EQUESTRIAN: Laura eyes settled year in the saddle

This Is Wiltshire: Laura Collett, pictured riding Rayef during the CIC*** cross country event at this summer’s Bramham International Horse Trials Laura Collett, pictured riding Rayef during the CIC*** cross country event at this summer’s Bramham International Horse Trials

WILTSHIRE eventing star Laura Collett has her fingers crossed for straightforward 2013 after a year of twists and turns.

The 23-year-old Great Britain international, who is based at the Membury Estate, made the Team GB reserve list for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In May, her season was disrupted as she was unable to build on her stunning top 10 Badminton debut in 2011 when this year’s trials were cancelled.

Collett also found herself at the centre of headlines last week after it was revealed that legendary racehorse Kauto Star would be joining her at the Membury Estate, with a view to a possible career in dressage.

Collett is currently enjoying the respite offered by the winter period and is hoping that the forthcoming season isn’t as tumultuous as her last.

“There was a lot going on last season,” said the Great Britain star.

“Being a part of that whole Olympic process was amazing and I think that I’ll be a bit more prepared for that if it ever happens again but you’re still a bit disappointed when you come so close and don’t make the team.

“I treat every competition the same but I’ve still only done Badminton once after what happened with last year’s trials.

“I just hope that next season can be a lot more settled. There’s always room to improve and there are always little things that you can learn about your horses so that’s what I’ll be looking to do.

“The horses have all just recently come back from their holidays and we’re just doing a lot of hacking on the roads as we all get ready for the next season.”

Tockenham rider Jessica Mendoza starts as one of the favourites for the Team Murka/World Class Programme U23 Championship Final at the London International Horse Show at Olympia tomorrow (Friday).

The 16-year-old, riding Classic HighFly, topped the points table after winning two qualifying rounds.

She also rides her pony Tixylix in the The JJ Jumping Junior Stakes on Sunday afternoon, attempting a fourth successive win in the event.

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