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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Seear

Meet Crispin, Windsor Carriage Groom and Guide for over 40 years.

Updated: Jun 27

Crispin Mould
Crispin Mould

We wanted to share a little more about what goes on behind the scenes at Windsor Carriages. Meet Crispin, Windsor Carriages groom and guide, the perfect person to talk about how the business has changed over the years.


For reference, a groom working with carriages is responsible for the care, maintenance, and handling of horses. They ensure that the horses are properly harnessed and fit for driving. They accompany the coachman, sitting beside them, and where required perform the work which a footman would otherwise do. Over the years, our grooms have also become knowledgeable guides, thanks to their decades of experience working with the carriages in the park, serving under notable Windsor coachmen, and residing in the local community.


Crispin, Tell us how you started your equestrian career?

 

I began my equestrian career at the age of 18, taking on my first job working as a groom with Windsor coachman John Seear, Rebecca’s father. Initially, I earned £18 a week, with a raise to £20 when I began riding the livery horses in the yard. In those days, we wore bowler hats with a shirt and tie and I lived on-site in a caravan, as all the grooms did back then.


I was already driving down the Long Walk in a carriage long before Rebecca was born. I also had the opportunity to drive down the Long Walk with Prince Phillip, The Late Duke of Edinburgh, (when I worked at The Royal Mews, Windsor) who would loath it if his team of young horses walked on the grass—a major faux pas that still holds true to this day. Following that, I managed a distinguished private Arabian show and breeding yard, on the edge of Windsor Great Park, where I worked extensively with stallions, mares and foals, as well as breaking in young horses. I successfully produced and showed horses that achieved numerous wins at both National and International levels, including at the prestigious Horse of the Year Show.


For over four decades, I have had the privilege of witnessing the view of Windsor Castle in every season and weather condition. I still maintain that it is the most beautiful view in all of England. The castle's magnificence is truly spectacular from every angle within Windsor Great Park.

 

What changes have you seen over the 40 years at Windsor Carriages as a groom and guide?

 

As a groom, Rebecca was trained by her father, much like myself, so our standards remain high and our thinking tends to be aligned. I understand Rebecca’s insistence on proper turnout, such as always wearing a hat, gloves, and apron for the driver—this tradition stems from over 200 years of driving, and we deeply respect it. While others may question these practices, for us, it's about upholding standards and correctness. Sometimes, it's hard to explain why certain things are done a certain way; there may be reasons that have been forgotten over time. But it's important to maintain the traditions as they have always been.


As a guide, very little has changed along The Long Walk and Windsor Castle, in the last 45 years that I have known it, and I would think a lot longer, the main roads are busier, and the trees have grown larger. Oh, and now we have deer! I recall riding and driving in the park when there were fields of cattle and sheep; the deer park had yet to be introduced.


Carriage at Windsor Royal Shopping
Crispin pictured right next to Windsor Coachman Jonathan Edwards

The experiences have evolved since Rebecca's father's time. He used to wait in the town for walk-ups at the original hackney carriage rank, looking for passersby seeking a ride. The town is much busier now and unsuitable for horses to wait in heavy traffic. The official taxi rank where John used to wait, as carriages had for centuries, was closed around 1996. Now, we start up on The Long Walk, which is much quieter for the horses, and there's less waiting around since everything is pre-booked online—something that wasn't even invented back then. Workdays are also shorter now, with every detail planned in advance, so we're in and out without much waiting around!



 

Talk us through a typical Windsor carriages day for you.


I meet Jonathan with the horses, who are now transported in horseboxes instead of being driven into town in carriages like they were with Rebecca’s father from their equestrian yard next to the park. Usually, we meet after visiting the local shop for coffee and croissants to fuel the day! That's certainly a welcome new addition compared to using thermos flasks to last the day.


If we're in Windsor town, we have to time it just right to avoid the changing of the guard and arrive on The Long Walk before the town is closed off.

 

Any memorable guest experiences or trips?


I always meet lovely people, and during one tour last year, I spent the afternoon in the back of the carriage as one of the guests wanted to sit in my seat, at the front next to the coachman. On the way back, we were able to stop so I could take photos of Jonathan's horse Belle. Jonathan and I both agree—it's always a pleasure to drive in the park. One of Jonathan’s favourite sayings as we drive through the park on a sunny day ‘Not a bad day at the office’.


When driving with Jonathan, we both have our own stories to share. As a guide, I can explain the layout of the castle having worked there. Guests find fascinating, especially details about the private areas they can't access and stories about informal meetings with the Royal family. Jonathan shares his filming stories, which I'm always eager to hear. There's often a stunned silence when I'm asked, "Did you ever meet the Queen?" and I can answer, "Yes, many times I worked for her."


While driving with Rebecca's father, I was known as the lucky mascot because I never had an accident with him while we were training young horses. The first time Rebecca's father put a team (4 horses) together with youngsters, he planned to take the team out for a short drive. We turned left out of the stables and continued turning left into the park until I queried, "You can turn this team right, can't you?!" What was meant to be a 10-minute drive turned into a 40-minute journey using Guards Polo pitches to make a large loop back through Savill Gardens and home. There was never a dull moment, working for John.


Rebecca's strict adherence to risk assessments and health and safety checklists certainly comes from growing up in a busy yard with her father and young horses. She inherited all the good things from John, Rebecca occasionally asks me ‘Do you think Dad would approve?’ I am positive that Dad (John) would approve and be very proud of his eldest daughter.

 

Do you have a favourite Windsor Carriage horse?


I try not to play favourites, but Joey is an absolute star! As a father, grandfather and horse lover, it brings me great pleasure to watch people enjoying meeting and interacting with the horses. People just seeing Joey brings happiness wherever we go. I witness firsthand how much enjoyment a horse can bring to people. In many places around the world, people are often told off for touching horses, but at Windsor Carriages you are introduced to the horses and positively encouraged to connect with them.


What do you love most about being a groom and guide?

 

I love meeting people, being in the park and sharing stories.

 

What do you like least?


The day we took a family out when it was foggy and the castle was barely visible. I felt disappointed that we couldn't share everything, but there's always something beautiful to behold - even in the fog! And it's a relief not to get wet anymore, now that the roof covers not only the guests but also the staff.


When you are not working, where can you be found?

 

I am a freelance equestrian involved in all things horses, along with managing my "Mostly Horses Photography" business that combines my passions for horses, people and photography. I also cherish spending time with my children and grandchildren.


To view Crispin’s photography and visit his website click HERE.


Tell us four things we don't know about you?

 

I have one dog named Trooper; as a rider, I've won the Horse of The Year Show twice riding Arabian; I serve on a couple of equestrian judging panels and I am a parent to a special needs son.

 

If you're considering a memorable visit to Windsor, whether it's to celebrate a special occasion, to arrange a group visit, or simply to experience Windsor in a distinctive and stunning manner, click HERE to explore our packages and schedule a discovery call.

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