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A voice for grooms

The British Grooms Association (BGA), works hard to promote grooms of all levels and disciplines, raise awareness for the important role grooms play within the industry, and increase respect for this professional career choice.

17 years ago Lucy Katan founded the BGA, to achieve greater representation and career recognition for grooms, as well as to improve their working conditions.

7 years ago Lucy launched the Equestrian Employers Association (EEA). This was a real step towards change within the industry; educating employers with affordable, bespoke equestrian, HR tools to encourage Good Employment.

2 years ago, Lucy worked with the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), and launched the International Grooms Association (IGA). 

The IGA supports grooms working internationally in FEI disciplines.  

Lucy pictured here with FEI President Ingmar De Vos, having signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the FEI Sports Forum in 2022. 

Both the BGA and IGA represent grooms at the highest levels to ensure matters that are important to grooms are heard and real change is delivered.

As Executive Director of the IGA, Lucy attended the Equiforum in Belgium, to be the voice of grooms.

Lucy was invited to speak at the forum where she delivered a presentation to raise awareness for the issues that are important to grooms.

An example of a recent illegal employment case was discussed;

A young British groom working abroad with no contract of employment, no annual leave permitted, no payslips to show the pay received was below the National Minimum Wage and no pension contributions paid. 

The total disregard for this groom's mental well-being led to her wanting to leave, an incorrect notice period was demanded. 

Not only was this situation immoral, unkind/uncaring/dangerous and a form of Modern Slavery this was illegal and not compliant with UK legislation. 

Actions taken:

  • Reported to the HMRC.
  • Reported to the British Equestrian Federation.


  • Employer offered the groom a £1,000 settlement (which was refused).
  • Groom decided to settle for £5,000 of unpaid wages.
  • Groom has since left working in the equestrian industry!

Examples of poor employment like this are unacceptable!

Within Lucy's presentation she explained the how it is necessary for employers to make a change to ensure the future of the industry, Good Employment is the only way forward. 

Topics within Lucy's speech included; 

  • Good employment.
  • Poor employment practices.
  • The welfare of competition grooms.
  • Solutions to attract, recruit and retain grooms.
  • How to achieve Good Employment.
  • Modernise and improve flexibility.
  • Improve facilities at showgrounds.

The teams at the BGA, IGA, and EEA are incredibly proud to take part in this event and to have the opportunity to discuss important matters that affect the equestrian industry.

Play your part in delivering change by joining your professional association; spread the word and encourage your friends and colleagues to sign up.



The BGA is your organisation that supports, represents, and champions the career of all grooms. If you are not a member yet, please join to help us make the equestrian industry a place of only Good Employment.


Be part of the change - JOIN NOW.






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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