Laura Collett had been knocking at the door of a huge win ever since her much-garlanded pony years, despite suffering a “horrific” fall that left her sight permanently damaged. Polly Bryan finds the 31-year-old still on “cloud nine” after her first five-star success as she talks about why Tokyo hopefully happening a year later than was originally planned could be a blessing in disguise for her.
Laura Collett has so many accolades to her name that it’s easy to forget that until a month ago, a win at five-star level had eluded her. But finally, on her 12th five-star start – at Pau, France – she and the 11-year-old Landos gelding London 52 clinched that long-awaited top-level victory, having led the event from start to finish.
“I’ve been trying to stay on cloud nine for as long as I can,” laughs Laura a couple of weeks afterwards. “The first feeling I had after realising we had won was just utter disbelief, even as I came out of the ring and everyone crowded around me. I wouldn’t go to sleep for two days after because I didn’t want to wake up and find it was all a dream. Even now I keep watching it back to see if it really happened.”
Her emotional reaction to such a win is hardly surprising. For all its countless highlights, Laura’s record is flecked with near-misses – including elimination at two of her three senior championship runs, most recently in 2019 following third after dressage with London, and an agonising second-place finish at Luhmühlen in 2018 with Mr Bass.
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