Harriet Waldron, groom of Becky Woolven’s ride Charlton Down Riverdance (‘Socks’), won the Horse Care prize for 2016, awarded to the groom of the best cared for horse throughout the week at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
Harriet, who has been head groom at Becky’s Tetbury yard since February this year, has had her work cut out this week keeping Socks’s resplendent white socks spotlessly clean.
“He likes to lay down in muck and always ends up filthy,” laughed Harriet, who describes the 17.1hh gelding as “a gentle giant, but an absolute treasure”.
“He’s the sort of horse you could put your nan on to go hacking, and then he comes here and jumps clear around Burghley,” she said. “He is such a relaxed chap. Yesterday before the cross-country, he was lying down asleep in his box.”
Harriet admitted being “close to tears” yesterday when Becky and Socks crossed the finishing line.
“It was definitely the proudest moment of my career so far,” she said. “Socks has been getting a lot of attention this week and his fan club has grown, but I’ve been trying to keep his routine as normal as possible.”
The runner-up was Charlotte Brear, who not only rides Manor Missile, but has also looked after him all week.
There was also a prize for the best-shod horse, presented by the Worshipful Company of Farriers. This went to Jim Hayter, who shod Tom Crisp’s ride, Cooleys Luxury.