Career profile: Vaulting groom

  • Helen Rogerson – vaulting

    Helen came from a farming family and was introduced to horse riding at the age of three. Since then, she has always had horses. Having competed through Pony Club ranks, driven pairs and tandems and team-chased, she is now also a driving judge.

    Her daughter Ann became involved with vaulting at the age of eight. She had been in the running for a Prince Philip Cup team but was having difficulty vaulting on.

    “I had heard that Jenny Leggate was a vaulting coach and got in touch with her,” says Helen. “Ann went along and became hooked on vaulting.”

    By 1996 Ann was on the Scottish team and in 1997 made it on to the British team. “Ann went to the games in Rome, and I acted as a driver that year,” says Helen.The groom from the last WEG was lungeing for the team this time round, so Helen and another woman, Pamela Murray, found themselves grooming this year.

    “There were only two vaulting horses with us, so the workload was no more difficult than that at home, with my own horses,” says Helen.

    “I am a real team player,” says Helen. “So actually feeling part of the entire British WEG team was fantastic.”

    Helen stayed in the grooms’ accommodation and made new friends with the Dutch vaulting grooms.

    “The whole experience was amazing,” she says. “It was a bit different for us, we weren’t working on an employee/employer basis, and having as many interests in other disciplines as I do, I can honestly say there were no worst bits about grooming.”

    Helen is chairman of the Scottish Equestrian Vaulting Association and also lunges and coaches the Scottish B team.

    She says: “Everyone really helps each other in vaulting, WEG was no different. I had a great time grooming at the games.”

    Read the full story in Horse & Hound (21 November), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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