Amelia Bevan sealed a fitting and shock win as she retained her junior rider crown at the Side Saddle Association National Championships.
The 17-year-old from Bury St Edmunds picked up the junior rider of the year award for the second successive year at Addington Equstrian Centre in Buckinghamshire following a superb display aboard 14-year-old Glencroft Rocky.
However, the success came as a quite a shock to the youngster, who had to compete in dressage, turnout and jumping stages, as her horse had only returned to action a week before the competition having suffered from laminitis, an inflammation of the bones inside the hoof.
“He has been off work for three-and-a-half months,” she said. “I only managed to get the side saddle on him the day before, so I really didn’t expect to win.
“I was nervous going into the competition because of his time out but he gave me everything and felt amazing. I was so happy and thrilled.”
But while the victory may have proved a surprise for Bevan, who has been side saddle riding since the age of eight under the guidance of Janet Senior, it also proved a timely victory with it being Glencroft Rocky’s final show of this kind.
“The whole occasion was just so overwhelming,” she added.
“I’ve had him for six years and have worked so hard with him.
“Last year was really good but to win it this time round on him again was just special and timely.
“I hope to compete again but it won’t be on him as he won’t be competing as much.”