Freelance journalist and PR specialist Rachael Holdsworth has joined the Guild with a background in professional communications and marketing, notably in the equine sector.
“I grew up on my family’s mixed and dairy farm in Leicestershire, where I was immersed in farm life and ponies from a young age,” she says. “I was a keen equestrian competitor during my childhood – but was never left in any doubt that farming came first when my stable was commandeered for use as an extra calving box!”
Discovering the local Young Farmers Club led to stock judging competitions and a role organising speakers for the weekly meetings.
Rachael’s working career has stayed close to her rural roots; she started in marketing in 1987 and since then has been involved in a wide variety of projects, from media relations to advertising, corporate events, customer relations, communications and exhibitions. As marketing director for Horse Health Products, she was responsible for many successful campaigns and saw the company develop into the UK’s leading supplier of supplements and health products for horses.
“I then set up my own marketing agency in 2001 and the business now occupies a rural office unit in Washington, West Sussex working in both the equine and livestock sectors,” says Rachael. “I created the press office for Equus, the first equine event to be held at Docklands, and the following year ran a high profile media centre for the European Dressage Championships at Hickstead as senior press officer.”
Since 2006, she has been responsible for writing much of the press coverage for two horse showing championships: the South Essex Insurance Brokers Search For A Star and Racehorse to Riding Horse, both with finals at Horse of the Year Show.
Writing editorial copy for UK and international clients such as Absorbine grooming products, Equestrian Vision, British Equestrian Federation, Endurance GB, World of the Horse, American Thoroughbred Products, Trilanco and FMBs Therapy Systems has also kept her busy. Her work has been used in NFU Countryside, edited by fellow Guild member Martin Stanhope, Horse & Hound, Horse & Rider, Your Horse, Showing World, Equestrian Trade News and The Equestrian Lifestyle, as well as many regional magazines and newspapers.
“More recently I’ve been working in the livestock sector, writing copy for Fodder Solutions, a hydroponic feeding system that’s attracting much attention among both equine and livestock owners,” Rachael adds. “I’m very lucky to that I can combine my work with my passion for horses and farming – my daily commute consists of three miles to the yard, half a mile to the office – what could be better!”
She lives close to the South Downs with her husband, three dogs and two horses, still rides regularly and is secretary with the Crawley & Horsham Hunt. Through hunting she has stayed close to the farmers and landowners in Sussex, helping to organise the Farmers Dinner and Point to Point meeting; any spare time is taken up driving her much-loved vintage MG PB sports tourer.