FEI Awards:
Best Groom

22 September 2017

The FEI Best Groom award celebrates the unsung heroes of Equestrian sports who work tirelessly behind the scenes to allow our equine friends to fully realise their potential and perform to their best on the international stage.


With voting now open, here are your 2017 nominees…


Imogen Mercer

Groom for Sam Griffiths (AUS) // EVENTING


Having worked with the Griffiths’ team for five years, Imogen ensures the care and welfare of the horse is always met.  She is extremely diligent always exceeding the high standards Sam Griffiths has for his support group.


“I started working for Sam Griffiths in 2011 – keen to be a part of a team with a rider who was in contention for Olympic selection. I have been fortunate enough to go on and do 5 Badminton’s, 5 Burghley’s, a World Equestrian Games and the 2016 Olympics.”



Sam credits a large part of his recent success to Imogen as his groom. Her assistance at the Rio Olympics with Paulank Brockagh helped Sam to finish 4th individually and win the bronze medal with the Australian team.


“No day is ever the same on an Eventing yard.  Training three separate disciplines involves a lot for the horses, rider, groom and not forgetting the washing machine.”


Going above and beyond, Imogen passed her truck driving test, allowing Sam to arrive fresh and ready to compete. She even deferred her university degree to become head girl for Sam.


To vote for Imogen, click HERE


Alan Davies (GBR)

Groom for Charlotte Dujardin & Carl Hester // DRESSAGE


Highly respected by fellow grooms and consistently nominated for this award, Alan, has the heightened pressure of grooming for world famous horses including Valegro and Nip Tuck - caring for Valegro throughout his unprecedented dressage career.  Alan ensures their upkeep is exemplary, always having their welfare at the forefront of everything he does and being incredibly humble in his work.



His dedication to and rapport with the horses in his care is clear for all to see, working with them on a daily basis to make sure they are fit, well and content.  Whether at home or at local, national or international events, Alan is always there by their side even joining them on the plane to the Rio Olympics.


His standard of care and execution are major contributing factors to the successes and extensive list of accolades achieved by world renowned riders Charlotte Dujardin & Carl Hester.


“To win the FEI award would mean so much to me on a personal level as I have been a groom all my life and I am immensely proud of what I have achieved. This award is great for recognising the importance of grooms in our industry.”


To vote for Alan, click HERE

“This award is great for recognising the importance of grooms in our industry.”
Lee shares his extensive knowledge mentoring grooms, riders and trainers

Lee Mckeever

Groom for McLain Ward (USA) // JUMPING


Lee has been working with McLain Ward for an astonishing 30 years this coming spring, an incredible achievement and testament to his vast knowledge and skill. He is well known and respected throughout the sport for his horsemanship and horse care.


30 years is an extremely long time, a period which has seen great growth and success for McLain Ward.  During this time McLain has achieved multiple Olympic medals including 2 Olympic golds which wouldn’t have been possible without Lee providing the horses with the best possible care.


Admirable in the longevity of his unique dedication to team Ward, according to McLain Ward, Lee is the man behind the success - “he is the best in the sport”.


Not only is Lee incredible in his work but he also shares his extensive knowledge mentoring grooms, riders and trainers.


To vote for Lee, click HERE

Steffi is passionate about the horses’ wellbeing and never leaves their sides

Steffi Wiegard

Groom for Isabell Werth (GER) // DRESSAGE


Whether it be day or night, Steffi is an extremely professional groom and one of the most experienced grooms on the circuit today. Her love for the horses can be seen in how she cares for them. She is passionate about the horses’ wellbeing and never leaves their sides, be it in an aircraft, on a boat or at a show.


Whether it’s helping with the horses’ fitness or keeping an eye out in training – multi-skilled Steffi is always there to help Isabell Werth.


Dressage superstar Isabell Werth acknowledges Steffi’s remarkable depth of knowledge: “Steffi is very important to me because she doesn't just think for the horse. She also thinks for the rider! She is not only there in relation to the horses’ fitness but also has a great eye and great feeling when it comes to the training too. I do not consider our relationship as boss/groom but respect her as an equal.”


Isabell’s unbelievable success taking home 3 gold medals at this year’s FEI European Championships in Gothenburg and currently having 3 horses in the top 10 Dressage World Rankings – an astonishing feat - is in part testament to the impeccable care Steffi provides Isabell Werth’s horses.


Click HERE to vote for Steffi or your other unsung hero of 2017