Laura Bechtolsheimer and her triple silver medal winning horse Mistral Hojris became the first Brits to win the Reema Acra FEI World Cup(tm) Dressage Grand Prix tonight at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, setting a new Grand Prix British record in the process. Laura, who was last to go in tonight's action, beat the rest of the field with an impressive score of 82.936%, ahead of The Netherlands' Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival on 78.170%. Edward Gal came third with his new mare Sisther de Jeu, on 72.553%.
Laura looked delighted with her win, which beat her previous Grand Prix British record of 82.511%. "Alf was really on the ball tonight, she said. "He was excited, strong and even more spectacular than usual. I have nothing to complain about with his performance, he was physically and mentally on top form."
Looking ahead to tomorrow night's Grand Prix Freestyle to music, Laura added: "I'm a little nervous about the Freestyle as Alf hasn't been out in a while - it will certainly be an exciting ride!
Second place Adelinde said: "Parzival got a little scared in his extended trot and from then on stayed a little reserved. I had to get him going again after that but he did his job - he just needed something a bit extra. I knew the little mistakes we made weren't enough to win."
Edward, who won the Qualifier at Olympia last year with Moorlands Totilas was suitably upbeat with his mare's performance. "She was tense and didn't move quite as I wanted but tomorrow I will beat them all! he said. "I'm happy with her in general. Of course she's not Totilas but she's a great horse and I'm looking forward to tomorrow night as she too can be quite wild to music!"
For audio interviews with the top three placed riders in tonight's competition, follow the links below:
Laura Bechtolsheimer - www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Oly_Bech_tues.mp3
Adelinde Cornelissen - www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Oly_adel_tues.mp3
Edward Gal - www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Oly_gal_tues.mp3
The Reem Acra FEI World Cup(tm) Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle to Music, supported by Horse & Hound takes place tomorrow night at Olympia, the London International Horse Show.