‘A talented rider and fierce team-chaser’: farewell to saddle-fitter Jo Geddes

  • By Spencer Sturmey

    Jo Geddes, the well-respected saddle-fitter and team-chaser, died on 3 March, aged 52.

    Jo was a vivacious, compassionate, generous and kind-hearted lady. A very talented event rider, a brilliant show rider and a fierce team chaser. She was an incredibly keen and accomplished huntswoman – hunting with the Cotswold, VWH and numerous other packs. Jo was head groom for Joss Hanbury in the Quorn country and Grove and Rufford when she was young.

    Jo Geddes

    In 2009 she won the Cuddy working hunter of the year title at the Horse of the Year Show with Keep Talking, remembered by her friends and family as a “fabulous day”.

    “She was so gracious with this win, never making a fuss – Jo was always known for her unbelievably humble attitude,” they said.

    She evented successfully up to intermediate level and was always known for her attention to detail, producing many horses up through the levels herself. Of her greatest achievements producing horses, one was the German-bred mare Queensberry, and later Chuckleberry, whom she bred from Queensberry. They were both quite difficult and quirky rides, but Jo had the talent and the patience to take them far. Chuckleberry went on to be competed internationally by William Fox-Pitt and at four-star level with Sir Mark Todd – both of whom praised Jo for the way she produced her horses, never leaving a stone unturned. She team-chased with the Kemble Kickons and was often the lead rider for intermediates.

    Latterly Jo not only combined a busy life hunting and team chasing, but became a very well-respected saddle-fitter for Sederholm Selected. Many will remember her smiling face at a number of the top competition venues nationwide.

    “She will always be in my heart. My beautiful sister who died much too young,” said Jo’s sister Suzanne Kirkby.

    A JustGiving page will be set up in Jo’s memory with details to follow soon.

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