Stonesby event rider earns landmark Blenheim win

Willa Newton and Caja 20 posted one of the fastest cross country times at Blenheim PIcture: Adam Fanthorpe EMN-160914-140526002
Willa Newton and Caja 20 posted one of the fastest cross country times at Blenheim PIcture: Adam Fanthorpe EMN-160914-140526002
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Stonesby event rider Willa Newton scored one of the biggest wins of her career at the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials last weekend.

The 26-year-old captured the prestigious CIC3* class for eight and nine-year-old horses aboard Caja 20.

The eight-year-old mare, owned jointly by Willa’s father Joey and Lady Sarah McCorquodale looks an exciting prospect and Newton has earmarked him for a shot at the Tokyo Olympics in four years’ time.

The pair rose from sixth place after dressage to third with a clear show jumping round and then posted one of the fastest cross country rounds of the competition.

Overnight leader Tom McEwen (Toledo De Kerser) had a run-out at the first corner fence after the water crossing and Jonelle Price, second, incurred 14 time penalties on Ascona M and dropped to 10th.

It was a British one-two as Laura Collett finished second on her 2015 Le Lion d’Angers winner Mr Bass, one of only three to complete David Evans’s excellent track without time penalties.

Newton said: “I didn’t know about Tom’s run-out when I set out, but Chris Bartle [trainer] came and told me that someone had done the time so I should go for it.

“She felt so confident that I kicked on and she just got better and better.”