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Show jumper who taught hundreds to ride dies aged 90

PUBLISHED: 14:41 19 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:27 19 November 2018

Elizabeth Slinn (nee Anderson) riding Sunsalve at White City in 1957. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Elizabeth Slinn (nee Anderson) riding Sunsalve at White City in 1957. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

She was from show jumping’s golden age, taught hundreds of children from Norfolk how to ride, and just missed out on Olympic glory - but now one of the county’s most renowned show jumpers has died at the age of 90.

Elizabeth Slinn (nee Anderson) with some of her trophies. Photo: Paul HewittElizabeth Slinn (nee Anderson) with some of her trophies. Photo: Paul Hewitt

Elizabeth Slinn, who rode under her maiden name of Anderson, was born at the former Cromer Hospital on February 2, 1928 and lived in Sheringham, before moving to Shipdham, near Dereham, when she was 14.

Even then, she was already proficient in horse riding due to her father Oliver Anderson’s job as a horse breeder and farmer.

Her daughter, Zynnia Dagless, 51, said: “She rode a horse and cart from Sheringham to Shipdham at the age of 14 everyday for a week, on her own, when they moved.

“Later she would go on to drive all over the country with her horse on her own. She would ring her family from wherever she was and let them know how she was getting on.”

Elizabeth Slinn (nee Anderson) with her scrapbook. Photo: Paul HewittElizabeth Slinn (nee Anderson) with her scrapbook. Photo: Paul Hewitt

Mrs Slinn developed a strong connection with her horse Sunsalve - born from the horse Sunshine, bred by her father.

And in 1957, aged 29, she rode the chestnut gelding to her greatest triumph and won the Queen Elizabeth Cup - the most prestigious event of the women’s show jumping year.

But just as her career reached its peak, it ended almost overnight when she met and married Fred Slinn. The couple divorced in the 1970s and Mrs Slinn did not remarry. Together they had three children; Petrina Cooke, 58, Oliver Slinn, 56, as well as Mrs Dagless.

She added: “She became something of a local celebrity and was often pictured for the papers out and about in town.”

Oliver Anderson, with Sunshine - the mother of his daughter's (Elizabeth Anderson) horse Sunsalve. Circa 1960. Picture: SLINN FAMILYOliver Anderson, with Sunshine - the mother of his daughter's (Elizabeth Anderson) horse Sunsalve. Circa 1960. Picture: SLINN FAMILY

In the 80s and 90s, she taught hundreds of children in the Dereham area to horse ride. In later life, she enjoyed playing bingo and cards.

“She always kept active. She was unique.

“She was still driving at the age of 90 and was very proud having kept her license.

“She was definitely one before her time.”

Oliver Anderson, with Sunshine - the mother of his daughter's (Elizabeth Anderson) horse Sunsalve. Circa 1960. Picture: SLINN FAMILYOliver Anderson, with Sunshine - the mother of his daughter's (Elizabeth Anderson) horse Sunsalve. Circa 1960. Picture: SLINN FAMILY

Mrs Slinn died on Saturday November 3 after being diagnosed with lung cancer five weeks prior. She also leaves behind three grandchildren; Oliver, Buster, and Ruby.

Her funeral takes place on Tuesday November 20 at St Faiths at 10.15am. Everyone is invited. Donations for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

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