grooms

Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: ‘I Wouldn’t Trade This For A Doctor’s Job’

Earl Wade had just graduated from high school in Louisville in 1982. He was 18 years old, an age when many young people are carefree. Not Wade. He had already fathered two children, and he urgently needed income. His mother, Alma, who cleaned bathrooms and handled other maintenance chores at Churchill Downs, found him a […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: ‘This Is What Keeps Me Going’

Mothers know their children – the good, the bad, and the awful – so Fern Augusti knew the call would come one day. Brian, the oldest of her five children, had been resuscitated once before after overdosing on heroin only to plunge again into those depths of despair. When the call came in July 2009 […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: Throwbacks To An Era Long Gone

Rene Duplessis groaned.  “I just hurt,” he said. His complaint had nothing to do with his work as a groom. He started in the early 1970s at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. He has worked as a groom for trainer Neil Howard, currently based at Churchill Downs, since the early 1990s. No, Duplessis’ woes had […]

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‘Groom Of The Week’ Title Up For Grabs At Indiana Grand In June

Bruce Murphy loves horse racing and is always trying to find ways to enhance the sport. At the conclusion of last season, it was unclear who would take over the tack shop on the backstretch following the passing of “Big Jim” Duncan. So Murphy decided to buy the business and relocate to the permanent tack […]

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Staff Burnout Leads British Officials To Schedule Seasonal Breaks, Earlier Night Card Finishes

Britain’s Professional Jockeys Association is hopeful new schedule breaks and earlier finish times for night racing in 2019 will work to curb exhaustion for its riders and stable staff, according to a Racing Post report. “Burnout is the big word,” PJA executive director Dale Gibson told the Post. “We have 30 additional evening fixtures this […]

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What Exactly Is ‘Good Horsemanship’ And How Is It Quantified?

Following an international study, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has determined that there are 14 elements that create good horsemanship. Initiated after a comment by Steve Guerdat at an FEI Sports Forum, the FEI Educational and Standards department was determined to see if the concept of “horsemanship” could be quantified. Guerdat’s comment stressed that the […]

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Two Grooms For Each Racehorse? O’Brien Embedded In Labor Court Dispute

Ballydoyle Racing has been issued a compliance notice by the Irish Workplace Relations Committee, reports racingpost.com, for a 2016 inspection which revealed that staff had worked 19-hour days and 28 days in a row without a day off. Trainer Aidan O’Brien was present at a Labor Court appeal hearing on Monday, arguing against the February 2016 […]

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‘I’m Screwed’: Maryland Case Of Missing Workers’ Comp Illustrates Problems With Costly System

On Dec. 15, 2016, the stewards at Laurel Park issued a brief statement following the hearing of trainer Wayne Potts. Potts, who is based in Maryland and Delaware and has trained since 2004, was found to have operated his racing stable without workers’ compensation insurance from Aug. 31, 2015 to March 16, 2016. The trainer, […]

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Services For Backstretch Workers ‘Noticeably Hit And Miss’ Across The Country

The thousands of backstretch workers, from hot walkers to grooms to exercise riders, have long lacked the appropriate credit for the work that they do seven days a week, 365 days a year. According to the Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, backstretch workers also lack a unified national body which can advocate on their behalf. “The sorts […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Carrying A ‘Banner’ For The Backstretch Melting Pot

The racetrack has a way of bringing people together across cultures and across miles. “We’ve got just about every country in America on the backside. That’s the racetrack,” said Stanley Gold. Gold, trainer of Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes winner Awesome Banner, should know all about the draw of the racetrack—he logged thousands of miles on […]

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