Meet the team.... we're a friendly bunch...
Rachel Ashworth, BHS AI Int SM
Rachel started her teaching career at a young age helping out at her father's riding stables at Bulcote, near Nottingham, where she soon developed a passion for teaching and helping others. At 18, she trained for her BHS exams with the late Bob Humphries while managing and teaching at Bulcote Riding Stables. During this time Rachel competed actively with her self produced horse through all disciplines including BS showjumping.
Developing a freelance teaching business, both privately and for pony clubs, Rachel then went on to teach for Mandy Rowland at Kirkfield Equestrian Centre. After 9 years of managing riding school lessons, clinics, re schooling ex racehorses, managing injuries, riding out, stud work and taking horses racing, it was time to move on to pastures new. Rachel started teaching at Trentvalley Equestrian Centre, where she continues to teach, including training of the university teams, and at their annual camp.
The racing never leaves you, so she continued riding out, but now at a point-to-point yard in Gonalston. Whilst here an opportunity arose to work at Brakenhurst, the equestrian facility of Nottingham Trent University, giving Rachel the opportunity to see the equestrian world from yet another angle. Not busy enough, Rachel was now actively competing her own ex racehorse in county showing.
Relocating from Burton Joyce to Retford in 2011 and having met Tim Silcock, her husband, the next step was to set up Gamston Wood Livery early 2012 at Tim and his brother Andrew's family farm. Rachel is an accredited British Horse Society and Pony Club coach, recently becoming chief instructor with the Grove Hunt Pony Club. She is also on the committee of the Nottinghamshire charity Help for Horses, helping improve the welfare of our county’s horses.
Dawn Watson, groom, nvq 3
Dawn and Rachel have known each other for over 24 years and have a great working relationship. Dawn has a variety of experience with horses from all backgrounds, but mainly with youngsters and racehorses. Starting out her career on the YTS scheme at Brackenhurst College, she went on to become a student at the distinguished Northern Racing College in Doncaster, a centre of excellence in training for the horse racing industry. There, she enrolled on an Advanced Modern Apprenticeship programme in Racehorse Care and Management, achieving NVQ levels 1, 2 and 3. Having become an apprentice jockey, during her racing career, Dawn accrued almost 300 rides in public with 4 winners and 20 placed horses; as well as becoming travelling head girl transporting horses all over the country and abroad.
Family is the most important thing to Dawn, however, horses are a major part of her life. She always takes the greatest care and pride in helping people understand their horses, either on the ground or on board, in order to achieve the very best from their shared potential.
Megan Colebrook, groom NVQ 3
At 21 years old, Megan is the youngest (two-legged!) member of the team and has worked with Rachel at Gamston Wood Equestrian for 4 years. Horses have always been a part of her life. When she was 2 years old, her mum bought her first horse, which became Megan's at the age of 12 and remains with her to this very day. Megan started riding when she was 4 years old at Kirkfields Equestrian Centre, where Rachel used to teach. 'Rachel has taught me all my life and is still teaching me to this very day!' After leaving school, Megan went to college for a year, but felt that it wasn't the right move for her. That's when Rachel suggested an apprenticeship with Stubbing Court Training and where she acquired her level 2 and 3 NVQ qualification in Horse Management. Throughout her apprenticeship Megan has been afforded some fantastic opportunities, ranging from masterclasses with Yogi Breisner, Matthew Sampson and Joe Whitaker; to work experience at Michael Whitaker's yard and stewarding at the Chatsworth International Horse Trials.
Lucie Johnson, groom, nvq 3
Lucie has worked at Gamston Wood Livery for the past 4 years, but has known Rachel for many more years having been taught to ride by her father, Ken, at his riding school. Eventually, Lucie started working for the riding school at weekends, during holidays and after school. She recalls 'I remember my first day, walking out with lead reins for about 5 hours and getting my free hour ride on Paddy. Then, at the end of the day when Ken gave me £5 in wages, I was over the moon thinking “wow I can't believe I'm being paid!”'
After leaving school Lucie worked full time at the riding school for about a year before going on to work in other industries, including roles in sales and management. In 2006, motherhood ensued with her son's arrival, followed by her daughter in 2009. However, when her daughter turned 5, Lucie made an important career decision to 'do what I love and that's horses... If you do what you love for a job then it doesn't really feel like work!' Initially working at Trent Valley Equestrian, she moved to work with Rachel at Gamston Wood Equestrian a few months later. Rachel suggested an apprenticeship with Stubbing Court Training and Lucie obtained her NVQ 3 in Horse Management. 'Whilst on the course we had some fantastic opportunities to be taught by professionals such as Yogi Breisner, Joe Whitaker and Matthew Sampson. This year I am working towards my Coaching qualification.' Lucie also runs her own freelance equestrian care business and in her spare time cares for her own two horses.
Not forgetting our most important team members...
Our canine furries, a permanent fixture in and around the livery meaning that a warm, friendly welcome is never too far away...
Excellent facilities in an idyllic setting...
Schooling arena, jumping field, summer gallop, farm track, stables and grazing; all facilities are maintained to the highest of standards.