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Is the job title groom outdated?

In a recent article written by Horse & Hound columnist Graham Fletcher, he says “It’s time to pension off 'groom' as a job description".

Lucy Katan, BGA Founder and Executive Director, and former international dressage groom, gave her thoughts on this suggestion:

I totally disagree with changing the job title 'groom' - this is not the right tactic for seeking an improvement in the recognition, respect, recruitment and retention issues in our industry. This is a backward approach and viewpoint.

I discussed this matter with the national and international grooms in the stables working at the Royal Windsor Horse Show and was unsurprised by their response.

They were all immensely proud of the role that perform and had no issue at all about their job title - moreover, their concerns were about their employment terms, lack of groom’s prizes and suitable facilities and food provided on the shows, and still an absence of genuine respect from some riders for the importance of their position and career choice.

Pay staff correctly, employ them legally, treat them respectfully, allow them time to rest and recuperate and have their own social life and give them opportunities to further their own skills..... let's focus on getting these bits right before changing a job title!"


We have many high-profile grooms who are members of the BGA and are our ambassadors. None are more well known than Alan Davies – an equestrian household name!

Alan is proud to be a groom, proud of his career, proud to pay it forward, encourage and nurture future grooms into the career that he has excelled at.


Tell us what you think!

Share your viewpoint with us - do you think the title 'Groom' should be changed? What else would you like to be improved? Have your say, send us an email;

Not yet a BGA member? Take a look at how we can support you.








What the personal accident policy covers you for:

  • Whilst at work
  • All stable duties – mucking out, grooming, washing off, turning out
  • Clipping
  • Riding – including hacking and jumping
  • Hunting
  • Lunging
  • Breaking in
  • Holding horse for a vet and other procedures
  • Travelling horses both in the UK and abroad
  • Competing in line with your job including: jumping, dressage, eventing
  • Injuries that may happen to you whilst you are teaching - but you must also be grooming as part of your duties and not be a sole instructor

What the personal accident policy doesn’t cover you for:

  • Riding in a race, point to point or team chase
  • Stunt Riding
  • Accidents occurring whilst travelling to and from work
  • Riding and competing your own horse (but you can upgrade when applying for membership to include this)
  • Public Liability – this is a separate insurance policy - the Freelance Groom Liability Insurance
  • Care Custody and Control – this is a separate policy - the Freelance Groom Liability Insurance

If you require additional cover then please contact KBIS directly.


When you are working for other people you do most of the following; muck out, turn out/catch in, tack up, groom horses, exercise Horses (including hacking, jumping and schooling), in the care of your employer/client.




Predominantly ride horses for other people including schooling, exercising and competing.   

 Provide grooming services for someone else either full time or on a freelance basis i.e. an employer or a client.   


Employ staff – have an employers liability policy in your name NO NO YES
Buy and sell horses NO YES YES

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