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The Grooms Award, Ltd. to Cease Operations After Achieving Key Goal
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
The Grooms Award Achieved Its Goal of Gaining Recognition for Grooms; Leftover Assets to Go to Equestrian Aid Foundation
Following an expanded schedule for the 2022 horse show season that marked its busiest year ever, The Grooms Award, Ltd., has announced that it will cease operations as of January 1, 2023.
With the recent establishment of an International Grooms Association and new FEI recognition of the important role grooms play in the sport of show jumping, the Board of Directors of The Grooms Award, Ltd. feels that the 501(c)3 not-for-profit charitable organization has achieved its ultimate goal of gaining recognition for grooms, and it voted to cease operations with the 2022 Las Vegas National Horse Show being its last event. The organization extends a heartfelt thank-you to all its sponsors, supporters and volunteers and will donate any leftover funds and assets to the Equestrian Aid Foundation.
Labor of Love
“This has been a labor of love for so many of us but with an important mission in mind,” said Andrea Mewhinney, Director of The Grooms Award, Ltd. “All of us who were involved believed strongly that grooms deserve to be recognized for the important role they play in our sport. Seeing each horse’s groom listed on the start orders at this year’s World Championships gave us all an incredible feeling and also made it clear that our dream was actually coming true. We’d like to think that we played at least some role in bringing that about, and we thank everyone who helped and supported us along the way.”
The Grooms Award, Ltd., was established by Andrea Mewhinney and Noel Glavin 25 years ago to honor the memory of Moira McCaffarey (who passed away unexpectedly in 1997) and George Hennessy (transporter for the USET). They established The Grooms Award to recognize the many workers “behind the scenes” who devote themselves to keeping the horses in their care fit, healthy, and ready to compete.
Friends of Moira donated a trophy for the first-ever grooms’ award at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg where individuals and companies donated prizes to be given to the winning groom. The program expanded to providing gifts and awards to hundreds of grooms in select classes at a total of 11 horse shows on both coasts this year.
The Grooms Award greatly appreciates its volunteers who devoted countless hours to collecting gifts for grooms, assembling them in bags, and handing them out in the stables no matter the weather and often without recognition.
Leftover assets from The Grooms Award, Ltd., will go to the Equestrian Aid Foundation (EAF), which provides emergency financial grants to members of the equestrian community who are struggling to overcome catastrophic illness, injury or other unforeseen crises. Since 1996, the EAF has provided over $3.2 million in grant support and the promise of hope to breeders, farriers, grooms, riders, trainers and other members of the equestrian community to overcome hard times and move forward with their lives. More information can be found at equestrianaidfoundation.org
Following is the list of events at which The Grooms Award, Ltd. participated in 2022:
• Nations Cup at Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF8) – Wellington, FL – March 5
• Live Oak International – Ocala, FL – March 6
• *Nations Cup at Blenheim EquiSports – San Juan Capistrano, CA – May 15
• *Devon Horse Show – Devon, PA – June 2
• *Upperville Colt & Horse Show – Upperville, VA – June 12
• *Lake Placid Horse Show – Lake Placid, NY – July 3
• *American Gold Cup – Traverse City, MI – Sept. 18
• *International Jumping Festival – San Juan Capistrano, CA – Sept. 21-25
• *Sacramento International Horse Show – Sacramento, CA – Oct. 8
• *Pennsylvania National Horse Show – Harrisburg, PA – Oct. 22
• *Riders Cup – Burbank, CA – Oct. 22
• *National Horse Show – Lexington, KY – Nov. 5
• *Las Vegas National Horse Show – Las Vegas, NV – Nov. 19
*The Grooms Award presented gifts to grooms in two featured classes at these events.
As donations increased each year, it was decided that each of the Grand Prix grooms deserved a “Thank You” for their efforts and professionalism. A tote bag was awarded to each Grand Prix groom, filled with goodies and gift cards from generous sponsors.
The Grooms Award, Ltd. thanks the following sponsors and supporters:
Boy-O-Boy Bridleworks, The Doubleday Foundation, EquiFit, Haygain, Dr. Ron Gaeta, Paula and Michael Gaughan, Shapley’s, South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa, and all other supporters of The Grooms Award!
Haygain is a science-backed horse health company. This global company manufactures high-temperature hay steaming equipment, the Forager Slow Feeder and Haygain's ComfortStall Sealed Orthopedic Flooring. For more information, please visit www.haygain.us.
For more information, please visit www.groomsaward.org. The Grooms Award, Ltd. is also on Facebook and Instagram. #groomsrock