Olympic Gold Medalist Laura Tomlinson To Compete on Florida’s Global Dressage Festival Next Winter
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Oct. 9, 2014
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Laura Tomlinson, Great Britain’s Olympic gold and bronze medalist, will compete on Florida’s winter circuit next year, joining a growing number of European riders at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington.
Laura Bechtolsheimer before she married Mark Tomlinson, her long time polo-playing boyfriend seven months after the Olympics in London in 2012, will bring Unique, her developing Grand Prix mount and, she told dressage-news.com, a “few” other horses from mid-January through the end of March.
Lara Griffith, the 25-year-old rider for Laura, will be coming with Rubin Al Asad, the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Laura’s parents on whom she won the British Intermediate II championship this year.
Christoph Koschel, on Germny’s teams at the 2010 World Equestrian Games and 2011 European Championships, will be returning to GDF for a second year with a group of more than a dozen horses and riders. Michael Klimke, also of Germany, is expected to be based at the newly created Harmony Sporthorses’ Wellington center.
Kimberly Boyer, whose family foundation funded construction of Global’s covered arena, will bring from Europe her Grandioso for celebration of the P.R.E. Pure Spanish Horse breed and to compete in the CDI5* in February. The 15-year-old stallion will be ridden by Jose Daniel Martin Dockx who competed the horse for Spain at the 2012 Olympics, this year’s World Equestrian Games and the European Championships in 2013. Grandioso was competed at small tour to Intermediate II by Courtney King-Dye before her serious accident more than four years ago.
Laura and Mark married in March, 2013 and she gave birth to a baby girl they named Annalisa on July 16 this year.
The 29-year-old German-born Laura describes her life now as, “I am either riding or feeding my baby!”
“I am very excited to say that we are coming out to Florida mid-January to end of March to compete,” she said. Mark will bring some polo ponies and will be based with Marc Ganzi, owner of Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington and with his Audi team won the U.S. championship in 2009.
With Mistral Hojris, the Danish Warmblood gelding that she retired last year, Laura helped launch Great Britain’s climb to one of the top dressage nations in the world.
The breakthrough championship for the country was the 2009 Europeans at home in Windsor where Laura and the horse she called Alf led Britain to the team silver medal and captured individual bronze behind Edward Gal on Totilas and Adelinde Cornelissen on Parzival. At the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky the following year the pair again led her nation to team silver and also won two individual silvers.
Laura and Alf were on the team that won the gold medal at the 2011 Europeans as well as collecting an individual bronze a year before the historic 2012 Games where she was on the squad that won gold for Britain’s first ever dressage medal in a century of Olympic competition and also took individual bronze.
She was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honors for services to equestrianism.