Shocking results from a recent survey show there is one important thing grooms are increasingly lacking when journeying abroad for their jobs — travel insurance.
Hundreds of British grooms work abroad each year, but 86% of them said they don’t have insurance to cover them for medical treatment.
More than 450 grooms completed the recent survey, run by the British Grooms Association (BGA), which attributes this high figure to confusion and lack of awareness among staff.
The results showed the majority do not have suitable, or any, insurance to cover emergency medical costs or transport back to the UK should they be injured.
“Many grooms and riders don’t realise quite how expensive medical costs are abroad, and with such a high-risk occupation, it is something you shouldn’t leave to chance,” said the BGA’s Lucy Katan.
“All should be aware that any holiday travel insurance, credit-card accident cover, home insurance or private health cover is often not sufficient for the working cover you may require.
“For example, if you got kicked in the head badly, returning you home to the UK in an air ambulance from the east coast of the USA can cost up to £35,000, and emergency medical treatments such as surgery can cost even more.”
Groom Jake McGuinn was kicked in the face while working in Florida.
“Luckily I escaped serious injury; however, the medical bills were shocking,” he said. “I now make sure that I never travel without suitable insurance.”
Top showjumper William Whitaker insists his grooms are covered.
“Insurance is a no-brainer,” he said. “Accidents can and do happen, and we as riders must insure ourselves and our staff in case the unthinkable were to happen.”