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Having clinched the rider of the year title on 4 previous occasions at the national side-saddle championships, Elizabeth Rogers thought she would never do it again.

After standing reserve to the association’s youngest rider of the year, Samantha Boxall, at last year’s show, Elizabeth impressed judges this year with her “elegant poise” in a ride-off which saw the top 4 competitors marked on their ability to perform freestyle displays on completely unknown horses.

“I can’t quite believe that I would ever get there again,” said Elizabeth, who won the prestigious accolade in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002.

“It’s just been fantastic. The last 2 horses were a little trickier, but the saddles were so comfortable which made all the difference,” said Elizabeth, who works as a yard manager for Roger Philpott at Pittern Hill stables in Warwickshire.

Elizabeth gained her place in the ride-off final after finishing 3rd behind Samantha Boxall and Parklands Phoenix (10.4), Fiona Maycock and Master Bounce Esq (11.3) in the adult open equitation championship.

Partnering her own Bold Sky, Elizabeth completed the final on a score of 15.6 — more than four marks better than Caroline Wofford and Atlantic Traveller (20.1).

All four riders had taken the title in previously during their side-saddle careers.