Horse & Hound Awards 2016: Horseware Groom of the Year

  • Horseware Groom of the Year Award
    2016 winner: Alan Davies

    The Horseware Groom of the Year Award is to honour the dedication, skill, sheer effort and love of equines this individual exerts to ensure the best care of their charges day and night. Watch Alan collect his award:


    Horseware Groom of the Year Award nominees

    Zanie King, 40: Groom for Laura Collett for nearly six years

    2016 highlight? Laura being longlisted for the Rio Olympics on two horses. It was a very proud moment and makes me determined to work harder for success in the future.

    When did you decide to become a groom?

    I evented up to intermediate level but there came a time when I was more worried about how neat the plaits were rather than focusing on the dressage warm-up, so that’s when I decided to change direction.

    Top grooming tip? Always be a perfectionist. Never stop learning or pushing yourself to improve.

    Advice for budding grooms? Be a team player, work hard and love your horses.

    Words from the boss… 

    “Zanie is brilliant. She basically runs my life and I would be lost without her!” Laura Collett

    Alan Davies, 50: Groom for Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin for seven years

    2016 highlight? Rio! The lead up to the Games was a long one, with such pressure on the horses, so to see the two that I have taken care of in the medal ceremony was a very proud moment.

    When did you decide to become a groom? I always wanted to be with horses and learn more about them. To do the job I love just seemed a totally natural thing to do!

    Top grooming tip? Get to know your horses, their habits, likes and dislikes — you can then tell at once
    if they’re off colour.

    Advice for budding grooms? Be ready to learn. I’m still asking other grooms for advice or vets and farriers because I love finding out new ways to do things.

    Words from the boss…

    “Alan’s attention to detail is second to none. He is incredible.” Carl Hester

    Jackie Potts, 53: Groom for William Fox-Pitt for over 25 years

    2016 highlight? Watching William and Chilli Morning compete in Rio. After William’s accident it really was against the odds, but seeing them on such great form together was incredible.

    When did you decide to become a groom? I had an office job until I was 23, but one day I decided I wanted to make a career in horses.

    Top grooming tip? Set your standards high and strive to maintain them.

    Advice for budding grooms? Look at being a groom as a career and decide which path you want to follow. Consider work experience with a vet or physio, so you can do your job to the best of your ability.

    Words from the boss… 

    “Jackie has been the mainstay of our operation for years. Nothing is ever too much trouble and there is a great understanding between us.” William Fox-Pitt 

    Mark Beever, 56: Groom for Nick Skelton for 31 years

    2016 highlight? Big Star winning the Olympic individual showjumping gold medal in Rio was amazing.
    I felt so proud to be up there with Nick after everything that’s happened.

    When did you decide to become a groom? I got the bug learning to ride at Dulwich Riding School in London.

    Top grooming tip? Don’t over-clip, it can spoil the summer coat.

    Advice for budding grooms? It’s definitely not a nine-to-five job, so be ready for hard work and you will reap all the rewards.

    Words from the boss…

    “The input I’ve had from Mark has been key. He only looks after Big Star and he’s with the horse from 7am to 6pm looking after him every day of the week.” Nick Skelton

    About our sponsor: Horseware

    HH AWARDS HORSEWAREHorseware, the global leader in innovative equestrian, rider and pet products, is delighted to come on board with Horse & Hound, the premiere equestrian publication in the UK, for their inaugural award ceremony to recognise the best in the equestrian world.

    Horseware is pleased to support this year’s Horse & Hound Groom of the Year award, honouring the often unspoken heroes of the equestrian world; and are delighted to be able to be a part in commending and recognising them for their hard work, day in and day out.

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