Laura Tomlinson

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Laura Tomlinson
Laura Bechtolsheimer - Our Greatest Team Parade.jpg
Medal record
Representing  Great Britain
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2012 Olympic Games Team Dressage
(with Mistral Højris)
Bronze medal – third place 2012 Olympic Games Individual Dressage
(with Mistral Højris)
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 2010 Kentucky Team – Grand Prix
(with Mistral Højris)
Silver medal – second place 2010 Kentucky Individual – Grand Prix Special
(with Mistral Højris)
Silver medal – second place 2010 Kentucky Individual – Grand Prix Freestyle
(with Mistral Højris)
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 2011 Rotterdam Team – Grand Prix
(with Mistral Højris)
Silver medal – second place 2009 Windsor Team – Grand Prix
(with Mistral Højris)
Bronze medal – third place 2009 Windsor Individual – Grand Prix Special
(with Mistral Højris)
Bronze medal – third place 2011 Rotterdam Individual – Grand Prix Special
(with Mistral Højris)

Laura Tomlinson MBE (née Bechtolsheimer; born 31 January 1985, in Mainz, Germany) is a German-born British dressage rider competing at Olympic level.[1] As of 30 June 2012 the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) ranked her 3rd in the world riding Mistral Højris and 36th on Andretti H.[2] In that year, Tomlinson, riding Mistral Højris under her maiden name of Laura Bechtolsheimer, won two medals in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London; gold for Great Britain in the team dressage with Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin, the first ever Olympic team gold in the discipline for her country, and bronze in the individual dressage behind gold medalist and compatriot Dujardin.

Early life[edit]

A granddaughter of the German billionaire property magnate Karl-Heinz Kipp who founded the Massa chain of department stores, Bechtolsheimer was born in Mainz, Germany in 1985 to German parents Wilfried, an entrepreneur and horse trainer, and Ursula.[1][3] She has three brothers, Felix, a singer with rock group Hey Negrita who battled heroin addiction and now tours prisons helping others; Goetz and Till.[3] The family moved to Ampney St Peter in Gloucestershire when she was one.


Bechtolsheimer started riding aged three having been given a pony called Peacock for her birthday. [1][3] She went on to compete in Pony Club eventing and won the National Championships of Independent Schools at Stonar School aged 12.[1] Bechtolsheimer attended St Marys Calne school in Wiltshire,[4] and started to concentrate on dressage aged 13. She was selected to ride at the Pony European Championship the following season, winning a team silver medal at her first major competition.[1]

In 2005 Bechtolsheimer became the youngest British dressage champion at age 20, riding Douglas Dorsey.[1] She graduated from Bristol University in 2007 with a BSc in Philosophy and Politics.[1] She competed in the 2008 Olympic Games on Mistral Højris, gaining 18th place in the Individual Grand Prix Special and 6th place in the team event and was named as British Dressage's Rider of the Year.[5][6]

At the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games held in Kentucky, United States, Bechtolsheimer surpassed her personal best scores and gained three British International Grand Prix records with Mistral Højris getting 82.511% in the Grand Prix, 81.708% in the Grand Prix Special and 85.350% in the Grand Prix Freestyle, gaining her three silver medals, being beaten only by the celebrated Edward Gal and Totilas.[1]

In 2012 Bechtolsheimer, who scored 80.550%, Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin won the gold medal in the Olympic team dressage event.[7] She went on to win bronze in the individual event with her freestyle routine, set to music from The Lion King.[8]

In 2016, she rode Rosalie B at the Olympia London International Horse Show. It was the first outing for the mare on British soil and followed a strong performance at the German CDI Oldenburg, where they won the grand prix special with 75.88%.[9]

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to equestrianism.[10][11]

Outside of her dressage activities, Bechtolsheimer is a presenter for equine video website and is considering a career in public relations and marketing.[1]

Notable Horses[edit]

  • Douglas Dorsey - 1991 Chestnut Hanoverian Gelding (Donnerhall x Salem)
    • 2004 European Young Riders Championships - Team Bronze Medal, Individual Fifth Place, Individual Fourth Place Freestyle
    • 2006 FEI World Cup Final - 14th Place
    • 2006 World Equestrian Games - Team Sixth Place, Individual 21st Place
  • Mistral Højris - 1995 Chestnut Danish Warmblood Gelding (Michellino x Ibsen)
    • 2007 European Championships - Team Fifth Place, Individual 20th Place
    • 2008 Beijing Olympics - Team Fifth Place, Individual 17th Place
    • 2009 European Championships - Team Silver Medal, Individual Bronze Medal, Individual Fourth Place Freestyle
    • 2010 World Equestrian Games - Team Silver Medal, Individual Silver Medal, Individual Silver Medal Freestyle
    • 2011 European Championships - Team Gold Medal, Individual Silver Medal, Individual Fourth Place Freestyle
    • 2012 London Olympics - Team Gold Medal, Individual Bronze Medal

Personal life[edit]

It was announced on 27 August 2012 that Bechtolsheimer was engaged to professional polo player Mark Tomlinson.[12] The couple married in the Swiss resort of Arosa on 2 March 2013.[13] On 17 July 2014 she had their first daughter Annalisa. Her second child is due at the end of March 2017.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Laura Tomlinson Official Rider Biography" (pdf). British Dressage. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Ranking / Standing Search". Fédération Équestre Internationale. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Rich List – Dr Wilfried and Ursula Bechtolsheimer and family". The Sunday Times. 27 April 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  4. ^ Dehn, Georgia (21 July 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: interview with dressage rider Laura Bechtolsheimer". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  5. ^ "British Team". British Dressage. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  6. ^ "London 2012 Olympics Profile: British dressage team...Carl Hester, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin". London Evening Standard. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Olympics equestrian: 20 gold medals for GB with dressage win". BBC Sport. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Dressage: How to make a horse dance". 10 August 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  9. ^ Olympic riders spearhead dazzling dressage line-up at Olympia
  10. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 24.
  11. ^ "2013 New Year's Honours" (PDF). Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  12. ^ Olympic star Laura Bechtolsheimer to wed
  13. ^ "Society couple's gorgeous Swiss Alps wedding". Daily Mail. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  14. ^ ‘I’m five months pregnant’ says British Olympic dressage rider

External links[edit]