Sam the spoiler in Alnwick Ford horse trials

World number one Oliver Townend was within touching distance of completing the second leg of the Northumberland Challenge - a £22,000 prize-pot for winning the CCI2*-S classes at three northern events - but was denied victory in the CCI2*-S at Alnwick Ford by Samantha Jimmison.

By Keith Hamblin
Monday, 27th June 2022, 10:16 am
Updated Monday, 27th June 2022, 10:16 am
Harry Mutch and Samantha Jimmison on their way to their class wins at Alnwick Ford on Saturday.
Harry Mutch and Samantha Jimmison on their way to their class wins at Alnwick Ford on Saturday.

Doncaster-based Samantha was 13th after dressage on her six-year-old mare Lenelaheleen W, but added nothing in the showjumping and cross-country phases to her mark of 31.8 to score her first-ever international success.

“I would have taken a top-10 placing in this company today! I am absolutely thrilled to win and it means a lot,” said Samantha, 34. “I bought this mare from The Netherlands just before lockdown in 2020, so she hasn’t had a great deal of experience, but I really love her - she’s got everything I could want, and I joke that she might be my CCI5* horse one day.

“She was phenomenal in the showjumping, and she’s a brave mare with a really good gallop, so the cross-country really suited her.

Oliver collected four penalties in the showjumping but was faultless across country to finish on a mark of 32.8 on Sir John Peace’s eight-year-old En Taro Des Vernier, for second place. The pair won the first leg of the Northumberland Challenge last month at Belsay and, although they cannot win the maximum prize in this innovative new series, a top-three finish at Hambro Sport Horses Burgham International Horse Trials (28-31 July) could still mean they win £10,000.

Third was Elise Rea, another rider to remain on her dressage score, this time of 33, on her own Cara Touch.

Local rider Harry Mutch triumphed in the CCI3*-S on his mother Carole’s 16-year-old HD Bronze.

Harry was second to Izzy Taylor (Jane Timmis’ SBH Big Wall) after dressage on a score of 28.7, but rose to the lead when Izzy knocked down one showjump. Both riders were foot-perfect round David Evans’ cross-country course - as was Wills Oakden, who slotted into second between Harry and Izzy on Keep It Cooley.

This was also a first international success for Harry, 25.

Wills Oakden enjoyed a good day as he won both the national intermediate classes.