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Full Time Groom Graduates to Fully Qualified Saddler

Rachael Argo, a full time working groom at ILPH Belwade Farm in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire has recently qualified as a saddler, becoming one of only three qualified saddlers in Northern Scotland.

Says Eileen Gillen, ILPH Belwade Farm Manager, "Many horses and ponies come into the ILPH with problems that can be traced back to badly fitting saddles, so for us to have a fully qualified saddler on the staff is such a bonus."

Three years ago Rachael, then working as Head Groom at Belwade, decided to start her official training as a saddler, with help from the ILPH. During that time she was apprenticed to the ILPH Master Saddler, Andre Bubear and has gained practical experience with the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery in London.

Her training was at the Saddlery Training Centre in Salisbury where her work was considered of such a high standard that her bridlework was entered in the Society of Master Saddlers Annual Competition, where it achieved a highly commended.

Rachael comments, "Being given the chance to study saddlery was a pipedream which, thanks to the ILPH, has become a reality. I am now looking forward to the challenge of using my skills to not only help horses coming into the ILPH, but privately owned horses as well."



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