MICHAEL JACKSON won the prize for the highest placed local rider in the CIC*** section at last weekend’s Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.

Jackson, 31, who runs a training yard near Stow, finished sixth in the 8/9-Year-Old three-star section at the horse trials in Oxfordshire with Jagganath.

It was a successful debut at the three-star level for both horse and rider and their achievement also won Jackson the section award for the highest Blenheim debutant.

Jackson has produced Jagganath, stablke name Jack, through the levels for the last five seasons.

They completed their Blenheim introduction with no jumping penalties adding just 2.8 time penalties to their dressage score to move nine places up the leader board.

“To finish our first three-star together in sixth place was more than I could have hoped for against such good international competition,” said Jackson.

“While Jack has a lot of talent, he excelled himself over the three days and just jumped for fun.

“To ride at Blenheim has always been an ambition. To win several prizes especially on my first visit as a competitor was beyond my expectations and a real thrill.”

Leading British rider William Fox-Pitt, from Dorset, continued his amazing season placing first in the 8/9-Year-Old Class with Oslo and also third with Lionheart.

n LOCAL EVENT rider David Doel took gold and bronze at the FEI Junior European Eventing Championships in Vale Sabroso, Portugal (September 8-11).

Eighteen-year-old Doel, from Reybridge near Chippenham, rode Kings Cross in the competition which saw Great Britain take team gold, individual gold and individual bronze.

David and Kings Cross finished well inside the optimum time to complete a faultless cross country round, moving up from 11th to fifth place. They then moved up two more places after a fantastic clear round in the show jumping.

David, who is on the BEF UK Sport-funded World Class Development Programme, said: “It was the most amazing competition for me. Everything fell into place.”

n THE POPULAR Badminton Sponsored Ride will be held on September 25 at The Badminton Estate by kind permission of His Grace the Duke of Beaufort.

The charity fun ride is in aid of Help for Heroes and The Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt; last year’s event raised more than £14,000 for charity.

The course is approximately 10 miles over the beautiful undulating countryside of the estate and there will be at least 30 well-built optional fences along the way.

Prizes will be awarded to the riders who raise the most sponsorship money. Entries will be taken on the day at the cost of £30 per adult and £20 for 14 years and under. For more information please call 01666 822263.

n WILTSHIRE children have been honoured by local author Jilly Cooper after completing the Horse Power programme at Greatwood Rehabilitation Centre for retired and ill-treated former racehorses.

The students from various schools were presented with their OCN Certificates by the author last week. A total of 48 students from Wiltshire with Special Educational Needs have so far completed the Horse Power programme.

Cooper said: “Greatwood’s Horse Power programme offers students who have varying challenges within their lives with education and career opportunities which would not have occurred without taking this fantastic and worthwhile course.”