‘A different kind of breeding programme’: top British rider expecting first child

International grand prix dressage rider Lara Butler (nee Griffith) has revealed that she is pregnant with her first child. Lara, 30, and her husband Billy, whom she married in 2017, are expecting a baby boy in April. “We have a different kind of breeding programme going on at Eastington House Stables at the moment as Billy and I are very excited to be expecting our first child in April,” Gloucestershire-based Lara told H&H.

“Training is still going well and I feel great,” she said. “I’m currently looking forward to competing at Olympia and, all being well, I’ll be back out competing after April.” Lara is due to compete her prolific grand prix campaigner and reigning national champion Rubin Al Asad (Rufus) at Olympia in December. The pair, who were team reserves for the World Equestrian Games team this year, as well as the 2017 European Championships and 2016 Rio Olympics, have a great track record at Olympia, having finished fifth in the freestyle in 2017 and fourth in 2015.

Lara also plans to campaign both the 16-year-old Rubin Royal son Rufus and her upcoming grand prix ride, the 13-year-old Kristjan, for the European Championships team in 2019, though she told H&H she “will definitely play that one by ear”.

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In addition to claiming the grand prix title at the British Dressage championships in September, Lara has enjoyed a successful international season with Rufus.

She and Kristjan, who is by Polarion, also made their international grand prix debut in November at the Oldenburg CDI4*, finishing third in the freestyle.

Lara is based with Olympic dressage rider and H&H columnist Laura Tomlinson, who is also pregnant — she and her polo player husband Mark are expecting their third child in January.

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