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British side saddle riders triumph in Aachen

The side saddle revival has reached Germany, which has just staged its first national show – and a contingent of British riders set the standard.

Four side saddle enthusiasts from the UK travelled to the hallowed showground at Aachen for the two-day competition last month (15-16 September).

Beth Robertson of Thatcham, Berks, won three classes with her own Copper Mine (pictured).

“It was so exciting competing at Aachen; the international side saddle circuit is really developing,” she told H&H.

“In 2010 we went to the Dutch national show. The Dutch were a bit further back then, struggling with saddles and fitting – but at Aachen they had come on in leaps and bounds.”

Britain’s Claire Lewis and Lucky Star won the equitation class while Paula Keeley and Esther Turner, who borrowed horses, were both placed in their classes.

Side Saddle Association chairman Vanessa Hood was invited to judge at Aachen by the show’s organiser Bettina Keil.

“This was probably the biggest international show there has been, with riders from seven European countries,” said Ms Hood.

“Our riders’ turnout was immaculate. We really set the standard, in terms of riding as well as turnout,” she added.

Beth Robertson now hopes to compete at the French show next year.

“There is just a handful of us taking our horses abroad at the moment, but it is great fun and others should definitely give it a go,” she told H&H.

“We are very much looked up to for our standard of side saddle – and competitors are really keen to talk to us,” she added.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (11 October 2012)

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