Wellington, FL - Olympic medalist Laura Tomlinson is back in the ring after the birth of her daughter, Annalisa, and it appears that motherhood suits her. In her competitive debut since having her daughter, Tomlinson wowed the crowd and took the blue in both of her classes during the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Tomlinson piloted Unique, a 17.2 hand Holsteiner mare owned by Dr. and Mrs. Bechtolsheimer, who she affectionately (and ironically) calls Mini. Tomlinson’s performance in the CDI ring caught the eye of Custom Saddlery representatives. Custom Saddlery was impressed with Tomlinson and Unique’s top-scoring tests, especially after having taken a break from competition. Tomlinson was awarded the Custom Saddlery Most Valuable Rider (MVR) Award, which recognizes riders who exceed expectations and embody excellence in the equestrian sport through horsemanship, performance, sportsmanship, and teamwork.
Tomlinson is honored to receive the award and is thrilled with Unique’s tests. “I was proud of her general way of going and being relaxed because she can be a real ‘woman’ - especially when she hasn’t been out in a long time,” Tomlinson explained. “I wasn’t sure how she was going to be, but it was a real reflection of all the training we’ve done at home. We’ve spent a lot of time working on her attitude and getting her relaxed and trusting me. She felt really chill in the ring, so that’s probably what I’m most of proud of.”
While such a profound debut back into the show ring is nothing short of spectacular, it’s also no surprise coming from the Olympic champion. Tomlinson earned Team Gold and Individual Bronze during the 2012 Olympic Games, and one Team Silver and two Individual Silvers during the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Nonetheless, the modest champion jokes that in addition to being proud of Unique, she is thrilled for just “remembering the test” after being out of the competition ring for a while.
She now looks forward to continuing to show during the dressage festival this season, and moving Unique into the Grand Prix. Tomlinson says that she is grateful to all of the sponsors - like Custom Saddlery - who make competing at the amazing venue possible. “It’s a great place to come and compete,” she said. “Everything is really convenient and everyone is really friendly, so it’s a great atmosphere. I really enjoy it.”
Custom Saddlery is happy to play a part in making the winter dressage circuit possible by sponsoring the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and supporting riders through their MVR Award. Winners of the award receive a Most Valuable Rider ribbon and a Custom Saddlery saddle pad.
Based out of Aiken, South Carolina, Custom Saddlery is the go-to saddle maker for riders around the world and is the Official Saddle of the U.S. Dressage Team through the 2016 Olympics. The company offers twenty-two innovative, one-of-a-kind dressage saddles and offers professional fitting services and custom saddle accessories.
To learn more about Custom Saddlery and what it can do for you, visit www.mysaddle.com or call 1-800-235-3865.