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With the FEI Awards Gala on Tuesday Nov 22, it’s time for these often unsung heroes to shine, and in a few days time one of them will be awarded the FEI Award for Best Groom 2016.
We take a look at the top 4 grooms on the shortlist. Who's your favourite?
Mark has received multiple nominations from other grooms, riders and fans, thanks to his unswerving loyalty to Nick and his horses over the past 3 decades. He knows his 2 partners so well, he has unique skill and knowledge that can help keep them calm and focussed when the pressure is on.
The horses under his care always look outstanding, and Mark often puts their needs over and above his own. A real contender for this year’s title.
An outstanding groom with a twist, Duane received a nomination which we thought was very interesting as he does not work for one rider or stable but adapts every day to new horses.
Working for Peden, Duane is a “Flying Groom” of sorts and accompanies them in what could be considered as “high pressure situations”. i.e. Keeping horses calm on long flights.
He has been described as a leading light in this field, with his calm and caring nature reassuring many riders, grooms and horses.
Taking the art of the groom to new heights, we think that Duane is in for a real shot at taking home the Best Groom award.
This young lady is the groom for Australian Para-Dressage athlete, Lisa Martin.
Her nomination comes on the back of her reputation as a dedicated and hardworking groom. The well-being of her horses always comes first and manages the mounts under her care to an exceptional standard.
As an example of Maddison’s passion and dedication, she gave up her job when she was chosen to support Lisa and her horse, First Famous, on their road to the Rio Paralympic Games this year.
Totally throwing herself into the role, she was involved in lots of fundraising, volunteering her time not only for her rider but for the whole Australian team.
With the bar incredibly high, Alan worked tirelessly to keep these Olympic heroes turned out to the best possible standards. This was evident this Summer when he was the groom for both the Olympic horses in Rio, even flying on the same plane as them.
As well as his dedication and care, Alan is known as being humble and immensely well respected amongst his peers. As one of the other nominee’s put it, “If Valegro could vote, he'd vote for Alan”
Check back tomorrow to see the nominations for the FEI Solidarity section. Inspiring stuff...
Images by Cara Grimshaw & Social Media