In The Beginning
Jo started riding when she was just 5 years old at her local riding school and soon as she was old enough she started working at the riding school every weekend and school holiday.
When she was 9 Jo got her first pony, Kim. Jo rode Kim every day and began to dream of one day competing at Hickstead and becoming a top lady show jumper. As Jo grew up she rode and loved lots of ponies, but by Jo's own admission they were never the best ponies. Jo trained them to be the best she could make them before they were sold to give her the money to buy the next bigger or better quality horse for her to ride.
Then at 16 Jo trained with Alison Doors, who was the first lady to win the Hickstead Derby. Following her hard work and training at Alison's yard, Jo went on to work for Barry Fox at his yard and Jo was trusted to ride horses for clients when Jo was just 17 years old.
Success as a Young Rider
Jo went to Paula Grahams for training and then she trained with Rob Hoekstra for a year. Jo then enjoyed training with Ted Edgar for a short time who was a big inspiration to her. Neither of Jo's parents were horsey but they understood the importance of learning the showjumping trade from professionals. Jo says "Learning how to produce horses properly for competition and not just using them for shows has given me the foundation for my now successful business".
During this period, Jo bought a few young horses, and one of these was Bo Diddly who went on to qualify for the Vauxhall competition which was for Grade B horses. Bo Diddly and Jo finished third in the final and together they went on to win the A and B Year Finals and they qualified for the Queen's Cup 2 years running!
Jo also purchased two horses, Inca and Luke, they both qualified for the Vauxhall Competition and the Star Spotters competition which was for young grade A and B horses.
Bo Diddly and Jo were second in the Windsor Ladies and fourth in the Grand Prix class at the same show. Together they went on to be first at the Woolwich Show in the Trial and they won the leading rider in 1991. Bo and Jo jumped many trials and Grand Prixs together collecting countless rosettes. Sadly Bo suffered an unfortunate lameness and the pair missed their chance to compete in the European Young Rider Championships.
Jo went on to buy a few young horses that she produced herself and sold for a profit, this was all endured to allow Jo to build up a fund to purchase a horse that she could really compete and contend against the best in the world on. Jo brought Ballinar as a 5 year old and she proved to be a great horse, Ballinar and Jo went on to win the Neumerouse International Class and numerous National Trial classes. Together they won the National Ladies Championship and enjoyed a successful and full career. Jo decided to retire Ballinar at 14 and put her into foal with Calvaro Z, and she produced a lovely bay colt in 2009, Jo called him Ragga Muffin.
Goodman Randis Gold
When Jo took on Goodman's Randis Gold he was jumping 1.30 classes and he was being very difficult to ride. When he arrived at Jo's yard he showed a lot of troublesome traits and was very naughty, but after a lot of training and hard work, Jo and Randis Gold developed a great relationship and together they have competed on 2 Nation Cup Teams, representing Great Britain at the Lummen 5*. They also competed in International Grand Prix classes. Jo says: “Randi is a wonderful horse, he always gives 101% and I will always love him for that. I was very fortunate that Goldman Equine Ltd bought him for me to ride.”