British rider Laura Collett (26), a member of the BEF World Class Development programme, is based near Lambourn in Berkshire. Last year with Grand Manoeuvre she represented Great Britain as an individual in the European Championships at Blair Castle – the pair also completed Badminton.
A former show rider with show and working hunter ponies, in 2003 13-year-old Laura won the Supreme Pony Championship at the Horse of the Year Show. At the age of 15 she started eventing and has been a professional event rider for eight years.
In 2005 she won British team gold and individual silver at the Pony European Championships with Noble Springbok and in 2006 aged 16 Laura became the youngest rider ever to win an international event when winning the CCI** at Tweseldown with Fernhill Sox. She has since been successful at both Junior and Young Rider level winning team and individual gold with Rayef in 2007 at the Junior European championships and again in 2009 at the Young Rider Europeans.
In 2010 with Fernhill Cristal she won another British team gold at the Young Rider European Championships in Pardubice where they were eighth individually. Later that year, she made her four-star debut at Burghley with Andrew Nicholson’s former ride Ginger May Killinghurst finishing in 30th place.
In 2011 she made an impressive Badminton debut, being placed eighth with Rayef. After third place at Barbury CIC3* Laura gained her senior flag when the pair was selected as part of the British squad to contest the 2011 European Championships at Luhmuhlen, albeit was eliminated on the cross-country.
Laura trains with Yogi Breisner and Spencer Wilton
Grand Manoeuvre owned by Mrs Diana and Mr David Chappell, is German-bred 12-year-old gelding by the Hanoverian Grand Cru (also the sire of Kai Ruder’s ride Gryffindor). He is out of a mare by Varus descended from the thoroughbred Volkhorn, the sire of the famous eventing stallion Volturno who competed in two Olympic Games (1976 & ’80). Grand Manoeuvre was produced and ridden to four-star level by Nick Gauntlett – the pair completed Badminton 2014 – and Laura took the ride soon after.
16.1hh, chestnut, gelding
Sire Grand Cru
Dam Venja (Varus)
Owner(s): David & Diana Chappell, Cirencester, Glos.