International winners at Alnwick Ford Horse Trials 2024

Mike Jackson rides Girls Gamble in the CCI3* eventing at Alnwick Ford International Horse Trials | An Eventful Life
Mike Jackson and Girls Gamble win the CCI3* at Alnwick Ford International Horse Trials
Alnwick Ford International Horse Trials 2024 – order or view XC Videos here

Mike Jackson and Willa Newton took the two International classes on Saturday at the Hambro Sport Horses CCI3*-S at Alnwick Ford International Horse Trials (20th – 23rd June).

Riding the seven-year-old Girls Gamble, Mike was fifth after dressage on a score of 29.2 and added nothing to that in the jumping phases to rise to the top of the leaderboard and score the biggest win of his career so far.

“He’s quite a big horse, probably a bit over 17hh, so there will be more strengthening up to come. He was very calm and rideable in his dressage test - it’s just about chipping away and making those little improvements” said Mike

“The cross-country course walked like a solid three-star track, but I think it caused more faults than people had expected. The ground in the first field was quite holding, and there were some quite intense questions towards the end, all of which had an accumulative effect. I wanted to go quickly but not do anything silly - we’ve got a great partnership and know each other inside out now. We’re definitely on the same page and he’ll try his heart out to do the right thing.”

Willa Newton won the NIS Group Services Ltd CCI2*-S riding Isobel Crosbie’s nine-year-old Voltaire gelding Kingsman. The Leicestershire rider completed on her dressage score of 29, ahead of Susie Berry, second on Liberty 26, and Lizzie Baugh (Chac).

Willa said: “Kingsman was fantastic in all three phases this week. I had him as a young horse, and then he was such a good jumper that his owner wanted to go showjumping, so he did that for a year. He came back to me last winter and I hunted him a bit. We are giving eventing another go with him this year and he’s been fantastic. He seems like he’s really enjoying it, we’re very excited about him and looking forward to doing a couple more two-stars this summer.

“This was another brilliant event at Alnwick Ford - I love it there!”

Mike and Willa are now the “live contenders” for the highly valuable Northumberland Challenge, which unites the three Northumbrian international events: Belsay, Alnwick Ford and Burgham. Riders who win the CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S and, new for 2024, a BE100 class, at all three events can win cash bonuses of £25,00, £20,000 and £6,000 respectively. Due to the cancellation of Belsay last month, the Northumberland Challenge will roll over to Belsay 2025.

The next leg of the Northumberland Challenge is at Burgham International Horse Trials (25-28 July).

We’ll be back with a full wrap up across all days at Alnwick Ford International and we’ll see you at Burgham in July!