Stars behind the scenes – the life of the grooms

Stars behind the scenes – the life of the grooms

They are their horses’ best friends, beloved companions, attachment figures, caretakers and walking treat-machines all in one – the grooms.

Equestrian sports would not be the same without them and international tournaments would be just as inconceivable without them as without the riders or the horses themselves. Just one glance behind the scenes reveals clearly – it simply would not be possible without the grooms.

While the world is still sleeping and the night has just begun to yield to dawn, the grooms’ working day starts. It comes as no surprise that their first path leads them to the stable, where many mouths are waiting to be fed. Hay has to be dispensed, fodder rations have to be given out and special ‘favourite dishes’ must be delivered to the right recipients. Because the caring grooms know precisely which of their protégés prefer an apple rather than a banana.

After the ‘horsy’ breakfast it’s time for morning care which, of course, doesn’t go short on portions of cuddling or stroking either. Although the subsequent riding activities are usually taken over by the professionals themselves, even in the dressage arena the grooms do indeed effectively stand by their protégés’ sides and provide them with a sense of security. Because no matter where in the world the horses are, with the grooms there is always a part of their homes travelling with them.

Speaking of travelling, needless to say, the grooms also don’t let their ‘children’ travel alone when they’re on their way from tournament to tournament. Whether by lorry, ship or plane – the horses’ closest confidants are always present. Through their daily work with the horses, the grooms are also an important link for the riders, because they’re often the first ones to notice displeasure, discomfort or little ailments. Not least because they’re sometimes known to spend a night in the stables, after arrival in unfamiliar places, to keep an eye on their horses. Thus it is they who know precisely which mannerisms, characteristics and preferences their sweethearts have. That is why it hurts so much when they lose a beloved horse through sale to another rider, something that is often inevitable in sports. Perhaps even years later they will follow their former protégé’s career and life, and this can be one of many reasons for close friendships being established between grooms. They see each other every weekend, stand together thrilled on the sidelines at big venues and provide each other with help when help is needed.

Because there is one thing that connects all grooms, no matter what language they speak or which team they belong to: a life for their horses and their love for equestrian sports.

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