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The Haddon Training British Grooms Awards

20 January 2017


At the recent British Breeders Awards Dinner, Chris Hewlett, Managing Director of Haddon Training presented the winning candidates in the four categories of the Haddon Training British Grooms Awards with their awards, commenting, “The standard of nominations received in the four categories was extremely high and along with my co-judges, Jane Holderness-Roddam and Jennie Loriston-Clarkewe deliberated for a number of hours of who should be the worthy winners and feel that they have all made an outstanding contribution in their careers or at the start of their career in the equestrian industry”.

The Haddon Training British Grooms Award was awarded to Janet Willis, who was nominated by event rider Willa Newton whose family Janet has worked for in the role as Head Girl for 31 years. Originally in charge of the family’s point to point yard, which when that dispersed took on the same role for the event horses ridden by Willa Newton.Janet’s sheer dedication, commitment to the horses and to the Newton family over so many years is simply unsurpassable and her enthusiasm for the job, even at the age of sixty-one has never waned.

Georgie Thomas received the runners-up award in this category being nominated by her employer Dani Evans, who highlighted that she is an outstanding team leader and is in charge of the day to day running of her event yard, which ranges from 4* eventers to 3 year olds that require backing, with her positive outlook and continuous smile has made an enormous difference to the feel of the yard.

The Haddon Training British Equestrian Team Grooms Award was presented to Mark Beever, nominated by Mary Bedson, PA to Nick Skelton and Maria Haig from British Showjumping.

Mark Beever has worked for Nick Skelton for 31 years and in that time has groomed for Nick at five Olympic Games including London 2012 where Nick, riding Big Star won a team gold medal and at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where the combination won the individual gold medal and it was through the relentless, meticulous and diligence that Mark showed in nursing Big Star back to health from injury that spanned more than two years played a major role in the selection of Big Star for Rio.

Mark’s professional care, attention and approach that he took to Big Star’s rehabilitation is one that cannot be commended enough and the importance of this is very much recognised by Nick, together with Gary and Beverley Widdowson, owners of Big Star. Mark is internationally renowned as one of the very best grooms in the world and is able to groom at top international level in any of the equestrian disciplines and was chosen to car for the other Team GB show jumping horses on the flight to Rio, a demonstration of his dedication, reliability and professionalism.

Every horse Mark has cared for over these many years have been in the best of health, appearance, with good manners and happiness within themselves.

The Haddon Training Yard Manager Award was presented to Marcelle Tattersall, yard manager to International event rider Gemma Tattersall Nominated by: Martin Bell in collaboration with a group of Gemma’s other owners, saying:- Marcelle Tattersall has made an extraordinary contribution to her daughter Gemma’s eventing career that led her to representing GB at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games. From being the original ‘Pony Club’ mum that was broadly similar to that of hundreds of other Mums (and also Dads) who sustain the recreational and junior competition levels in eventing by providing an astonishing multi-tasking array of skills: stable manager, trainer, financier, groom, transport driver, first-line para-medic and, particularly important, in-house sports psychologist that led Marcelle over the years to take on the roles joint travelling Competition Groom with, then Gemma’s Yard Manager, Elodie Frost.

In 2015 when injury forced Elodie to take on a less demanding position, Marcelle took on a more direct responsibility for the combined roles. However, perhaps the most striking and frequently noted aspect of Marcelle’s contribution is the extraordinary energy and endurance she commits to all her roles in developing good relationships; working with the home team involved with Team Tattersall, the co-ordination of the travelling grooms team, with owners in connection with activities at a specific event, providing a social media news service to owners who are unable to attend events, to her legendary and well-noted horsebox driving stamina, nationally and internationally!

The Haddon Training Apprentice Award was presented to Elisabeth Killick who was nominated by her employer, Matt Hicks saying: - When Lizzie came to work for me 3 years ago, she was inexperienced, lacked confidence and was nervous. Embracing her Haddon Training opportunities, Lizzie has improved immeasurably, exceeding expectations and is bright, happy, hardworking and dedicated to the horses and owners and works diligently with initiative and is ultra reliable on the yard.

Lizzie groomed internationally at Le Mans CDI 3*, with no previous experience of the pressured environment, where she was professional, excelled herself and set an example to other International support teams for her organisation, tidiness and turnout.

International riders are reliant on their support team and Lizzie is an integral part of our success and we wouldn’t be without her.

Besides generous cash prizes, the winners received engraved plagues, branded gilets and a year’s standard subscription to the British Grooms Association.

The Judges felt it appropriate to award a highly commended certificate in the British Grooms Award category and the recipient was Emily Littlejohn who was nominated by Bill and Jenny Levett.In the British Equestrian Team Grooms Award category, the Judges felt that who groomed for Anne Dunham at the Rio 2016 Paralympics was such an outstanding candidate they awarded a runners-up certificate to her. In the Yard Manager Award category, a highly commended certificate was awarded to Rebecca Evans nominated by Oliver Townend and in the Apprentice Award category, a highly commended certificate was awarded to Jessica Maidment, nominated by Lucinda Fredericks.


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