Bechtolsheimer not fazed by pressure

29 March 2012 / 14:31

Laura Bechtolsheimer has no intention of running away from the responsibility that awaits her in London this summer during an Olympic Games she admits could be "epic" for British dressage.

Great Britain's dressage team will arrive at Greenwich Park as reigning European team champions and with three riders - Bechtolsheimer, Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin - currently ranked among the world's top five.

Germany and Holland no longer have the only seats at world dressage's top table thanks to a stirring British resurgence in which world number three Bechtolsheimer has played a major role.

The 27-year-old has won seven major championship medals in less than three years and that impressive haul includes European team gold and three world silver medals, all achieved aboard her London 2012 horse Mistral Hojris.

When it came to the Europeans in Rotterdam last summer, the British quartet of Bechtolsheimer, Hester, Dujardin and Emile Faurie proved unstoppable. They dominated the team class from start to finish, while Hester won two individual silvers and Bechtolsheimer a bronze.

Not only did the British quartet arrive home laden with medals barely a year before the Olympics, they also put down a strongest possible marker to suggest even greater things potentially lie ahead at London.

Britain has never won an Olympic dressage medal - team or individual - but all that looks set to change in little more than four months' time, and Gloucestershire-based Bechtolsheimer accepts the heat will be on.

"It (London) is potentially epic, but if any of us get carried away with that whole side of things then we are not going to do as good a performance," she said. "It will only be epic if we work very hard on maintaining and improving on what we had last year.

"The pressure is there, but I would say that is a positive. The only reason there is so much pressure on us is because we've proven we can do it, so it's about taking positives from that.

"We are aware of the opportunity we have for the sport in this country, but regardless of what people are saying, all we can do is go in there and do our very best."