The Unsung Heroes.

The grooms. They are the unsung heroes. We see the horses and the riders perform but without the grooms they would not be able to do so well. I think it is well known now that the grooms were sadly let down at WEG Tryon 2018. There was a serious lack of accommodation that resulted in grooms having to crowd in with one another and to sleep two in a narrow bed designed for one. Also the food catering was insufficient for the numbers and on some occasions the catering simply ran out of food. On top of this there was a lack of transportation to get the grooms to and from the stables other than walking and that took half an hour. Grooms go to the stables early to feed and are there again late at night for a night check on the horses.

The grooms do not like to complain to the riders of the horses they are looking after. Why? They don’t want to upset the rider during such an important competition. That is how grooms are. They put themselves third in the line of importance. First comes the horse, then the rider and finally themselves.

So let’s hear it for the grooms. Here are some photos. At the medal presentations the grooms walk in leading the horses and riders if the horse may be the least bit nervous about the cheering and the noise. In the photo below the groom for Verdades, Laura Graves horse, is carrying a bucket. I suspect there are some treats in that bucket to help to keep Verdades occupied during the medal ceremony. He’s being given one now as they walk in!

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Once the are in the riders dismount and walk to the podium. They get up on the podium and receive their medals and pose for photos. There is the national anthem of the winning team or individual. At WEG Tryon the medalistsΒ  also received watches from sponsor Longines, and posed for more photos. Then they posed for photos with the organizers of the show. This is a long time for a horse to be standing and listening to applause and cheering. The groom must keep the horse calm and occupied.

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The photo above is of Alan Davies and Freestyle the horse of Charlotte Dujardin. Alan is possibly the best known and most decorated groom in the world. He will have established a relationship with the mare Freestyle at home in England as he knows he will need her trust at moments like this. Charlotte Dujardin knows the value of Alan and she speaks of it often. At WEG Tryon she had been given two of the Longines watches; one for the team event and British bronze medal and second one for her individual bronze medal. She gave one watch to Alan. Here is what she said: “it was a pleasure to give one to Alan to share the success, given how much Alan and grooms like him do behind the scenes for all of us riders.”

So I take my hat off and I salute the grooms.

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16 Comments Add yours

    1. anne leueen says:

      they do work very hard, long hours and not high pay. But they all love their work and their horses.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I never realised the grooms had to keep the horses calm during the award ceremony too. They do such important jobs. x And I love the photo with the bucket full of treats. πŸ™‚ xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes Verdades is a very highly strung horse and the treats would be good for him. All these horses are high performance athletes and many of them don’t want to just stand and chill out when people are clapping and cheering . Thanks for commenting. I guess Dizzy would need ginger biscuits for the award presentation!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dizzy would! If there was any prizes too, she would expect these to be in the form of ginger nut biscuits. πŸ™‚ xx I am visiting the riding place on Monday to meet the horses, before I try and actually sit on one. πŸ™‚ xxx

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          That’s good news. I hope you will post something about it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I will definitely do a post, either next week or after a couple of times going there. πŸ™‚ I will let you know how I get on though afterwards. πŸ™‚ xxx

            Liked by 1 person

  2. doar nicole says:

    So interesting! And nice, yes, as in many cases in life, team work seems to be so important, not to mention beautiful, it gets things done in a smooth lovely way! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes Nicole you are right. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Emma Cownie says:

    Well done to the grooms! I had never thought about how the horses cope during the medal ceremony, before.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My autistic granddaughter gets to groom the donkeys, and then she gets to ride.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I bet she enjoys that. And I bet they love the attention.

      Like

      1. At the weekends my daughter has to keep her occupied with things she loves to do. School is so difficult.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          Horses are great for young people with autism.They seem to have an understanding of them.

          Like

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