October 1 - British dressage star Laura Bechtolsheimer has completed a hat-trick of silver medals at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

The 25-year-old, from Ampney St Peter in Gloucestershire, took second place in the grand prix freestyle behind Holland's triple gold medallist Edward Gal.

It followed a team silver medal earlier this week alongside Carl Hester, Fiona Bigwood and Maria Eilberg, and runners-up spot in the grand prix special.

It ended a memorable week for Bechtolsheimer, who has now won three world and two European medals in the past 13 months.

In front of a capacity 25,000 crowd under the Kentucky Horse Park floodlights, Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris scored a personal best 85.35 per cent, thrilling her audience with a freestyle set to music by The Shadows.

Gal, and his imperious black stallion Moorlands Totilas, won with 91.80 per cent, and America's Steffen Peters on Ravel took the bronze.

"We have performed above all expectations here," said Bechtolsheimer, who underlined her credentials as a potential British star of the London 2012 Olympics.

"Each day I've built on my performance and tried hard not to let anything faze me. I need to go home now and digest all of what has happened here.

"Competing at these championships is the pinnacle of the sport, and I've come here and really made it happen.

"I am just gobsmacked!"

Attention now turns to the British eventing team of William Fox-Pitt, Tina Cook, Mary King and Nicola Wilson in today's cross-country phase.

The British quartet were in silver medal position behind Germany overnight, but if they ride to form, pole position should be theirs heading into tomorrow's showjumping finale.

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Brilliant Bechtolsheimer inspires Britain to historic silver medal