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‘The ultimate horsewoman who inspired many’: top riders pay tribute to the ‘Queen of showjumping’ Liz Edgar

We received the sad news on Sunday (26 April) that the former international showjumper Liz Edgar had died at the age of 76.

Liz won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup a record five times — in 1977 (Everest Wallaby), 1979, 1981 and 1982 (Everest Forever) and 1986 (Everest Rapier). In 1980 she became the first woman to win the Aachen grand prix riding Everest Forever and only four women riders have achieved victory in the class since.

In 1985, she and Everest Asher claimed the prestigious Foxhunter crown. Liz and her brother David Broome were the only brother and sister to win the Queen’s Cup and King George in the same year, which they achieved twice in 1977 and 1981.

Liz Edgar and Everest Asher

Nick Skelton, who worked for Liz and her husband Ted for 12 years, led the tributes to the ‘Queen of showjumping’ by saying: “She was like a second mother to me. She was certainly the greatest lady rider I’ve ever seen and she won some amazing grands prix in her career, even though she wasn’t always riding the best horses.

“In the Lucerne Nations Cup one year, I was on the team with Liz, Lionel and Pam Dunning,” Nick told H&H. “In the first round, the three of them went clear and I had 24 faults, then in the next round Lionel, Pam and I were clear and Liz had 20-odd faults and we ended up winning with a zero score. It was quite a moment!”

Liz’s daughter Marie Edgar posted on social media: “28 April would have been Liz’s birthday and as many of you know she liked to celebrate! I would love you all to raise a glass with me at 7pm, to toast the Queen of Showjumping; my Mum and your friend.”

Here are just some of the many other tributes paid by leading riders:

Ellen Whitaker: “When I was a little girl, I wanted to be as good as Liz Edgar. A way to go yet.”

Geoff Billington: “A sad day for showjumping. Liz Edgar, probably the greatest British lady rider we’ve ever had. RIP Liz, thank you for your wisdom and friendship. You were the best.”

Laura Renwick: “Very sad to hear of the passing of Liz Edgar today. For me she was the ultimate horsewoman who inspired many young girls, including me, to try to follow in her footsteps. I remember watching her ride with such admiration. Not many of us will ever be able to replicate her. I’m still trying my hardest to come anywhere close.”

Lance Whitehouse: “She was an amazing rider and trainer. I was lucky enough to have had the pleasure of training with her when I was younger. Liz was always on hand with friendly advice and her vast knowledge of our sport helped me a lot.”

Graham Fletcher: “I can’t think of anyone that has achieved more in their life yet remained so modest as Liz Edgar.”

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Commentator, Matt Millin: “A brilliant horsewoman with a knowledge of our sport most could only wish for. She gave me some good advice over the years and always said it to the point.”

Beat Mandli: “Unbelievable rider. Amazing person. I will never forget the year (1989) I was able to spend with the Edgars. Thank you.”

Keeley Durham: “You were an amazing person inside and out. Great that not only were you my childhood hero, a friend and I got to compete against you in my Welham days.”

Ernest Dillon: “So sad to hear that one of my heroes Liz Edgar passed away this morning.”

David Broome: “I was just lucky. She worked the ponies and horses for me and I pinched the glory. One of my greatest memories was when we cantered round the ring together as brother and sister having won the King’s and Queen’s Cup at Wembley.”

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