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Sunday, September 05, 2010  •  11:48 BST


Emma Connolly, groom of Lead The Way (no. 78) was awarded the Mountain Horse, Horse Care Prize at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.

The award goes to the groom of the ‘best-cared’ for horse competing at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, in recognition of their work. It was assessed over the four days of the competition by Polly Lochore.

Twenty-one year-old Emma was presented with her prize, £200 and a Mountain Horse outfit, in the main arena after the final horse inspection. She has been a full-time groom since leaving school five years ago and has worked for Lead The Way’s owner and rider Clea Phillipps, ninth after cross-country, for three years. ‘Leader’ can be quite high maintenance but lovely with it – he loves being pampered and preened,” said Emma who attributes part of her success to knowing her horse – his likes and dislikes. “You also have to work with the rider and know how they like things done – you have to work together – it is team work.”

Debbie Winchester was awarded second place. Debbie, from West Sussex, is groom to Ariel Spirit (no. 35) who is ridden and owned by Rebecca Gibbs and currently 24th after cross-country. “Methodology is the key – you have to have a good routine,” said Debbie. “Think and plan ahead then you’ll have everything you need.”

Farrier Stephen Hills was the winner of the Farriers award for the best shod horse which was Alter Ego (no. 50) the ride of local competitor Kate Walls who has completed her first Burghley.