British rider wins ‘indescribable’ honour at Winter Equestrian Festival

British rider Amanda Derbyshire has been crowned overall leading lady rider at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Florida.

The US-based showjumper performed consistently well across the 12-week festival.

Her big wins came in the $134,000 CSI3* Horseware Ireland grand prix on Roulette BH and the $72,000 CSI4* Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup round 11 aboard Luibanta BH.

She won back-to-back leading lady titles in week 10 and 11 of WEF in the build-up to claiming the overall Martha Jolicouer leading lady rider award on 30 March.

“Having this award adds a whole other element of competition among some very talented female riders and I am beyond thrilled to win the overall title this year,” said Amanda, who won her first WEF Martha Jolicouer leading lady award in 2018.

“It was an incredible feeling to just win once, but to win twice more this season and take overall is indescribable.

“I am so grateful to Martha for recognizing leading ladies, but also for being such a steadfast supporter of horse sport in general.

This season was a spectacular one for me and I could not have expected more out of my horses.”

Amanda Derbyshire leading lady World Equestrian Festival

The award was presented in memory of horsewoman Dale Lawler.

In recognition of her achievement, Amanda was also given a custom-built jump of her choice from Martha.

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“The leading lady award was always the one that I aimed to win when I was competing because it is a testament to consistent top performances,” said Martha, who started presenting the award in 2010.

“Wellington is the winter equestrian capital of the world and attracts some of the best riders in the world.

“To experience how horses have brought us all together is something special for me. It was an honour to watch Amanda find so much success this season and win her first overall leading lady rider award.”

Other weekly winners of the award over the 2019 season included Erynn Ballard, Laura Chapot, Margie Engle, Tiffany Foster, Lauren Hough, Eve Jobs, Beezie Madden, Karen Polle, and Jessica Springsteen.

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