Competitions

You have seen Laura and Dr Bechtolsheimer training their horses at home in other 'suggested video', so now watch the making of her Kur (with Dutch musician Cees Slings) and see Laura in action at top shows! We filmed the story of Laura's competitions at theNational Championships, Hickstead Masters and Olympia. We talked to her in the stables beforehand, watched (and listened) to her warm-up with Dr B, saw her performance and caught up with Laura afterwards for feedback. These videos offer a privileged insight into world class dressage and give you a feel of the atmosphere at the top. On the lighter side, Laura has taken up eventing (for fun) and we filmed her debut on Dan Jocelyn's Olympic horse Silence, then later an outing on her own horse Billy! She also took part in a Trec Challenge at Windsor Horse Show which will amuse you. Enjoy!

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Laura Bechtolsheimer's Grand Prix story, Nationals '08 Laura Bechtolsheimer's Grand Prix story, Nationals '08
The National Dressage Championships was a roller-coaster experience for Olympic rider, Laura Bechtolsheimer. Riding her second string, Andretti, the Grand Prix didn't quite go according to plan. Find out what happened! This video tracks her story and provides a superb insight into Laura's preparation (including her initial thoughts), the warm up with her father and trainer, Dr Bechtolsheimer, the test itself and her reaction afterwards.

Laura Bechtolsheimer's Kur at Olympia '08 Laura Bechtolsheimer's Kur at Olympia '08
Since the Olympics '08, Laura has been on terrific form, winning the Grand Prix at the National Championships and finishing 2nd and 3rd at Stuttgart in November. Having set a British record and produced a personal best in the Grand Prix at Olympia '07 (on a score of 75.33), Laura set out to repeat the performance and she nearly did, scoring 74.80 in the same class this year finishing 2nd! We followed her through the Freestyle to Music (Kur), where she finished 4th on 75.3. Her two brothers joined in the celebrations afterwards adding some Bechtolsheimer humour to the occasion!

The making of Laura Bechtolsheimer's new Kur! The making of Laura Bechtolsheimer's new Kur!
Laura Bechtolsheimer is making a new Kur for Mistral Hojris (Alf)! She has enlisted the help of Dutch 'dressage to music' master Cees Slings to choreograph and compose a Kur for her Olympic partner Alf, who is not known for his appreciation of music! We see Laura, Cees and Dr B working at home on the project. We eavesdrop on their conversations, watch Alf warm up and get a sneak preview of some of the moves in the new test, which we've set to music of our choosing as the real thing hasn't yet been composed! Once the Kur is performed in public, we'll publish the full item in training but we don't want to steal Laura's thunder!

Laura Bechtolsheimer performs her new Kur Laura Bechtolsheimer performs her new Kur

The making of Laura's new Kur for music-shy Alf has been a work in progress for the last few months. Dutch music expert Cees Slings and Laura developed a new floor plan to show Alf at his best and Cees came up with a story-line for the music. Their efforts seem to have paid off! Clearly Alf likes Cliff and the Shadows and performed a fabulous test in the Kur at the World Dressage Masters, Hickstead '09 to finish 3rd. Fiona Price meets Laura (after Alf's siesta) before they perform and gets an interview with her trainer Klaus Balkenhol. We watch Alf warm up (alongside Edward Gal and Totilas), see the test and get her reaction afterwards


Laura Bechtolsheimer, National Dressage Champion 2010 Laura Bechtolsheimer, National Dressage Champion 2010
World number three, Laura Bechtolsheimer talks to Fiona Price about the difference between riding at the Nationals and at an international competition. 15 year old thoroughbred Andy, Laura's second string, won the Grand Prix the day before by a large margin. Laura talks about the difference between her warmblood Alf (her WEG ride in a couple of weeks) and Andy. She also explains how she has won Andy over, as when she got him two years ago as a mature horse, he was not the easiest. We observe Laura's warm-up, watch her full Kur and Fiona gets a reaction afterwards. Despite Laura's concerns, she takes the title on an impressive 78.55%!

Laura Bechtolsheimer's eventing debut! Laura Bechtolsheimer's eventing debut!

She said she was going to do it and she did - in style! Laura piloted Silence, the 18 year old owned by Dan Jocelyn (and recently retired from 4* eventing) to completion in the Open Pre-novice at Tweseldown Horse Trials. Looking relieved after the cross country (not to mention a little red and out of breath) and wearing an unfamiliar body protector and crash cap, Laura declared she was hooked. Could this be the start of a top eventing career, alongside dressage?


Laura Bechtolsheimer and Billy go eventing! Laura Bechtolsheimer and Billy go eventing!

Having had a 'practice run' on the borrowed ex-Olympic eventer Silence six months ago, Laura Bechtolsheimer returned to Tweseldown to event 'for real' on her new horse Billy. Swapping her top hat for a crash cap and a perfect arena for an irregular field, Laura entered into the eventing spirit. "Getting Billy on the bit was the main challenge", according to Dr B, while Laura said, "I am keeping my bottom firmly in the saddle for show jumping this time, after all, I must remember I am a dressage rider!". With that in mind, she produced a respectable show jumping round and a super clear cross-country. Well done Laura!


Trec hi-jinks at Windsor Horse Show '09 Trec hi-jinks at Windsor Horse Show '09

What a spectacle the Pro-Am Trec challenge was at Windsor Horse Show '09! Fiona Price met the star studded 'amateur' line up including Olympic dressage rider Laura Bechtolsheimer, co-dressage collaborator Spencer Wilton, army stalwarts Major Richard Waygood and Captain Harry Wallace, behaviourist Kelly Marks and Olympic show jumper Tim Stockdale, who pitted themselves (mostly on borrowed horses) against a professional GB Trec duo of Anna Weston and Anthea Kendrick. They didn't embarrass themselves either (well not completely)! Unsurprisingly, victory went to the one who had read the rules and taken the time to practise!

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