As Leslie Law celebrates his big birthday today (5 May, 2015), we take a look back at the Olympic gold-medallist’s impressive eventing career.
1. An Olympic champion
Leslie’s run of Olympic success began with a team silver at Sydney in 2000 with Shear H20 (pictured below) — a grey Irish-bred gelding who died at the age of 24 in 2014.
In 2004 at the Athens Olympics (pictured below), Leslie and Shear L’Eau (full brother to Shear H20) performed a personal best in the dressage with a score of 43.2. The pair had an uncomfortable moment at the water but went on to complete the cross-country with only 1.2 time penalties.
Leslie and his team mate Pippa Funnell jumped a clear round in the final phase, securing team silver, before Leslie went on to jump another clear round for the individual gold medal. Leslie’s was one of only two double clears and meant he leapt from fifth position individually to become champion.
Initially Britain was awarded team bronze and Leslie took the individual silver title, but the medals were upgraded to team silver and individual gold when Germany’s Bettina Hoy’s penalties for crossing the start line twice were upheld.
2. A multi-medallist
Alongside his Olympic medals, Leslie secured team gold with Shear H20 a the 2001 European Championships in Pau, France, and another team gold at the 2003 European Championships in Punchestown, Ireland with Shear L’Eau.
In 2002 Leslie took team bronze at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez Spain with Shear H20 (pictured below).
3. Leslie is based in America
In 2006 Leslie made the decision to move to America to continue his eventing career and is now based in Ocala in Florida.
4. He is a coach for the United States Equestrian Federation
It was announced at the beginning of 2015 that Leslie had been appointed as the new eventing developing rider coach for the United States Equestrian Federation, overseeing the Eventing 25 and Eventing 18 programmes. In 2011 Leslie was shortlisted for the role as US eventing chef d’equipe.
5. Leslie is married to the Canadian event rider Lesley Grant-Law
In 2007 Leslie married Canadian eventer Lesley (a spelling minefield…) Grant in Aruba, an island in the southern Caribbean, joined only by two of Leslie’s owners Ann and Troy Glaus. They later celebrated with a party on their Florida farm on New Year’s Eve with 120 guests, including Leslie’s former team mates Rodney Powell and William Fox-Pitt. The couple have a son called Liam.