Mistral Hojris–“Alf”–To Say Farewell at London Olympia in December

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19 November 2013

Laura Tomlinson (Bechtolsheimer at the time) in tears on Mistral Hojris winning individual bronze medal after team gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Laura competed "Alf" only once after Great Britain's historic Olympic performances. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Laura Tomlinson (Bechtolsheimer at the time) in tears on Mistral Hojris winning individual bronze medal after team gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Laura competed “Alf” only once after Great Britain’s historic Olympic performances. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Mistral Hojris that Laura Tomlinson rode to Olympic and European Championship team gold medals will officially retire at London Olympia on Tuesday, Dec.  17.

The iconic Christmas show will pay tribute to “Alf,” as the bright chestnut Danish Warmblood gelding is called by Laura, at a farewell ceremony on Tuesday night.

Mistral Hojris (Michellino x Ibsen), now 18 years old, was first competed by Laura as a Young Rider in 2005 and moved to Grand Prix in 2007.

Since then, the pair competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, the 2010 World Equestrian Games and three European Championships.

Laura and Alf helped define modern British dressage.

The pair began an international dressage career in 2005 at the European Championships for Juniors and Young Riders where they won team silver and individual bronze medals.

Perhaps the most notable achievements were team silver and individual bronze medals at the 2009 European Championships in Windsor, England; three silver medals at the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky; team gold and individual bronze at the 2011 FEI European Championships in Rotterdam and team gold and individual bronze at the London Olympics.

Laura Bechtolsheimer celebrating her Grand Prix Special ride on Mistral Hojris. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Laura Bechtolsheimer on Mistral Hojris at the World Equstrian Games in Kentucky in 2010. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

On the horse she owns with her parents, Wilfried and Ursula, Laura said: “Alf has given me and my family so much joy over the years, especially on the four occasions that we’ve competed together at Olympia, and in my eyes he’s more than earned his retirement.”

Alf’s retirement at Olympia, The London International Horse Show will mark the end of a highly successful eight year partnership which captured the hearts of dressage supporters worldwide and taken British dressage to a new level.