Elizabeth Rogers take the overall title for the fourth time at the National Side Saddle Championships
Elizabeth Rogers retained the title of side-saddle rider of the year at the National Side Saddle Show and, in doing so, joined an elite band of ladies who have won the elegant discipline’s top accolade four times.
Her route to victory was not all plain sailing and included an error of course in the equitation phase, plus a hairy moment in the jumping when Elizabeth’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Peake Royale made a huge leap over one fence.
However, her overall style and poise impressed the five judges sufficiently to get her into the final ride-off, where the four highest-placed riders give short displays on unfamiliar horses to decide the overall champion.
Elizabeth, from Kineton, Warwicks, was clearly delighted to retain her championship with her sensitive but talented chesnut. “I couldn’t have done it without my trainers – Liz Fellows for flatwork, Jon Trice-Rolph for jumping and Fran Penn, who generally keeps both of us in order!”
Reserve rider of the year was Sarah Beetson with the former event horseArticulate. This was Sarah’s second year in the ride-off and she was pleased to move up a place from third in 2001. She received a special prize of a bridle from the Worshipful Company of Saddlers.
Sharing third place were Clarissa Dawson with Shadow Of Doubt, a former rider of the year, and ride-off debutante Carol Goode, with La Bomba.
The Boxall sisters from Kingswood, Surrey, scored a unique double in the junior classes where Samantha, 14, won the open title with the 22-year-old Parklands Foxey and Emma, 13, its novice equivalent. Samantha and Emma dominated the junior classes throughout the three-day show.
Strong entries in the novice sections of both the adult and junior championships showed that this traditional discipline is still attracting new followers, while attempts by the organisers to offer new attractions and challenges were well received.
Despite torrential rain on the Friday, which led to some hasty rescheduling of classes, the show, which attracted more than 150 competitors from as far afield as the USA, is settling into its new home at The College EC in Keysoe, Beds.
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