Leslie Law

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Leslie Law
Leslie Law Burghley 2004-2.jpg
Leslie Law riding Shear H2O
(2004 Burghley Horse Trials)
Personal information
Born 5 May 1965 (1965-05-05) (age 53)
Hereford, England

Leslie Law (born 5 May 1965) is a British eventer, who won the individual gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. He started riding at age 10, competing with his brother, and participated in his first accredited event in 1982. He attended Lady Hawkins' School, where his passion for riding developed further. By 1989, he was a widely respected competitor, and that year placed 8th at the Badminton Horse Trials. After a period of consolidation, by the late 1990s he was counted amongst the sport's elite, placing in the top ten at Badminton, Burghley and the British Championship on a number of occasions.


Born in Hereford, Law began in 1997 to compete on the brothers Shear H2O and Shear L'eau, a pair of Irish Sport Horse greys that made him immediately recognisable on the cross-country course. On the former, he won at Bramham in 1999, came second and third at Badminton in 2000 and 2002, and was a member of the British team that won silver at the 2000 Olympic Games and bronze at the 2002 World Equestrian Games. On Shear L'eau, he won team gold at the European Championship.

Their greatest success, however, was at the 2004 Olympics. Tenth after the dressage section, an excellent cross country still left him out of the medals, an inspired clear round in the show jumping saw him awarded the silver medal. However, amid much controversy the result was appealed, as video evidence showed that the gold medalist, German rider Bettina Hoy, had crossed the start line twice, and thus incurred twelve penalty points. By the time the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled against Hoy, promoting Law to the gold, he had returned to England and heard the news that he was Olympic Champion while competing in the Solihull Horse Trials.