Meet the Team

Meet the Management Team

Julianne Aston


Photo Courtesy of SBM Photographic

Founder of the VHS and Veteran Horse Welfare Charity

Julianne started the VHS back in 2001.

Julianne’s role covers all aspects of Veteran horse welfare, memberships, Judges and show organisation.

Julianne is based in Wales with the Charity. In between caring for the rescue Veteran Horses and Liveries at the VHS retirement village, Julianne processes memberships, does all the admin for shows wishing to affiliate, forming partnerships with other societies and investigating opportunities for the Society.

Julianne also organises the Volunteers for the Society and keeps the team focused on the Ultimate goal: To go from strength to strength to support Veterans now and in the future.

Julianne, is a quiet character but who would happily shout loud on behalf of Veterans. She is one for avoiding the limelight, who enjoys seeing veterans happy and educated owners caring for their veterans as required.

Julianne’s message to the members is: Chase the dream, not the competition.



Soo Woodhouse


 Finance Administrator

Julianne had advertised for an accountant in 2005 and Soo was recruited. Soo also ran her own care and cleaning business at the time. Soo is still here 10 years later and loving it.

Soo’s equine history includes Riding and breaking in her younger years on the farm and Hacking out through-out her adult life. Soo has one veteran at the moment called Emma, a Shire, who was her Fathers baby and when he passed away, Emma came to live in Wales with her to live out the rest of her days.

Soo’s hope for the VHS is To grow bigger and stronger with members and Shows, but still keeping the homely family image that we have.

Soo’s message to the members is “It’s all about you”, with out our Members and their commitment to their Veterans there would be no VHS. Thank you for all your support.



Jo Dawkins


Voluntary Field Officer

Outside of the VHS and Veteran Horse Welfare, Jo owns a Public House and restaurant.

Jo currently has 3 horses-1 is VHS pony Maxi who is 34 yrs old; Josefina who belonged to the Queen Mother and is 22 yrs old and Jo is also currently rehabilitating a cruelty case, called Flower.

Jo comments that “it is great to see the VHS coming back stronger and better.

Her note to members is “never write off a horse due to their age”. She talks about Maxi who came from the VHS who won hundreds of rosettes and trophies even at 24 years old for her daughter and also taught many children to ride and gave them confidence



Clare Cameron


Voluntary National Show Secretary and Panel Judge

Clare currently works full time for a HR Consultancy as well as volunteering with the VHS. Clare joined as a member and admits Julianne’s infectious ambition drove her to volunteer. Clare has 2 horses and a cheeky pony companion. She enjoys competing her Veteran in side saddle classes and hopes to do the same with her 5 year old Horse.

Clare’s hopes for the VHS are “to be Bigger and better of course! I am looking forward to the day that people talk about the VHS for what it stands for and the politics between societies in the showing world aren’t mentioned – we are definitely getting there! The VHS does so much for the promotion and awareness of older horses. Gone are the days when a horse was considered too old to be any good in their mid teens! I consider this a success and credit the work of the VHS for much of this.”



Madeline Heath


Voluntary Championship Dressage Co-Coordinator and Sponsorship.

Madeline is new to the VHS team and is already making a huge impact. As well as organising the dressage classes for the Championships and helping with sponsorship, she is also a VHS Judge. Outside of the VHS, Madeline is a science Technician full time.

Madeline first heard of the VHS when competing her own horse. She got involved when she became a judge in March 2015.

Madeline has always had horses since she was a small child. She currently competes at affiliated dressage, side saddle showing, local level jumping and VHS classes.

Madeline hopes that the fantastic work of the VHS continues well into the future and the message that just because a horse reaches 15 years old, doesn’t mean the end of their career.

Madeline knows first hand, no matter how long our veteran friends live, its never long enough, so get out there and enjoy your veterans whilst you can.



Louise Francis


Volunteer PR and Marketing Officer

Louise is a part time Office Manager for a busy Contract Cleaning Company and Sales Director for her families property company. Louise continues to be a member of the VHS and volunteered her services to Julianne in 2014.

She does the PR and Marketing activities for the VHS and also runs the website entirely,  around her job, her 3 year old pony mad daughter and her 5 year old section A pony, her own Veteran Horse whom she still competes as well as doing the PR, Marketing and Website for her local Riding Club.

Louise has worked with horses since she was a child, and spent her summers at her family’s stud farms in Wales, as a child. She currently competes her Veteran Thoroughbred when she has the chance and now her daughter is out competing on her welsh pony.

Louise hopes to promote the Society in the positive manner in which it deserves and raise awareness of the fantastic work that it does.

Louise wants to thank Julianne Aston for her dedication over the years and through adversity. “I am indebted to Julianne as a member and now,friend, for promoting showing classes for Veterans, and giving my handsome horse a level playing field on which to continue to compete”



We’d like to thank all the Volunteers that support the Team by giving up their valuable time.