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Sunday, September 02, 2007  •  17:01 GMT

JO LOOKS TO A FOUR-STAR FUTURE

The prize for the highest-placed British rider competing at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials for the first time was awarded to Jo May and Faere Vision, who finished in 25th place. Jo, a qualified instructor who runs her own livery and teaching yard in Somerset, received a miniature of the Land Rover perpetual challenge trophy.

Burghley was the second four-star completion for the combination that has been together for ten years since Jo bought ‘Spex’ from his breeder as a three-year-old. Bred by Diana Scott of the Brendon Stud, Spex is one of the last offspring of the renowned – and long-lived – Thoroughbred stallion Ben Faerie, the sire of Ginny Elliott’s (nee Holgate) former 1983, ’84 & ’85 Burghley winners Nightcap and Priceless.
Despite having been placed fourth at Luhmuhlen four-star event in June Jo admitted to pre-cross-country nerves at Burghley. “I was seriously nervous. I hadn’t felt so scared in my life and I did set out rather slowly in order to get round,” said Jo. “But he jumped well – and apart from an unplanned alternative at The Leaf Pit when he dramatically veered to the right after the drop – completely coped with it which has now given me so much confidence for the future. He was fantastic.”

Jo now has next spring’s Badminton in her vision for Spex but in the meantime will continue the education of several future four-star prospects in the yard including another three-year-old from Brendon Stud.