Meet the turnout kings and queens hopeful of receiving the Smart Grooming Groom of the Year award

Liv Williams

Freelance groom Liv offers plaiting and turnout services often working late at night and in the wee hours of the morning to make sure that her clients’ horses and ponies look fantastic in the ring. Her popularity with her clients is evident a she received a whopping 49 nominations! Self-taught, Liv also teaches plaiting tutorials online. Her claim to fame for the 2022 season is that she plaited and prepared several prizewinners at HOYS this year, not least, the working hunter champion Little Joe.

Poppy Carter

We are more used to seeing Poppy in the saddle in the pony ranks notching up countless successes. However, this year she has taken on a different role as groom for Showing World columnist Vicky Smith and has quickly become a vital part of her team. In fact, she even took over the running of the yard and cared for Vicky too when Vicky was bed-bound with COVID at the beginning of the pandemic. Vicky said that her ‘horses have never looked or gone so well’.

Aimee Stunt

Aimee is an integral component in Team Walker. Aimee moved north to the yard during the first week of lockdown in 2020, but didn’t let this bother her and she got stuck straight in to work. At only 23, she has now ridden in the hunter championship at last year’s HOYS and earlier this summer at the RIHS. “She is so hard working through the season but also backs all our three-year-olds through the winter,” said Rob Walker.

Tiffany Smith

Tiffany Smith has been at Team Heath for several years, and is described by Danielle as her “right hand woman”. Tiffany does a significant amount of the backing of youngsters at home through the winter, bringing them on alongside Danielle. The team have had tremendous success, with Tiffany now taking care of turnout for one of the most successful hacks in history, Forgeland Hyde Park, and having the rest of the team looking incredible at the ring on time!

Patrick Wills

Amatuer groom who received sweet and funny nominations. Patrick had previously not touched a horse prior to meeting his wife, Jay Ward Wills. However, when she fell ill whilst pregnant with their daughter, diligent husband Patrick took on all the horsey jobs. By now, Patrick has a keen eye for spotting any problems, packs the lorry, baths the ponies and generally is the ideal amateur groom! This year, he has even started showing himself in the in hand with a Welsh section A. At shows, it’s known that if there’s a problem or if someone needs a hand, Patrick will always be there to help anybody out. 

Nathan Arnold

After several years producing in his own right, Nathan is now chief groom for Polly Coles. Nathan is often to be found in the middle of the night plaiting horses by head torch. He didn’t need to plait this year’s HOYS winning team member though, instead, a shorn mane was the order if the day for Boheradurrow Fred, winner of the maxi cob class.

Ellie Greenhalgh

Ellie is Katie Jerram’s right-hand woman! Ellie started out at Katie’s yard as a junior and is now her head girl and an integral part of the running of the yard. She’s been especially supportive to Katie with her young horses since Katie incurred a particularly nasty back-break a few years ago. Of course, this year, the yard has endured the additional strain of losing their long-term owner and supporter, the late Queen Elizabeth II. In a historic moment, Katie and Ellie produced the late Queen’s homebred First Receiver to be the King’s first HOYS winner. 

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