€10,000 in grooms’ prizes offered at major show, for ‘expert and vital work’

  • Grooms at the 2024 RDS Dublin Horse Show have the chance to win cash prizes of €10,000 (£8,457) in total, in recognition of their “expert and vital work”.

    Irish Olympic medallist Cian O’Connor’s Karlswood base is sponsoring the competition, for international grooms, at the CSIO5* event (14-18 August).

    “The RDS is delighted to facilitate the novel and generous initiative, which highlights the important role that grooms play within the industry,” a spokesperson for the society said.

    Former international grooms Jimmy Doyle and Marie Yorke will assess the turnout of horses competing in the Cashel Palace Hotel Stakes, the Nations Cup and the Dublin Stakes. There will be €5,000 for the winner, €3,000 for second place and €1,000 for third.

    Cian said: “This competition is about ensuring good horsemanship remains at the core of everything we do and rewarding those who do it best. Finding good quality staff is one of the major challenges facing our industry presently.

    “Grooms who excel at their work must be acknowledged and rewarded and there is no place better to do it than at the RDS Dublin Horse Show. While it is undoubtedly a very fulfilling profession for those with a passion for horses, grooming also offers many possibilities for those with a good work ethic and who are interested in professional progression. Our two judges are a case in point, they both dedicated many years and excelled in the profession.”

    Show director Pat Hanly said the RDS is delighted to welcome the initiative.

    “It highlights the importance of the groom in the success of any rider or stable,” he said.

    “It is the grooms, and the background team who provide the detailed care and ensure the day-to-day wellbeing of the horses. For many it is a labour of love, the hours can be long, the work is physical and the attention to detail required is vital.

    “It is the riders and horses that most often get the limelight and the glory, so it’s wonderful to see the grooms rewarded for a job well done.”

    The presentation to the winning grooms will take place at 2pm in the main arena on the Sunday of the show.

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