100 Team GB contenders for London 2012: Laura Bechtolsheimer

Equestrian (dressage)

Born: 31/01/85

Career highlights

She won three silvers at the 2010 World Championships (individual, team & freestyle) and later in the year became the first Briton to win the World Cup Dressage Grand Prix, setting a new British record of 82.936% in the process.

She is the youngest-ever British dressage national champion (aged 20). In 2009, she won team silver and individual (special) bronze (GB's first individual dressage medal for 16 years) at the European Championships.

In 2011, she was part of the GB quartet that won a first-ever team gold at the Europeans, and she took bronze in the individual special.

Career background

Bechtolsheimer preferred eventing until she was 13 and says she thought then that dressage was "boring". She made her senior international debut at the 2006 World Equestrian Games.


She was born in Germany but her family moved to Gloucestershire when she was a toddler. Her father Wilfried represented Great Britain at the 1995 European Championships. She is the grand-daughter of Karl-Heinz Kipp, a German property billionaire.

Did you know?

Her current horse Mistral Hojris is nicknamed Alf because "he's big, orange and fluffy" like the star of the eponymous US TV sitcom. Her other Grand Prix horse is called Andretti H - Andy for short.

Her ex-boyfriend Matthias Rath is likely to be one of her main competitors in London as he rides equine superstar Totilas.

Bechtolsheimer went to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011.