Laura Collett

Laura Collett is a British event rider who won a team gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Laura Collett and London 52 competing at the Tokyo Olympics

Laura Collett and London 52 in Tokyo. Credit: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

She started her competitive equestrian career in the show ring, winning the supreme pony title at Horse of the Year Show in 2003 when she was 13.

When she moved across to eventing, Laura proved a force to be reckoned with through the pony, junior and young rider ranks. She won nine medals during her youth career, including three individual golds (juniors in 2006 on Fernhill Sox, juniors in 2007 on Rayef, young riders in 2009 on Rayef).

What senior championships has Laura Collett ridden at?

Since moving into senior competition, Laura has been selected for three European Championships as an individual. She was eliminated on the cross-country on her senior championship debut at Luhmühlen in 2011 and also at the 2019 Europeans at the same venue, but finished 13th at the 2015 championships at Blair Castle on Grand Manoeuvre.

The following year Laura was selected to represent Britain at the delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021 on London 52 and finished ninth individually there, contributing to Britain’s team gold medal.

Laura and London 52 were also members of the British team at the 2022 World Championships in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy.

In 2023, Laura rode on the British team at the European Championships in Haras du Pin, finishing ninth individually on London 52 and contributing to team gold.

Has Laura won at five-star?

Yes. Laura achieved her first five-star win in October 2020 when she took the title at Pau Horse Trials, France, riding her own, Keith Scott and Karen Bartlett’s London 52.

The horse had previously been the 2018 eight- and nine-year-old champion at Blenheim Horse Trials, as well as winning the Event Rider Masters at Chatsworth Horse Trials and the CCI4*-L at Boekelo Horse Trials, both in 2019. But he had also fallen at the 2019 European Championships in Luhmühlen having sat third after the dressage, so this result proved Laura’s faith in him was justified.

“It’s always been my dream to win a five-star but I had started to feel like maybe it wasn’t going to happen,” she said in an interview shortly after her win.

“I knew the horse was good enough, and it is so nice to prove that. There was a reason behind everything that went wrong last year, but he feels so different now, like he has finally grown up and started to believe in himself.

“The only thing he lacked along the way is self-belief, and I thought if we could get that he could win a big one, so I was putting pressure on myself to show that to everyone.”

Laura’s Pau victory meant she had the honour of winning the only five-star of 2020 because the eventing calendar that year was decimated by Covid-19.

In 2022, Laura and London 52 added victory at Badminton Horse Trials to their Pau win. The following year they won another five-star, at Luhmühlen Horse Trials.

Who was Laura’s Olympic horse in Tokyo?

Laura also rode London 52 in Tokyo.

“It’s been an unbelievable experience from the moment I was selected,” she said after collecting team gold in Japan.

“It was a tough fight to be chosen and you had to be competitive at every event. We knew we’d left several riders at home with brilliant horses, who would think they should have been here if we’d messed up. It’s a relief to get the job done.

“We came out here knowing we had three of the best horses in the world – horses of a lifetime – and that’s why we’re sat here with a gold medal.”

Laura Collett and London 52 at the Tokyo Olympics.

Laura Collett and London 52 at the Tokyo Olympics.

Where is Laura based?

Laura is based at a yard on the Salperton Estate, in Gloucestershire. The estate belongs to Jason Houghton, who owned her successful junior and  young rider horse Rayef. She moved there in February 2018 after four years in Lambourn.

Has Laura Collett had an accident eventing?

Laura had a rotational fall at Tweseldown in 2013 which left her with a fractured shoulder, punctured lung, lacerated liver and broken ribs. She also lost the sight in her right eye.

“When I was in hospital and realised I couldn’t see out of one eye I was told the sight would come back,” she said in an interview in the autumn of 2020.

“Two weeks later I returned for a scan and they realised it wouldn’t. It really hit me – if they had told me that straight away I might have dealt with it better, but as it was I really struggled, and wasn’t very pleasant to be around.

“In the end I had to give myself a bit of a talking-to, and I realised that it didn’t have to stop me doing what I wanted to do.”

Does Laura have a husband?

No, Laura is not married.

Is Laura involved with racehorses?

Yes, Laura assists with the training of racehorses for various trainers.

“I’ve always been passionate about jump racing and I find working with racehorses so rewarding, either teaching them to jump from scratch or helping the if they’re have any problems,” she says.

At the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, Harry Whittington’s Simply The Betts and Saint Calvados benefited from a morning’s work with Laura before going on to win and finish second in their respective races.

William Haggas also credited Laura for turning the Flat horse Dubai Honour around.