London team gold and individual bronze medallist Laura Tomlinson (nee Bechtolsheimer) is five months pregnant and expecting her second child.
The baby boy is due at the end of March and will join Laura and Mark’s daughter, Annalisa, who was born in July 2014.
Laura is competing this week at the Oldenburg CDI in Germany with her grand prix mare Rosalie B.
“It isn’t a secret that I’m pregnant but I realised I’d better put something out online before the show. It would be a bit of a shock for people and I didn’t want them thinking, ‘Has Laura just got really fat?’” she joked.
She says she is “definitely bigger than the first time round” but still fits in her tailcoat and is hoping to compete at Olympia CDI in London next month, too.
“I’m still fine riding and long may it continue,” she told H&H. “I’d like to be able to ride for as long as possible. I’m sure I’ll still be riding at home, but when I stop competing is just a question of whether I’d look appropriate to ride in public.”
Since buying 10-year-old Rosalie B a year ago, the duo have debuted at grand prix and were long-listed for the Rio Olympics.
“We’ve spent the last few months on the basics strengthening her up and I really want to give her two outings [Oldenburg and Olympia] before my break as she’s not been out since Deauville in July,” she said. “Then when I have the baby Rosie will have an easier time, though Lara [Griffith, who works for the Bechtolsheimers] will keep her and the others ticking over for me.
“We’ve crammed a lot in to her since getting her last November and she’s only 10, so needs a moment to catch up with herself.”
Laura’s other top ride, the small tour stallion Duvals Capri Sonne Jr (pictured, above), was the winner of the Wellington Riding Premier League show in June with 74.43%.
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“I’m disappointed I haven’t got Capri Sonne Jr out as there haven’t been any two-star shows running nearby,” she said. “Although he has competed plenty at small tour so doesn’t need a lot of shows, but he’s coming on really well.”
Laura plans to ride for as long as she feels comfortable.
“I hope to ride for a good few months more and I hope I’ll be back in the saddle as quickly as I was last time. It is what it is when you’re a woman and you want a family and a career.”