Laura Tomlinson

Laura Tomlinson

Medal record
Representing  Great Britain
Olympic Games
2012 Olympic Games Team Dressage
(with Mistral Højris)
2012 Olympic Games Individual Dressage
(with Mistral Højris)
World Championships
2010 Kentucky Team – Grand Prix
(with Mistral Højris)
2010 Kentucky Individual – Grand Prix Special
(with Mistral Højris)
2010 Kentucky Individual – Grand Prix Freestyle
(with Mistral Højris)
European Championships
2011 Rotterdam Team – Grand Prix
(with Mistral Højris)
2009 Windsor Team – Grand Prix
(with Mistral Højris)
2009 Windsor Individual – Grand Prix Special
(with Mistral Højris)
2011 Rotterdam Individual – Grand Prix Special
(with Mistral Højris)

Laura Tomlinson (née Bechtolsheimer) MBE (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 Equestre 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

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]

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to equestrianism.[9][10]

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

Personal life

It was announced on 27 August 2012 that Bechtolsheimer was engaged to professional polo player Mark Tomlinson.[11] The couple married in the Swiss resort of Arosa on 2 March 2013.[12] On 17 July 2014 she had their first daughter Annalisa.

See also


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