Olympic Gold and Bronze Medalist
The pairing of Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris, a charismatic 1995 Danish Warmblood gelding affectionately called "Alf," has made the dressage world take notice! In the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris' strong performance helped their team earn the gold medal for Team Dressage. This marked the very first time Great Britain won a medal in dressage! This historic victory was made that much sweeter as it was won on the team's home turf. In the Individual Grand Prix Freestyle competition, Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris continued to shine and earned the bronze medal.
To those who have been following Bechtolsheimer's career, her 2012 Olympic achievements come as no surprise, as her years of hard work and dedication to her sport have amassed her an ever-lengthening list of accomplishments. After competing for Great Britain at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Laura was named British Dressage Rider of the Year. The following year, she and Mistral Hojris helped Great Britain clinch the silver medal in Team Dressage at the 2009 European Dressage Championships, and brought home the bronze medal in Grand Prix Special. Not losing any steam, they also brought home three silver medals at the 2010 World Equestrian Games (WEG): Team Grand Prix, Individual Grand Prix Special, and the Individual Grand Prix Freestyle. To top off their WEG achievements, the pair set the British International GP record for all three!
In 2011, Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris were again part of the British team at the European Dressage Championships, and helped bring home the country's first gold medal for Team Dressage! They also took home the bronze medal in Grand Prix Special.
With their list of accomplishments ever-increasing, the future is looking very bright for this talented pair!