Olympic champion back on British team after 10-year absence

  • Leslie Law, the 2004 Olympic eventing individual gold medallist, will ride on the British team again, more than a decade since his last squad appearance.

    Leslie moved to the USA in the winter of 2005 and has not ridden on a British team since, his last cap being the 2005 Blenheim European Championships, when he was a team gold medallist with his Athens Olympic champion Shear L’Eau. Before the move he won three European team gold medals, two Olympic team silvers, an individual Olympic gold and a world team bronze, all on the full brothers Shear H2O and Shear L’Eau.

    The rider has now been called up to compete on the Nations Cup team at The Plains in Virginia, USA (6-8 July), the fourth leg of the 2018 FEI Eventing Nations Cup. Leslie’s ride will be Tre’ Book’s nine-year-old Voltaire De Tre’.

    “It’s exciting and it’ll be fun — I’m looking forward to it,” said Leslie. “It’s great for the horse’s owners too.”

    He has been riding the chestnut Selle Français since the spring of 2016 and recently finished fourth in the CCI3* at Jersey Fresh with him. The pair were also second in the national advanced class at The Fork, held at Tryon as part of the World Equestrian Games test event in April.

    “Dickie [Waygood, British eventing performance manager] sent me an email at the beginning of the year asking if there was the possibility I’d have anything for the Nations Cup and I said I’d got a horse who was going up through the grades and doing his first advanced in February, so we’d have to see how he goes,” said Leslie.

    “He’s gone from strength to strength this year and is turning into an exciting horse. To handle, he’s full of himself and keeps the girls on their toes. To ride, he feels like he’s really starting to grow up and there’s a lot more to come from him. As a seven- and eight-year-old he was a big, leggy horse so I took time to allow him to mature.”

    Leslie is based in Ocala, Florida, with his Canadian wife Lesley Grant-Law, who also events. The couple have a son, Liam.

    Leslie’s team-mates will all travel from Britain to compete at the Plains. They are:

    • Ben Hobday and his own and Jane Chambers’ eight-year-old gelding Shadow Man II, with Rachael Foster’s 11-year-old gelding Ciletto H in direct reserve
    • Will Rawlin and Andrew and Miranda Rawlin’s 10-year-old gelding VIP Vinnie
    • Georgie Spence with her own and Suzanne Doggett’s 12-year-old gelding Halltown Harley

    Article continues below…

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