Bechtolsheimer impresses in Hagen

28 April 2012 / 18:56

Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris went close to a new British record as they qualified easily for Sunday's Hagen grand prix freestyle final in Germany.

The Gloucestershire-based world number three posted a score of 82.745% to finish second behind the brilliant Totilas, ridden by Germany's Matthias Rath.

It was another impressive display by Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris, a combination that were part of Great Britain's European title-winning dressage team last August and look set to be key performers at the London Olympics this summer.

Britain has never won an Olympic dressage medal, but Bechtolsheimer's early-season form, and that of team-mate Charlotte Dujardin, augers well.

"He is so consistent in his scores," Bechtolsheimer said.

"There are not many horses who score over 80% as regularly as him now. Nine times out of 10 I get the maximum out of him, and even if I don't, it's pretty close.

"When London was awarded the Olympics it instantly became our focus, and we have crafted his career to get to Greenwich in prime condition.

"I am so excited that for a change the big show (Olympics) is on our doorstep and we are not someone else's guests.

"It is a lot of pressure, but come the competition day we will be at our peak and ready for the challenge."

The prestigious Hagen show concludes on Sunday, with Dujardin and her Olympics contender Valegro firm favourites to win the grand prix special, when the British record of 81.708% could come under threat.