Our first guest for Star Crossed Horses is Alisha Newton, who plays Georgie on CBC’s Heartland. Georgie has been on Heartland since season six, and has quickly become one of the most-loved characters on the show. Watching Georgie (and Alisha) grow up has been a treat to watch, from her learning how to Roman ride and getting into all matters of trouble.
How/when did you learn to ride?
When I was little my grandma had a horse, so when ever I visited my grandparents we would always go out to the barn and I would ride her horse (western). I think that was what sprouted my interest and love for horses. Then, when I was around 10 I started taking English lessons and fell in love with it.
Please tell us about Aflame.
Aflame is my Dutch Warmblood Pinto Gelding! I bought him in June 2015 and I love him to bits. He’s super sweet and puts up with a lot of love and snuggles. So far I’ve shown him up to 3ft, but will hopefully be showing higher very soon. We usually school about a 1m-1.25 (3’3-4ft) at home. We’ve only ever done Jumpers together but Aflame has competed Hunters in the past and done incredibly well. He is so calm and sweet. I can stand on him and I’ve given several little kids riding lessons on him and he’s done great. Aflame is just an all around Steady Eddy. I love him so much!
Which horse do you enjoy riding the most on Heartland?
There are actually several different horses that play each horse on the show! For example, for Georgie’s horse Phoenix, there are about four different horses with different specialties that play him. There’s a jumper Phoenix, a trail riding Phoenix, a Roman riding Phoenix, etc. So to answer your question, I enjoy riding the horse that plays Phoenix when he is jumping. The horse that usually does the jumping stunts is named Conamore. I like him because he isn’t as calm or predictable as the other horses we have on the show. He’s actually a pretty spicy boy. It’s really refreshing to see such a firecracker on set.
What are you most proud of showing wise?
The thing that I’m most proud of is how far Aflame and I have come together in a short time. During the filming season from May to December I’m lucky if I get to ride three days a week and usually only get one to two lessons in. I also have restrictions on me as far as showing during the filming season – for insurance reasons. In the off season I have been very focused on my riding. We’ve been working super hard. Aflame and I are now jumping higher than what I ever expected to be able to do on him so I’m really happy.
Do you have a favourite scene from Heartland?
One of my favourite scenes to film was probably the last scene from season eight where Georgie is in the field with Trouble and he charges at her. It was great to be and be part of the liberty work that was involved and it was also an emotional scene. I love liberty and I love doing the emotional scenes.
What are your competition goals for the future?
As much as I love show jumping, I would absolutely love to compete in some events with my horse or at some point in my life. Three day eventing is so intense and hardcore. Riders that compete in eventing are incredibly talented athletes. I have been to several eventing shows like Rolex in Kentucky, and have also done some cross country schooling and I loved every second of it.
What do you enjoy most about working with horses?
I think what I enjoy most about working with horses is that it’s never the same. No matter how long you work with horses, you are always learning new things.
What do you hope to work on in future seasons of Heartland?
Like I said, eventing is something I have a really big interest in. I personally would like to see Georgie doing some more shows and maybe competing in a few events or competing in a cross country derby like other characters have in previous seasons.
Any last thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?
I would like say thank you to all of the amazing Heartland fans out there! You are what keeps the show going and I am very grateful for that. Please continue to watch so that we can keep the show going for another 10 years!
Readers are also invited to meet Meet Madison Cheeatow, CBC Heartland’s Jade Virani and meet Graham Wardle, CBC Heartland’s Ty Borden, and to meet Shaun Johnston, CBC Heartland’s Grandpa Jack, and and meet Cindy Busby, CBC Heartland’s Ashley Stanton, and to meet Michelle Morgan, CBC Heartland’s Lou Fleming and meet Miranda Frigon, CBC Heartland’s Janice Wayne