Raphael Chateaulan, groom to top French showjumper Michel Robert, won this year’s BHS Horsemastership Trophy at Hickstead’s Royal International Horse Show.
This long-standing award for elite grooms is presented to the groom who, in the judges’ opinion, has done most to ensure the highest welfare and turnout standards for their charges.
Spot checks take place throughout the show taking into account the general fitness and condition of the horses, turnout, which includes grooming, saddlery and equipment, and the turnout and general manner of the groom.
Horses are seen both in their stables and when they are competing. With the typical English summer weather conditions turning the showground into a sea of mud, attention to detail was more important than ever.
The six runners-up were Ronnie Dawes (Tim Stockdale), Babs Wenzel (Robert Smith), David Scally (Cian O’Conner), Sergio Viagli (Francesco Corli), Dave Valkenberg (Wim Schroder), and Martin Roers (Jos Lansink).
The judges were Pat Gaywood, BHS development officer for London and the south east, and Donald Kear BHSI.
Pat says: “Standards are always high in this hard fought competition but this year they were exceptional. It’s never easy having to draw up a short list and we were delighted to have Tim Stockdale’s groom, Ronnie Dawes, included.
“Ronnie has won the competition for the last two years and was high on the list but Raphael was a hard one to beat, he was brilliant.”
Raphael received the magnificent BHS Horsemastership Trophy, a sash, rosette and £200 in recognition of his efforts. The six runners-up took home rosettes and £100 each.
Equine science news
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Membership of NAGS is free to all bona fide grooms and students. Benefits include: Horse & Hound subscription at £1 per copy, £3 discount voucher on a sack of Blue Chip Dynamic, 10% discount on Splash Equestrian equipment and clothing, no P&P charges from Equestrian Vision mail order and eligibility for NAGS-only competitions and offers.
If you are interested in becoming a member, write to: NAGS, Room 2018, Kings Reach Tower, Stamford Street, London SE1 9LS (tel: 020 7261 6993), or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
And remember, the club is open to all students, not just those studying for an equine qualification.