National title for Olympian with upcoming home-bred horse

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AMedium openFresh from the euphoria of the London Olympics, team gold and individual bronze-medallist Laura Bechtolsheimer was delighted to win a national title.

Laura won the Suregrow Advanced Medium Open Championship on Polar Bear, her charming home-bred eight-year-old; a gelding by her former Junior team horse Polarion out of a Landadel mare. The pair scored 74.58% to head the high class field of 26 finalists where the top six competitors all broke the benchmark 70% barrier.

“I’m a real proud mum,” smiled Laura after the prize giving. “I’m very pleased with him; he’s taken it all in his stride. With the Olympics this year I haven’t had much time to compete Polar Bear. We did just enough to qualify – two shows, followed by the regionals which he won.”

Polar Bear is on the World Class Equine Pathway, a programme devised to identify and support the development of horses that have the potential to be medal winning horses. “I took him to an Equine Pathway training day two weeks ago, but apart from that and qualifying for today, he hasn’t been out much this year. He certainly hasn’t competed somewhere like this before.”
Laura is clearly fond of the charismatic gelding who stands a stately 17.3hh: “He’s a big horse and when he’s on side he feels amazing. He’s lovely and it’s so exciting to have had him from the start,” she said. “The horses and I will have a short break now before the winter and next year we’ll [Laura and Polar Bear] maybe do small tour.”

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