Sarah Wells-Gaston reports …
Two days of competition turned into one at Alnwick Ford International as heavy rain forced the event to abandon.
However, five sections of competition were completed before the bad weather set in, including the Newton Hall CCI2*-S (Section A).
The class was won by Douglas Crawford with Shadow Lad. The pair had been in tenth after the dressage, but keeping a clean sheet in both jumping phases propelled them up the leader board, finishing on their dressage score of 30.1. Crawford also finished in fourth with Twilight AZ.
The 21-year-old rides for Geoff and Elspeth Adam on their yard on the Scottish Borders where he has worked for two seasons, riding their six event horses. Shadow Lad is a nine-year-old Irish Sports Horse who he bought from Ben Hobday back at the start of 2018.
Douglas told Eventing Worldwide: “Lad is very much a yard favourite with his nature and character. It was great to have two horses competing in the 2* at Alnwick Ford. Twilight AZ is a new ride for me this season who has only done two novices before heading there, producing a great result in her first international. Myself and the owners are really excited for her future. The ground when I set of on Lad was quite wet but wasn’t heavy going as they must of had lot of rainfall the night before. He made light work of the ground and all the questions asked on the cross-country course with a stylish clear inside the time. These two horses will come out next season at intermediate and 3* level and hope to continue up through the grades.
Second went to Daniel Scott and Alvescot Mr Nice Guy whilst Emilia Proctor and Larkebelle jumped 17 placed after the dressage to finish in third.
Having finished second in the international class, Daniel Scott went one better to take victory in BE100 Section D with Harlequin Jubilee.
The BE100 Regional Final (Section C) was won by Emma Buchanan and Blaze. It will be the second visit to the Grassroots Championships at Badminton – the pair were 33rdthis year. Their win also marked their tenth top ten finish of the season.
Emma told Eventing Worldwide she was shocked to qualify again, commenting: “I don’t think I’ve been so nervous for a show jumping round as I knew one mistake and that would be it. We’ve not had the best season with show jumping rounds so to pull it off on the last event was amazing. As always Blazey was brilliant cross country around an amazing course. It’s the first time I’ve been to Alnwick and despite the weather it was a brilliant event. We are winding down a bit now, concentrating on lessons, dressage and mainly showjumping throughout the winter. But I’m already so excited about getting back down to Badminton.”
Stephen Rankin and Castleforbes Roscoe were the winners in BE90 Section E – their second win in a row – whilst Will Murray and Crosstown Sir Lancelot took victory in Novice Section B.