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Sunday, September 05, 2010  •  16:22 BST

LAUREN IS A SPECIAL WINNER

British rider Lauren Shannon had a competition to remember, taking home several special prizes from the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.

The 24-year-old who is based near Wymeswold in Leicestershire finished in 12th place overall with Zero Flight. It was the first Burghley and the first four-star for the combination who produced a ‘double clear’ that brought them up from 19th place after dressage.

The achievement won Lauren; a voucher for a bespoke riding coat as the ‘highest placed British rider under 25’ and a miniature of the trophy as the ‘highest placed rider competing at their first Burghley’. She also won the HSBC FEI ClassicsTM Training Bursary which is awarded to the highest placed rider competing at their first four-star competition.

“I am absolutely pole-axed,” said Lauren who was brought up in America but moved back to Britain seven-years-ago and has since ridden in the British Young Rider team, winning team gold in 2006. “Everyone says ride to get round at your first Burghley but that is not my style – you have to want it and I had to ride to win.” Lauren had the benefit of a first ride on her mare Quixotic – who was withdrawn at the horse inspection. “Two rides definitely helped. Both of them felt good but on Zero I went out like I meant it and he flew,” said Lauren who has owned the 13-year-old by the Thoroughbred Zero Watt for six years. “You can always count on him for a double clear – he is a jumping machine – but I was nervous before the show jumping as any horse can roll a pole but he didn’t let me down.”

Lauren is now looking forward to her first Badminton next spring – with both Quixotic and Zero Flight. “Two horses for Badminton – that is incredible.”