HORSEWARE GROOM OF THE YEAR
“ITREAT every horse exactly the same,” said this year’s Horseware Groom of the Year winner E-J Eldridge, yard manager at Stallion AI Services in Shropshire. Such impartiality must be a challenge, when E-J’s equine clients have included Big Star, Ramiro B and Arko. “I’m incredibly lucky to work with some amazing horses,” said 30-year-old E-J.
But with 170 stallions through their doors already this year, ranging from “a massive Shire, who’s absolutely beautiful” to two little ponies, E-J has no time for star treatment.
“We’re providing a service and we do everything in the stallion’s best interest. So we try to keep the routine similar to what they have at home, because it can be quite a taxing process for the stallions sometimes. But if you keep everything the same and calm, it helps,” she said.
“When you walk into our barn at home, you’d never think it was full of stallions, it’s so relaxed.”
E-J perfected her trade first at Eccleston Equestrian Centre where she qualified as a riding instructor, before going on to become deputy yard manager for international dressage rider Gareth Hughes and later working for Emile Faurie.
There are of course dangers to working with stallions — one once fell on top of her when she was collecting semen from him — but it hasn’t deterred her.
“I just have a massive love for horses — and I love the attention to detail that’s needed. I couldn’t ask for a better job.”
‘I have a massive love for horses. I couldn’t ask for a better job’ E-J ELDRIDGE