Meet John Farrell – eventing groom

  • How did you start working with horses?

    “At the age of 16, I was in care at a children’s home when one of the staff saw an advertisement asking for a YTS student to work at the Talland School of Equitation, Glos.

    “I did one year at Talland, followed by a year’s bolt-on course at Church Farm, which is linked to Talland. I worked with Pammy Hutton’s competition dressage horses while studying for my BHSAI exam.

    “I then spent a year with eventer Robert Mickleburgh. During this time, I met Katie Parker and really became addicted to the sport.

    “After a year with Barry Wookey, who owns the Rushall horses, I decided to give up working with horses and went to do social work.

    “Four or five years later, at the beginning of 1999, I returned to horses since then have been to Lexington, Kentucky, helped at Badminton and done several three-day events.

    “I also helped to school Bina Ford’s show jumper Amoray, who was a winner at the Horse of the Year Show.”At the end of 1999, I decided show jumping wasn’t really for me, which was when Katie asked me if I’d like to go and work with her two horses.”

    What are your ambitions?

    “I’d eventually like to do something different, like TVor reporting. However, it’s getting your foot in the door that’s the difficult bit. I tried applying to Planet 24, which does The Big Breakfast, but wasn’t successful.”

    What’s the best bit of the job?

    “Seeing the horses at the trot-up at a three-day event on the Sunday.

    “However, there are lots of nice bits its very rewarding seeing progress in youngsters.”

    The worst bit of the job?

    “Horses being spun. If they’re not passed on Sunday morningfor something minor, like a little overreach, it is very disappointing, especially when you’ve been up all of the night before getting ready.”

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