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Sunday, September 07, 2008  •  12:08 GMT

Mrs Jo Spence wins the Mountain Horse Groom

Mrs Jo Spence wins the Mountain Horse Groom's award for Running Brook from Mrs Ward of Mountain Horse

JO IS BEST GROOM

Jo Spence, mother of Burghley ‘first-timer’ Georgie Spence, and groom to Georgie’s ride Running Brook II, was judged best groom, winning The Mountain Horse, Horse Care award at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.

Jo has looked after Georgie’s horses since she took up eventing five years ago and before that the ponies that Georgie and her sister Charlie had over the years of Pony Club and show jumping.

This week has proved a particularly difficult one for all the grooms due to the mud, mud and more mud. “Just keep cleaning,” said Jo who was busy polishing Running Brook – stable name George) before being presented with her prize. As well as cleaning Jo also advises the use of boots. “I like him to wear over-reach boots at all times when he is out of the stable,” said Jo who has also had an extra job to worry about this week. “For some reason he has decided not to eat much while he has been away so I have had to hand feed him.”

Fiona Russell, groom to Looks Like Fun the ride of Vicky Brake, was the runner-up. Fiona who has always worked with event horses is a freelance groom from Hampshire. “Looks Like Fun is very easy to look after,” said Fiona whose top-tip for potential three-day grooms is; “Be organised – get ahead of the game so you are prepared for whatever happens.”