A travelling groom nominated by show jumper John Whitaker, dressage rider Richard Davison and Paralympic dressage rider Simon Laurens, has been named British Equestrian Federation (BEF) Kuster Groom of the Year.
Jenny Ellis, 47, from Ashbourne in Derbyshire, received the award during the evening performance at Olympia on Wednesday (19 December). She also took away the Smash Hit bronze trophy and £1,000 worth of holiday vouchers.
She said: “It’s a great honour that grooms are recognised. As a travelling groom, you have to drive lorries over long distances, sometimes care for horses during a flight, and make sure they stay fit to compete at the other end. If you start to think about the value of the animals involved, it becomes a huge responsibility, but I try not to.”
Second was Kelly Bell, groom for the Park End livery and eventing yard in Northumberland, who took away a cheque for £300. And third was Kate Lawrance, groom for show jumper Di Lampard, who won £200.
For the first time this year an industry newcomer was recognised too. Rachel Henning, 24, won the Best Newcomer award and a print by artist Tim Nathan, for her work with the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) over the past two years.
Read this news story in full in Horse & Hound (28 December, ’07)