Louth schoolgirl Esmee Alex underlined her talent in the saddle when she was crowned a national dressage champion last weekend.
Esmee, who attends King Edward VI Grammar School in the town, came through qualifying to take her place at the prestigious National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA) Championships at Addington Manor with her new horse Sarana.
They travelled down as a relatively new partnership with just a month of riding and training together.
But they produced a great warm-up performance in the elementary class to chalk up a score of 71 per cent.
This proved just a taster of things to come for the 16-year-old as the combination came out focused to compete in the higher medium level.
In a hotly-contested class, Esmee’s medium test flowed brilliantly, with all moves executed to the best of their ability.
And the judges agreed, awarding them the NSEA national medium dressage title for 2017.
Esmee’s dad Joseph paid tribute to the school for their support along the way.
He said: “We are really grateful to Mr (Gregory) Smith who is the equestrian team manager, for his support throughout the year.
“The school is great at developing and supporting excellence both in and out of school.”
Esmee also enjoyed success earlier in the year with her other pony Dolla after winning a place on the British Young Riders Dressage Scheme’s (BYRDS) England team.
She is now sponsored as an emerging young dressage rider by local feed company Top Crop Haylage who also sponsor leading British event rider Rosalind Canter from Hallington.