Laura Tomlinson In 1st Show Since Baby Wins Wellington CDI St. Georges

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Laura Tomlinson on Unique in the Olympic gold medal rider's first international competition since giving birth to her baby. © 2015 SusanJStickle.com
Laura Tomlinson on Unique in the Olympic gold medal rider’s first international competition since giving birth to her baby. © 2015 SusanJStickle.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 5, 2015–Laura Tomlinson rode Unique in the British team gold medalist’s first international event in 18 months and her first time at the Global Dressage Festival won the Prix St. Georges Thursday.

Laura and the 11-year-old Holsteiner mare, getting back into competition mode after the birth of her baby girl,  Annalisa, last July scored 73.316 per cent to top the field of 47 starting combinations.

The USA’s Olivia LaGoy-Weltz on Rassing’s Lonoir placed second on 71.947 per cent and Canada;s Diane Creech on Robbie W was third on 71.526 per cent.

“Both of us needed to get back in the ring,” said Laura, who turned 30 years old last week and brought five horses along with her assistant Lara Griffith for her first Florida circuit. Her husband, Mark, is playing in dome of the top polo tournaments that are staged in Wellington along with dressage and jumping competitions.

Unique, that Laura desacribed as a “proper diva” and she has owned for the past four years, was really responsive in the St. Georges that was held in a covered arena, though he is known to be fiery.

The small tour, she said, was about building confidence to the goal of performing a “decent” Grand Prix by the end of the winter circuit at the end of March.

She hopes to make the British team for the European Championships in August, but the longer term aim is to ride at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Unique, whom she calls “Minnie,” is fiesty when he’s being ridden but is really a “gentle giant” who can be walked by a child.

Laura, whose horses are stabled at Stillpoint Farm less than a mile from the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, said that the Florida circuit with seven CDIs at the same Global show grounds was stress free. The horses were not affected by the flight across the Atlantic. The closeness of the show grounds were preferable to the long distance road travel required to compete in Europe at this time of year.

“It’s immaculate,” she said, “it’s great that everything is so convenient. It’s a great place to be.”