William Fox-Pitt’s long-standing groom Jackie Potts (pictured) has been rewarded for years of hard work with the best groom award at the FEI’s awards on Sunday (14 December).

Jackie, who has worked with the world’s number one eventer for 22 years, has groomed at four Olympics, four World Equestrian Games (WEG) and eight European Championships.

“It is so exciting and an absolute privilege,” Jackie Potts said. “I feel like I am accepting this award on behalf of all other grooms, who are so hardworking and equally deserving.”

Jackie was up against Alan Davies, groom to Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, and Jessica Benbow from Somerford Park Farm.

“It is a hugely deserved and very prestigious award,” said William. “Jackie has a profound empathy with horses, and horses love her. She is fantastic at motivating her team, and is generous in the sharing of her knowledge and expertise.

“There are few grooms in the world who rival her experience.”

Lucy Katan, from the British Grooms Association told H&H that the organisation is “so proud” of Jackie.

We are delighted that the FEI recognises the crucial role that grooms play,” she added.

“Jackie is a super groom who has made a career out of doing something she loves — she is an inspiration to any young, aspiring groom. At last grooms are respected and recognised for their brilliance.”

The WEG showjumping champion Jeroen Dubbledam from the Netherlands received the best athlete award, vaulter Lambert Leclezio took the rising star award, the FEI solidarity award went to equine therapy centre Equal Ark, and the against all odds award went to US para dressage rider Sydney Collier.

Ref: H&H 18 December, 2014