Racing Groom Ambassadors
Racing Groom Newcomer
near Minehead, Somerset
What was your background before you became a racing groom?
I was born into an equestrian family meaning I was sitting on a horse before I could stand up! From the age of five, I was hunting regularly with the Vine & Craven as well as taking part in some Pony Club activities and hunter trials… However, showing was my main focus. As well as my ponies at home, I rode for a number of professional producers and went on to ride at many prestigious shows including Hickstead and Horse of the Year Show.
How did you get your first job in racing?
I used the Careers In Racing website job board which simple and easy to deal with. When I decided to move on from Stuart’s, I had my heart set on finding a job in a National Hunt yard in the South West. To do this, I used the Directory of the Turf website to look up contacts and then emailed my CV to a number of yards.
What training did you have?
Absolutely none! Horse riding is such a versatile sport and if you’re prepared to adapt, it’s easy. I started riding out in the mornings for Stuart Kittow who trains both on the Flat and National Hunt. I was surprised at how quickly I picked up on the different style of riding and all of the staff were really helpful and encouraging.
Who do you work for at present?
I currently work at Philip Hobbs’ near Minehead in Somerset where I started nearly a year ago.
What do you do in your job?
I am lucky to have recently become one of the drivers which means I will be doing a lot more travelling with the horses. Be it going racing, taking horses to the vets or collecting them from owners.
However, on a normal day, I start at 7am by mucking out and bedding up the four horses I look after. I then ride two lots before haying then having breakfast at 10am. At 10.30am I will brush off and rug up the first two lots I rode before tacking up my third lot. The yard is then swept and tidied and we go home for lunch at 1pm. We come back to the yard at 3pm to skip out, rug up, hay and then feed which means we are finished by 5pm.
What do you like best in your job?
Horses are so incredibly rewarding, I feel very lucky to work with such wonderful animals. It is particularly satisfying when you get to ride and look the same horse. You create such a strong bond with these animals… to watch them progress and go on to win at the track, there is just no better feeling.
What are your plans to progress in your career?
I’m still learning so much by the day (as you do with horses!) but the end goal at the moment is to become an Assistant Trainer. Hopefully, I can start to climb the ladder in time by progressing onto a Head Girl position or Pupil Assistant.
What tips would you give a person wanting to start a role as a racing groom?
You need to be dedicated, committed and passionate. I won’t pretend that it isn’t hard work but it is so rewarding. The racing community is an amazing place to be and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Have patience, if you are starting in racing as a new career just take things step by step. You will never stop learning, take all the help and advice you can get and most importantly, enjoy yourself and the new experiences you will encounter.
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