DESTINED to be a showjumper, Sparky May instead became a successful racemare, running for her breeder Bill Muddyman. She is a true fairytale story.

Muddyman purchased three mares in America, all having been successful show jumping. Having brought them to England he decided that one of the mares, the only thoroughbred, should be given a chance to produce a racehorse.

Sent to Midnight Legend (Night Shift), she produced a filly who almost died, save for some heroics by her eventual Pat Rodford. At 2am one stormy night, he found the filly foal, lifeless and the wrong side of an electric fence. He attempted to drag her back under the fence, sparks flew and Rodford took the brunt of the electric shock.

When it came to naming the filly she was called Sparky May. A winner on the flat, a switch to hurdling showed what she was capable of and she beat Carole’s Legacy in a Grade 2 mares’ hurdle at Ascot. Only Quevega stood between Sparky May and a win in the then Grade 2 David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, and she acquitted herself well in the Grade Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree, finishing third.

Now dam of three winners, Sparky May’s second foal, Lanspark (Milan) is a three-time over hurdles, his year younger sibling Stage Star, a son of Fame And Glory (Montjeu), gained his second Grade 1 win when adding the Turners Novices’ Chase to the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury. He cost Tom Malone €60,000 at the 2019 Goffs Land Rover Sale.

Grade 1 and Cheltenham success is no stranger to the much-missed Fame And Glory, also sire of Commander Of Fleet, The Nice Guy and Ballyadam.