The Professional Riders Organization is very pleased to announce that Emma Ford, long time head groom for Phillip Dutton, has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Liz Cochran Memorial Groom's Award. Emma will be honored December 7, 2012 at 6:30 PM at the PRO Awards Reception at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, the site of the 2012 USEA Convention. Emma will receive an engraved silver bowl; a $5,000 cash award and PRO will donate $500 to a cancer charity of Emma's choice in memory of Liz Cochran.
Emma has recently moved on to work for Sarah and Jim Wildasin after seven and a half years with the Dutton's in a career that took her to two World Championships, two Olympic Games and the Pan American Games. In their nomination letter, Phillip and Evie describe Emma as "the go to groom" for any questions and generous in her mentoring of other grooms and young riders: "She has been an amazing part of our team and has become part of our family."
Mark Hart, MD Chair of the PRO Awards Committee is impressed by the caliber of grooms that are nominated each year: "It makes the selection of a winner quite difficult because each of the nominees is so deserving of the recognition and honor of winning this award. They all make such an outstanding contribution to the performance of the horses in their care and success of their rider's career."
The PRO Liz Cochran Memorial Groom's award is offered annually to an outstanding groom of a professional member of PRO who has had a large influence on their rider's career and the health and well-being of the horses under their care. Nominees should epitomize the example set forth by Liz Cochran, who groomed professionally for Abigail Lufkin and sadly lost her life to cancer. Lindsey Taylor, head groom for Boyd Martin, was the inaugural winner of this award in 2011.