The young lady in the saddle is receiving Queen Ingrid's Cup from the hands of the Queen of Denmark after winning the European Horse Trials in Copenhagen earlier this month. Largely self-taught, Sheila Willcox of Lancashire is considered by many to be the best woman rider in the world. She beat the best men riders of Europe in the three-day trials in Copenhagen—a test of horse and rider not open to women in the Olympic Games—and because of this pretty English girl's many triumphs, changes may be made in Olympic rules. The grueling and successive trials consist of dressage, rough cross-country going, and jumping.
Sheila's family has no interest in horses whatever. She embarked on her riding career at the age of 4 with half crowns spent for pony rides on the beach near Blackpool. Despite family skepticism, in 1953 she bought a 6-year-old gelding named High and Mighty on whom she has won the top equestrian events of Europe and England, including those premier competitions, Badminton and Harewood. Of her successful partnership with the great bay horse (whom she nicknamed Chips) Sheila says, "The main secret is that we learned everything we know together, and therefore we know each other perfectly." Their project at present is preparing for the Grand Prix des Dressages at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.