Haddon Training sponsors awards for grooms – Nikki Newman is runner up
Nikki Newman, who lives in Marlborough, did not even realise she had been nominated until she got the email telling her she had been judged as runner up for Haddon Training British Grooms Award. Nikki is a freelance groom and was nominated in secret by the employers she works for.
The Marlborough based company Haddon Training were sponsoring the awards for the first time and were delighted by the number of nominations they received. The awards have not been run for the past six years due to the lack of a sponsor.
Haddon Training provide work-based training and apprenticeships - especially got the equestrian industry. They are an OFSTED 'outstanding provider'.
The awards are open to grooms working in all parts of the equestrian industry. They were presented by Haddon Training’s chief operating officer David Grant at the annual British Breeders awards dinner.
The overall winner was Caroline Heard who works for a hunting yard in winter and in summer as a showing groom and producer.
Jessica Errington won the award for grooms who were part of the British team at the 2014 Alltech World Equestrian Games in France.
She was looking after British eventing team member Harry Meade’s mount Wild Lone who collapsed and died immediately after completing a clear round in the cross country. Meade said the tricky conditions on the course were not the cause of Wild Lone’s death.
Nominating Jessica, Meade said she had dedicated her life to looking after Wild Lone and had handled an extremely difficult situation with huge dignity. Wild Lone was a thirteen year-old gelding and the World Games were his sixth four star eventing competition.
As a freelance groom Nikki Newman shows great versatility in handling a point-to-pointer one day, an eventer on another day, a dressage horse the next day and a mountain and moorland show pony after that. The nomination pointed out that she gave each kind of horse attention and care of the highest standard.
Commenting on her award, Nikki said: “It’s not that I have done anything different to any other groom in the country. Everyone is at home in the rain, dealing with muddy fields and the cold weather, it doesn’t matter if you are an apprentice or a head groom, everyone is doing the job. But it’s great that grooms in general are being recognised.”