Great Britain’s Laura Bechtolsheimer Double Grand Prix Win at Lingen CDI4*

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Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

LINGEN, Germany, June 5–Great Britain’s Laura Bechtolsheimer on Saturday won her second Grand Prix in two days beating a strong international field on her Olympic and European Championship mount Mistral Hojris in qualifying for the Grand Prix Special after a victory on Andretti H in the Grand Prix qualifier for the Kür at the International Dressage Festival CDI4*.

In Saturday’s win, her score of 76.894 per cent placed her among the best in the world in this summer’s competitions heading into the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky beginning Sept. 25. It also maintained the momentum Laura and the 15-year-old Danish warmblood gelding developed in 2009 that included victories in Stuttgart and Hagen in Germany as well as team silver at the Europeans.

Laura said she enjoyed competing at Lingen as “everything is close together, the tents and the crowd are close to the ring and this is a good exercise for the horses.” She said that she does not pay attention to other rides but concentrates on what riding, but admitted she heard some results “which motivates me.”

The British pair was the sole non-German combination in the top nine finishers with the world’s third ranked combination of Isbabell Werth and Satchmo placing second with 75.830 per cent and Anabel Balkenhol and Dablino in third with 73.489 per cent. Laura is coached by Anabel’s father, Klaus Balkenhol, the former U.S. team coach.

Belinda Trussell and Anton rounded out the top 10 with a score of 68.894 per cent, at the head of a large squad of Canadians competing in the second leg of a four-event series as part of that nation’s WEG preparations. Bonny Bonnello on Pikardi were placed 15th with 63.745 per cent, Wendy Christoff on Pfalstaff tied for 20th with Cheryl Meisner on Tango at 61.319 per cent.

Lars Petersen, competing in Europe for his native Denmark for the first time in many years since basing himself in Wellington, Florida, finished in 19th place with 61.574 per cent on the 12-year-old Beemer.

In the Grand Prix for the Kür on Friday, Laura and the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding Andretti H received a score of 71.660 per cent with Germany’s Ellen Schulten-Baumer on Donatha S second on 70.681 per cent and fellow German Helen Langehanenberg and Responsible OLD third with 70.551 per cent.

Canadian Ashley Holzer on her Olympic mount Pop Art was fourth on 70.213 per cent in their first performance in Europe this year as a member of Canada’s squad of top WEG prospects.

Complete results for the Grand Prix for the Special, click here:

Complete results of the Grand Prix for the Kür, click here: