Groom's Class Recap - San Juan Capistrano, CA, April 2015


Groom’s Class Recap!

I recently had the honor to be at a Groom’s Class, presented by Shapley’s, and hosted at the gorgeous show grounds of Blenheim Equisports in San Juan Capistrano, CA.  


Blenheim Equisports and Shapley’s hosted Groom’s Classes last year as well, so there was already a bit of “buzz” about the class.  I spent some hours hoofing it through the barn aisles a few days before the class, talking to trainers and Grooms about the class. There was a fair amount of “smack” talking, a few shy Grooms, a lot of “WOW THOSE ARE GREAT PRIZES!” and lots of planning about what horse to bring.  As it turns out, the “defending champions” from last year were ready to compete again, and their trainer Joie Gatlin was leading the charge and came to support everyone during the class.  Joie’s team won TWO classes last year and the pressure was on.  


The Groom’s Class was scheduled for a few minutes before the Grand Prix on a lovely Saturday afternoon.  There were loads of spectators, the GP riders were walking the course, and all of the Grooms were doing a great job of hiding their nerves.  As usual, the judges chatted with the Grooms, asked questions, inspected bags and grooming boxes, and had a lengthy discussion about who to pin.  A few of the horses were revisited….so much drama!! (Not really, but definitely a bit of suspense!)


After it was all said and done…. the winners!! 



Sixth place went to Morgan G., who presented Cilandra, owned and trained by Hanna Mauritzon


Fifth place went to Arturo C., who presented Sable Road, owner Balmoral, Trainers Traci and Carleton Brooks.


Fourth place went to Julio P., who presented Emma Snow, owned by Emily Lasaroda, and trained by Storia Stables.


Third place went to Julia B., who presented Lancaster, owned by Sabine Cooper, and trained by Mandy Porter ACP Enterprises.



Second place went to Jamie G., who presented Dicaprio, owned by Valley Field Farms and trained by Joie Gatlin and Morley Abey training Stables.


First place went to Adolfo G., who presented Chapot Z, owned by Laura Hite and trained by Joie Gatlin and Morley Abey training Stables.



 It's a team effort!  From L to R:  Sally from Shapley's, Joie Gatlin, Adolfo the winner, Me, and Alex from Joie's barn team!  



The truly handsome and super shiny Chapot Z also won a class last year at Blenheim…. And you may be wondering what set the top Grooms apart?  A few thoughts here:

-Fully stocked backpacks and grooming boxes (Adolfo and Jamie both had cold beer in their packs, for the nervous amateur before a ride or the seasoned competitor after a ride…)


-Scrim sheets, folded so the logo faces out when not in use.


-Perfectly polished hooves.


-Lots of confidence and a smile! 


And, the reality is that every competitor was turned out to the nines.  (So glad I wasn’t a judge…)