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A GROOMS LIFE BLOG

The Road to WEG

We are on the countdown to the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA and in the first of his WEG blogs #supergroom and BGA member and Ambassador Alan Davies chats to the BGA about his preparations prior to leaving.

Groom to Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester, Alan was catapulted into the limelight for his attention to detail and adoration of the wonderful Blueberry (Valegro). Now a new younger team of horses (Mount St John Freestyle and Hawtins Delicato) are in the spotlight following Team GBR selection and here is what Alan has to say.

“It’s amazing to be selected and I can’t believe we have done it again, this time with two younger and completely different horses. It’s another era starting all over again. To think we have been picked to represent the team again with two young horses we have had since babies is incredible. I’ve seen them go to the National Championships and start their careers at small tour and we’ve built them up gradually. When you are working with young horses you always hope for this but you never know. And to have two superstars in the stable is just amazing, although Blueberry is a bit grumpy!

At the start of the year everyone was talking about WEG but I tried not to think about the possibility of it as its pressure on the whole team to keep the horses happy, fit and sound is huge. It was a thought in the back if our minds that it would be lovely to be on the team again, but you have to try and keep things in perspective. You do have great hopes but I’ve tried to keep it on the back burner – until now and I’ve had to have a little chat with myself and say ‘wake up, it’s real’!

In the next couple of weeks we will be making sure the horses are kept in their normal routine, happy, fit and well, and not trying to change too much. We also have to think of all the other horses too as when we get back from WEG we have 8 horses gong to the National Championships, so we are still really busy with the day to day running of the year.

The trunks arrived last week and the team has shipped some hay over from America to give the horses the chance to get the used to it before we leave and our feed has been sent out already for when we arrive. We’ve been doing blood tests on the horses and they’ve had to have extra vaccinations before they travel.

On top of all this we have had meetings with the chef d'équipe, team vets and our farriers. We also had to make sure all of our own paperwork is in order and all have a criminal background check before we fly and are allowed into the country.

In the next couple of days I will be thinking about packing lists and making sure I’m organised. We have two trunks for each horse’s and in each trunk we are allowed a maximum of 80kg, which has to hold everything they need.

I’ve been nominated to fly with the horses again. I’ve been flying horses for the last 30 years so the other grooms will fly ahead to meet us when we arrive. We are all flying from Belgium so I will be getting together with the other grooms in the next couple of weeks to make sure I know everything about the other horses, know their characters and how they travel.

All of a sudden its getting very close!”

Catch up with Alan to find out how he is getting on in her preparations for WEG. And if you’re not a member of the BGA you can join the BGA today.

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