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That Special Bond – with Georgia Ellwood: “Actually connecting with a horse, especially one like Romeo, is the best feeling”

Wednesday, 06 December 2023
That Special Bond

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. "He is the one I have that special bond with as I obviously spent much time with him," Georgia tells about Harry Charles' Romeo 88. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



We continue our popular series “That Special Bond” with Georgia Ellwood, groom for Great Britain’s Harry Charles – the leading U25 rider in the world and currently 14th on the Longines Ranking. “I want to stay in this job for as long as possible; we have such a good team and the Charles-family is amazing – they are all so supportive. This is going to be my last grooming job; when I’m done here, I’m done with grooming,” Georgia smiles. “Harry’s dad Peter is a big part of what we do on a daily basis. He is the best person to have around, he is very good with Harry and very good with me – he treats me like family. We have good routines, the staff at home is fantastic and the horses are without doubt the best I have ever groomed.”

“It started as a freelance assignment for about a year, but I never left and now I have been working full-time for Harry for around 3,5 years,” Georgia tells as we embark on the story about which horses are the closest to her heart. 

The special one

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. “I love all my horses so much, but if I really must pick just one it would be Romeo 88," Georgia says. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“I love all my horses so much, but if I really must pick just one it would be Romeo 88 (Contact van de Heffinck x Orlando, breeder Picobello Horses, owner Ann Thompson and Harry Charles). I wouldn’t say that Romeo is my favourite, but he is the one I have that special bond with as I obviously spent much time with him both at the World Championship in Herning as well as at the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Georgia explains. “Even though I love the other horses equally, I haven’t had that much one-on-one time with them.” 

“Romeo is super grumpy, but I just get him, and I think he gets me a little as well. I leave him and don’t do too much with him, since that just irritates him. If you do things with him all the time, he just gets aggravated. He is a very closed sort of buck, and you have to know how to play with him,” Georgia tells with a smile. “I don’t make him do anything he doesn’t want to do – he is in charge of me basically. Romeo really is a strange sort of character and I think many misunderstand him. Even though he is so grumpy, he is still very loving in his own way. And Romeo loves to sleep. He sleeps straight after breakfast, then when he gets up, he gets ridden and after he goes straight back to sleep."

“We have had Romeo for about 2,5 years now and I have looked after him from day one. In the beginning it was a very tough thing to get to understand him and vice versa, but both Harry and Peter were very good and just assigned him to me and said, “You look after him, see what he likes, and dislikes and take your time to get to know him.” Tokyo was just around the corner, so it actually put a bit pressure on me and obviously on Harry to get to know him very quickly. Romeo shows you what he like very rapidly though, he is not shy of that,” Georgia laughs. “And when you then actually connect with a horse, especially when it is a horse like Romeo, it’s the best feeling.”

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. "Balou du Reventon stole my heart from day one," Georgia says about the handsome stallion. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“Then we have Balou du Reventon (Cornet Obolensky x Continue, breeder Gestüt Lewitz, owner Ann Thompson), who stole my heart from day one. He is cool in every aspect! For a stallion, he couldn’t be any nicer. We have had Balou for almost a year and he leaves me speechless every day, because he is such a gentleman. He is so nice and totally focused on his task. He is definitely not a 17-year-old in his heart, that’s for sure,” Georgia says. “When his owner Ann comes to visit, he is like a different horse – he definitely knows her and that is so nice to see. Balou’s signature is that when he waits to enter the ring, he screams – every single time. That always makes us laugh. Balou is just amazing.” 

“These two probably have the biggest part of my heart right now, but we have got a few nice ones coming up and hopefully they will also become the special ones.” 

Hardest to get to know

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. "She is phenomenal – a great horse, with great technic, but without question the hardest to get to know and I think all on the yard would say the same,” Georgia says about Aralyn Blue, who gives Georgia some extra challenges when at shows. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“We have Aralyn Blue (Chacco-Blue x Ludwig AS, breeder Franjo Udovc, owner Ann Thompson),” Georgia says and smiles as we move on to speak about the horse that for her has been the most challenging to get to know.

“She is very unique. A really nice horse, but she is also very grumpy. She is a typical mare that likes her space. She has definitely been the most difficult for me to get along with. I always found it easier to understand geldings and stallions, but mares have a different mindset. She is very sassy and will tell you if she doesn’t like something. Over the last three years that I have been with her she has gotten better – or not that she got better, I learned to adapt to her. I know what she likes and dislikes. She is phenomenal though – a great horse, with great technic, but without question the hardest to get to know and I think all on the yard would say the same.”

“If Aralyn is really grumpy, she is ready for it. At a show, you can look at her and you can almost feel how she is ready to fight it," Georgia tells. "She does bring a lot of challenges with her, but that is how she is and that is probably what makes her so good.”

Missing the most

Photo © Mackenzie Clark “His little face just lights up my world," Georgia tells about the 10-year-old Sherlock. Photo © Mackenzie Clark.

“With Harry, I have been lucky enough to keep the horses," Georgia says. "It is one horse that I miss every time I’ve been at shows without him though, and it is Sherlock (Bisquet Balou C x Malito de Reve, breeder Gustaaf Quintelier, owner Peter Charles). Every time I come back to the yard, he is the first one I see, and it doesn’t matter what time of night it is – I just have to go and give him a cuddle."

“His little face just lights up my world, and he has such a good character. He plays with toys, and he loves a little ball that he swings around. And he loves cuddles, which makes my life a lot easier. He is definitely one I miss when going to shows without him.” 

“Sherlock is 10 years old now, and he has been a slow processer. He had his first Grand Prix win at Sentower Park at the end of October and followed up with winning the World Cup in A Coruña last week – which was a completely surprise to be honest. We didn’t expect him to do that, and when he came out of the ring he looked a bit shocked himself. Sherlock is quite sharp, but he loved the attention the win gave him and if he continues to enjoy that I hope he will win a bit more for us in the future. I’m very proud of him, and he definitely showed what he is capable of.”

“Sherlock is definitely a very, very special one, and we have quite a few of them at the moment.”


6.12.2023 No reproduction of any of the content in this article will be accepted without a written permission, all rights reserved © World of If copyright violations occur, a penalty fee will apply. 

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