Samantha Boxall has become the youngest rider to clinch the side-saddle rider of the year accolade at the 2007 national championships, held at Addington Manor, Bucks.

At just 19, Samantha impressed judges with her “totally relaxed” style in a ride-off, which saw the top four contenders marked on their ability to ride completely unknown horses.

“When I heard the commentator read my name out as the winner – I couldn’t believe it had actually happened,” said Samantha, who took reserve rider of the year at the championships last year.

Previous records show Claire Lewis was the youngest record holder when she
won the title in 1991, aged 20.

Samantha made it into the ride-off after coming second behind Fiona Maycock (Master Bounce Esq) in the adult open equitation championship. Riding Parklands Phoenix, Samantha finished a couple of marks ahead of Catherine Orchin (Alannah) and Elizabeth Rogers (Bold Sky).

“It was a shock to actually be in the ride-off again this year, let alone win it,” added Samantha. “I found it more exciting this time because I knew exactly what to expect. There was a nice selection of horses to ride so I thought I’d just try to enjoy myself and see what happened.

“I really didn’t expect to do as well as I did, but it’s something I had always dreamed of.”