The Groom's Award!  At the California Dreaming Productions Capistrano Dressage International CDI W/Y/J/U-25 Presented by Hof Kasselmann 


This past March, I was lucky enough to zip up the road to attend a fantastic horse show in San Juan Capistrano, CA.  California Dreaming Productions had already hosted a super show in LA a few weeks prior, and it was there that I was inspired to do something a bit different to honor Grooms at the show.  While watching the jog in LA, the riders were eligible to win an award for their own snazzy and fashionable jog attire.  So why not do the same for the Groom of the Best Turned Out Horse?


So that’s what we did!  I was in San Juan Capistrano to observe the jog and pick the horse that was best turned out.  The winning horse’s Groom received a big check from me as a reward for all of the hard work that Groom’s do.  Not to mention turning out a horse that, without a doubt, was the best turned out of the show! 

Judging the horses in the jog was no easy task!  With 40 horses entered, I only had a few minutes as each one trotted, skipped, or spazzed by.  Just kidding.  Almost all of them were trotting.  As each horse went by, I was looking at the following:


It's hard work judging the horses at the jog...

  1. Overall presentation:  Is the horse shiny?  Are the ears, legs, cheeks all tidy or full of wayward hair?    
  2. Braids:  Are the braids even and flattering?  Are they tidy and tight?
  3. Tail top: Does the tail top appear groomed and tidy, or did someone just lick an electrical outlet? 
  4. Tail bottom: Uneven, tangled, or nicely banged to finish a tidy tail? 
  5. Bridle: Clean and supple, maybe with a bit of shine, too!
  6. Hooves:  Are they dirty or not?


I had a list of all of the horses presented, and was writing notes frantically…  and in the end, there were four horses that stole the show.  Only one of them had fresh hoof polish, which told me that his Groom was on top of the very last detail.  Vitalis was clearly the best turned out horse!  Vitalis is a wickedly handsome chestnut with beautiful chrome.  He’s also a teddy bear when you meet him, which just adds to his charm.  Enedino Gonzales grooms Vitalis, and has only been with Vitalis and his rider Charlotte Jorst for a few months.  Enedino is also new to grooming dressage horses, his previous grooming jobs were for hunters and jumpers.  


Photo courtesy of Terri Miller

Charlotte Jorst rides Vitalis, and was thrilled to find out that her Groom Enedino Gonzales won the award.  She gave me a giant hug and would not stop smiling and commenting about how excited she was for her Groom!  It was a great honor to represent all Grooms at this prestigious show, and an even bigger honor to give Enedino an award.  The entire staff of California Dreaming Productions was supportive, welcoming, and excited to be a part of supporting Grooms.  Can’t wait to do it again! 


I need to hear from all of you about how to make honoring Grooms at shows better!  Send your ideas!  Your experiences!  Your wishes!  Where you want me to pop up!