ACCRINGTON showjumpers Geoff Billington and Sarah Lundy hit the heights at Hickstead on Sunday.
Accrington-born Geoff has vowed to reclaim his DFS British Derby crown after narrowly missing out on the main prize in a jump-off.
But 18-year-old Sarah came top in the Intermediate Stakes - and was shocked.
"I couldn’t believe it," said ex-St Christophers pupil Sarah who won out of 120 riders - despite being one of the youngsters taking part.
"I went out about 45th and got a clear round on my horse True Star.
"Our course was over 16 fences of 1.5metres and the last five were timed.
"A few others got a clear round but didn’t get my time and then I was pacing up and down waiting for everyone else to go. It was horrible.
"I knew I had a good time and then when I realised I won I was on cloud nine - and have been for a few days! I was jumping up and down."
Sarah, from Rising Bridge, won prize money and a rosette as well as a rug for True Star.
And, while she will now take part in more local shows, she has her sights set on emulating Geoff Billington’s success at Hickstead - another ex-St Christophers pupil.
The 53-year-old rider lost out in a jump-off to rival and friend Will Funnell after his horse, Cassabachus, failed to get a clear round.
"It is the best showjumping competition in England," said Geoff, who fulfilled a 30-year ambition when he won the prestigious competition last year.
"We have had a lot of banter in the build up to it and I will get Will next year!"
Geoff went last on Sunday in perfect conditions after overcoming a muddy affair last year.
On his first round, on his young horse Rosinus, he suffered 24 faults but knew he would come strong on last year’s winner.
The leaders were those with eight faults until Will, a former champion, picked up just four faults as the second to the last person to go.
Then it was down to Geoff who needed a clear round to win the title. He did it last year - just picking up a time fault - but this year he knocked down the palisade rails to also gain four faults and force a two-way jump off.
Funnell went first on a shortened course and got a clear round and, in a tense finale, Geoff needed a clear round in a faster time.
He was on course to do it but then suffered a fault on the same rails leaving Geoff with second place.
It means, in the last three years, the former Peel Park pupil has come first, second and third in Britain’s top showjumping event.
Geoff now lives in Cheshire but his mum and dad, Joyce and Lewis, still live on Claremont Avenue in Accrington.
"Geoff pushed me to the wire," said Funnell. "The crowd here cheer you and the whole atmosphere of Hickstead can’t be compared to anywhere in the world."