 we visited her and the team at her former yard at Windy Hollow Stables in Lambourn for an ‘Access all areas’ feature. She has since relocated to Penhill Farm near Cheltenham.

All smiles…

Laura is congratulated by her mother Tracey following her cross-country round on London 52 during the Event Rider Masters at Chatsworth International in 2019.

A championship rider…

Laura and London 52 represented Great Britain at the 2019 European Eventing Championships in Luhmühlen. They were in bronze medal position when the dressage came to a close, but sadly came to grief on the latter stages of the cross-country.

European Eventing Championships dressage Laura Collett

And now… a five-star winner

Laura’s dreams finally came true at the sole five-star competition of 2020, when leading from start to finish at Pau aboard London 52 to take her first five-star title.

Laura Collett celebrates her first five-star victory at Pau 2020, riding London 52. Pau Horse Trials 2020 final results: Laura Collett celebrates victory on London 52
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find out more about getting the magazine delivered to your door every week.

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