Thursday 26th of November 2020
Willa Newton


It’s been a busy few months and I can’t believe the season is nearly at a close. August and September definitely seemed to have picked up since I last wrote and it’s been an exciting last couple of weeks!



The end of August saw the disappointments of Blair with the Event Rider Masters not coming off quite how we’d hoped; but it was onwards to the young horses and the preparation for their championships at the end of the year. I was thrilled with how Champions Firecracker coped with Burghley but sadly he just missed out on the final.

It was then on to Blenheim with Caja for the 8/9 year old Championships and Chance Remark for our first shot at a CCI*** together.


I can’t thank Feena Machin and Peter Thomas enough for giving me a brilliant opportunity and letting me ride Chance Remark. Blenheim has been our target for the last two years and it was brilliant to have him there in one piece. Feena and Peter have been exceptionally patient this year and I was thrilled that Austen got the result that he thoroughly deserved. Dressage was a little wild but jumping a double clear round a tough course was incredibly exciting and to finish 8th was a dream come true.



As if the week couldn’t get any better and I still can’t believe I am writing this now but my superstar Caja 20 was just unbelievable – winning the 8/9 year old class at her second ever three star competition.

I have no words for this amazing mare who just gave me everything from start to finish and I can’t thank Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Dad enough for their huge support and allowing it all to happen.

It was just a brilliant day and made by my wonderful school friends who came to support. I don’t think Blenheim has ever seen anything quite like the “entourage” but it made my first big win even more special and with Bettina there too, who has given me so much help, winning the CCI***,  it was definitely a weekend to remember!



There were then a couple of one days left, Champions Firecracker added to the winning ways at Allerton and Neelix could have made it three weekends in a row but the jockey needed sacking!!!

He was having an easy run to finish off his season on a high post Blair, a foot perfect dressage followed by a clear showjumping left us in the lead. There were huge smiles and big pats after

I came home easily inside the time; but within seconds being told I had missed a fence out. What a b**gger! So furious with myself and absolutely gutted as ‘Chip’ totally deserved to win.

It was then on to Osberton with 6 horses, I’m not sure I had quite realised what I had let myself in for!!  I had always planned for the KBIS Young horse Championships to be the highlight of my season and it was also all of the owners ‘ end-of-year targets as well. It was incredibly exciting to have five, six and seven year olds all qualified as well as John and Judi Thurloe’s Rapide Gii in the CCI**. I had high hopes for all the horses but if you had told me the results at the end of the week I definitely wouldn’t have believed it!!!


Willa and Laury

Willa and Laury

Lauries Laudatio was just unbelievable finishing on his dressage score of 40 to WIN! and give me back to back wins! It was an incredibly special day as his syndicate members were there and very emotional, as Gina Powell who encouraged me to purchase the horse died earlier this year. 

Larry has been knocking on the door all year and I am just thrilled for him as he totally deserved to win. I never even dreamt when Pippa was ahead of me on the lovely Billy Walk On that we would finish ahead at the end of the day.

I have always massively admired Pippa so for her to comment on my horses was incredibly exciting. The other horses also performed brilliantly with Moonlight Dance S finishing 10th in her first CIC** and Cavatina Tinkerbelle 18th in the CIC*. I am so thrilled for owner/breeders Chris and Viv Prior who made the journey from Wales.

I cannot thank my team enough, who have worked so unbelievably hard this year and made it all possible. I am incredibly fortunate to have amazing support around me from Mum and Dad, Head Girl Janet, Ruth, Dee and Mathew who allow everything to run super smoothly and the horses to look and feel fantastic. My owners and sponsors for their never ending support. It has definitely been the best season to date and a huge thank you to one and all.

Willa x

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