Flixton’s Natalie Widdowson secured victory in the British Dressage Winter Championships at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.
Widdowson and her horse Gorgeous George have gone from being unplaced in the Pet Plan Novice Open in 2010 to reserve champion in the Intermediate 1 this year.
The dressage star said: “The five-day show saw some of the top combinations from around the country competing.
“Everyone had to qualify through area festival finals and regionals.”
Widdowson qualified for the intermediate 1 area festival final through winning the area festival last September.
She added: “I then went on to qualify for the advanced medium freestyle and Prix St George Freestyle through being reserve regional champion at both levels.”
The Flixton rider then received an invitation to compete in the Intermediate 1 Freestyle, which meant the duo were competing in four classes, which is an enormous achievement in itself.
Widdowson said: “Our best result came in the intermediate 1 area festival final where we managed to finish as the reserve champion.
“George pulled off a super test and kept his cool in strong winds.
“I would have been over the moon with a top 10 finish so this totally exceeded any expectations. We also got to compete in front of a packed crowd on both gala nights in the freestyle classes.
The Flixton rider added: “It was an amazing experience to compete in such a fantastic atmosphere and we finished just outside the top 10 in both.
“My next goal is to be selected to represent Great Britain again.”