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Lara Butler

Image provided by beckyswallowphotography.co.uk

Lara Butler is a British Dressage Rider who resides in Gloucestershire. Born into a “horsey” family, her father was in the Kings Troop and her mother rode and acted as Chef d’Equipe for Britain’s Under-21 teams, has been a show secretary for a number of high profile events and is the current British Equestrian Federation World Class Co-Ordinator for Dressage.

Lara’s love for horses began from the moment her mother placed her on her first horse at two years old and she has never looked back since.

By 13, Lara grew too tall for ponies and loaned her first horse, Sir Dunaway, with a view to doing dressage who took her up to Advanced Medium level.

Lara loaned another horse, Warlock, who had been on the Dutch young rider team with owner Veronique Andre de la Porte. The Dutch family were happy for him to go to a nice home and continue competing. Lara took him to the 2006 junior Europeans having only been riding him for 3 months, and by 2008, he had taken her to Young Rider level and 12th in Europe.

 On Warlock’s retirement, Emile Faurie, with whom Lara was based for seven years, helped her secure the ride on Hilary Sawyer’s smart grey mare Dawning Hopes. “Being a big mare, she was a completely different kettle of fish,” says Lara.

The pair contested the 2009 Young Rider Europeans and were the best placed British combination in Lara’s last year at the level.

Emile didn’t feel it was right to ask the mare to continue to Grand Prix and so Lara, while studying equine science at Oxford Brookes, concentrated her efforts on producing Anne Hutton’s Don Benito to Prix St Georges level (PSG).

She sold the gelding in 2013 and purchased a three-year-old from the Netherlands to fit in well among her responsibilities as a stable jockey for the Bechtolsheimers.

In 2010, she graduated from University and decided that now was the time to concentrate entirely on her competitive career. She was approached by the Bechtolsheimers about the potential to join their team, so at the end of the year, after seven years of drawing much inspiration from Emile, Lara left to become the rider for the Bechtolsheimers.
She has now been at the Bechtolsheimers for ten years now and has had the opportunity to ride some amazing horses. She has had the opportunity to bring on Rubin Al Asad, who she now competes at Grand Prix, as well as competing one of their young homebreds, Kristjan at Small Tour. The biggest honour was when she was given the opportunity to train and compete Andretti H at Grand Prix level at the end of 2012, with her biggest highlight becoming Reserve National Champion at the British Dressage National Championships and competing at Olympia CDI and being placed in the Top 10. That was a moment Lara says she will never forget and cannot thank the Bechtolsheimers enough for giving her the opportunity!
At the end of 2013 she was also wild carded on to the World Class Development Programme, funded by UK Sport. At the end of 2014 Andretti was retired so her focused shifted to moving Rubin Al Asad up from Small Tour to Big Tour. At the beginning of 2015, she competed Rubin Al Asad out in Wellington, Florida, achieving their first international Big Tour win. Lara was also moved up on to the World Class Podium Programme.

In 2016, Lara was a reserve for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and European Team Reserve 2017. In 2018, she was also reserve for 2018 World Equestrian Games as well as becoming the BD Grand Prix National Champion.