A number of new awards designed to recognise the important role played by top competition grooms have been introduced following former elite dressage groom, Lucy Katan’s speech at this year’s National Equine Forum.

Animal health company Intervet has launched a new groom’s award as part of its Prevac Pro Potential International Dressage Horse Championships.

A trophy and a cash prize of £100 will be presented to the groom in charge ofthe winning horse in the Prevac Pro class at the National Dressage Championships in September.

During her speech Lucy drew attention the lack of incentives for grooms in Britain.

Intervet’s product manager, Tim Zoch, says: “We are responding to Lucy’s comment that during the eight years that she was a competition groom – which included grooming at seven National Dressage Championships – she has never received an award. We’d like to change this situation for today’s grooms by introducing our Groom’s Award.”

The BSJA is also introducing a new series of awards for grooms. BSJA marketing manager Jackie Knightly says the association will be “presenting awards to the grooms of the top horses at this year’s competitions.”

Events such as HOYS, RIHS and Badminton already offer prizes to acknowledge the vital role grooms play.

International awards

A former British groom, who campaigned to raise the profile of grooms’ training and rights during the 70s and 80s, is launching an award for eventing grooms in America, in conjunction with The United States Eventing Association (USEA) and British grooming products company Carr, Day & Martin.

Chris Stafford – now based in Kentucky, USA – is jointly sponsoring the award, which will be known as The Christine E Stafford Eventing Groom of the Year Award.

Chris says: “A key part of any rider’s team is the groom. I believe their hard work and dedication in preparing and caring for competition horses deserves national recognition. Having begun my career as a groom I would like to offer something back to the sport in acknowledging the groom’s commitment to the performance and welfare of the horse.”

The competition is open to grooms nominated by employers, owners or riders and will be judged on a best turned out basis at Fairhill International (23-26 October) and Galway Downs (31 October-2 November).

The winner will get an all expenses paid trip to the annual awards luncheonto receive their award, plus free registration to the convention and a free subscribing membership to USEA.

Is your farrier sexy?

Horse & Hound is asking grooms and students to nominate their farrier for Horse & Hound/NAGS’ top 10 sexiest farriers in Britain.

If you think your farrier has what it takes then nominate them. Send a picture and a minimum of 50 words explaining why they should be in the top 10 to: Kerry Bowness, Horse & Hound, Room 2018, Kings Reach Tower, Stamford Street, London, SE1 9LS or email: kerry_bowness@ipcmedia.com