Sporting Life // 5 min Read

Local Character / Cameron Watford

Written by Sarah Monroe

Apr 6, 2020

Riding horses has always been Cameron’s passion. From a young age in Monroe, Connecticut, all Cameron wanted to do was ride. And while many children grow out of their obsessions, Cameron did not. She attended college at the University of Findlay, where she focused on business management and, you guessed it, equestrian studies. Findlay’s commitment to a hands-on education was the perfect grounds for Cameron to start her professional career. After graduating, she went to work for Betsy Steiner, a Grand Prix dressage rider, as a working student and groom. But Cameron’s family ties had her yearning to be back in the Lowcountry. In 2008, Cameron joined the Palmetto Bluff team at Longfield Stables as the assistant stable manager, and today she proudly serves as our stable manager.

The life lessons these elegant creatures taught her have remained with her, as she practices respect and patience daily at Longfield Stables.

Q: What goes through your mind as you drive into Palmetto Bluff?

A: I usually run through the day’s schedule and plan out my to-do list. My days start early at 6:00 a.m., so one of the highlights is getting to watch the sunrise from the stables.

Q: What about on your way home?

A: I’ll recap what went on in my day and have a phone call with my mom.

Q: What is your greatest accomplishment?

A: It’s definitely getting this job. Before, I was working in a student position in New Jersey and wanted to move closer to my parents who live on Hilton Head. I cold-called, and it turned into a wonderful opportunity.

Q: What is your most marked characteristic?

A: I’m pretty even-keeled. Nothing really ruffles my feathers, but that’s an important part of working with horses. They respond to your stress, so being able to not share that with the horses is crucial.Q: What was the last book you read?A: Emily of New Moon. I love to read.

Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be? And how would you use it in your job?

A: Oh, teleportation for sure. I don’t like traveling and driving, but I enjoy going to different places. As for using it in my job, we have 173 acres here at Longfi eld Stables, so being able to blink and be somewhere quickly would help. We average 10 miles of walking a day.

Q: What are you doing when you aren’t at Palmetto Bluff?

A: I love to garden—mostly fruits and vegetables. I can’t keep flowers. I also enjoy spending time with my husband and our greyhound.

Q: What got you interested in horses?

A: It’s something you’re born with. When I was little, I would always want to play on the coin-operated horse at Kmart. My aunt rode horses, and I always wanted to be riding. When I was 12 years old, I started riding lessons and got my fi rst horse, Fawn.

Q: What word or phrase do you use the most?

A: At home, I always use, “It’s no problem.” But at work I use, “Absolutely!” or “Will do!” the most.

Q: What makes you laugh?

A: Our dog, Winnie, can be pretty ridiculous at times. Since she’s a retired racer, she likes to run a lot of laps in the backyard. To wipe her paws before she comes back inside, she does a 360-degree spin. She’s also very communicative when she thinks she deserves a treat.

Q: What is your favorite spot at the Bluff?

A: That would be Longfield Stables at sunrise or sunset.

Q: What is your favorite animal?

A: Horses.

Q: What is your best advice for new riders?

A: My best advice would be to take as many lessons as possible and on as many different horses as possible. They each have their own personalities, so it’s important to ride as many as you can. Another piece of advice is to learn about horse care. Many people don’t learn that these days, and it’s a very important part of it all.

Photography by Krisztian Lonyai.