Grooming Spotlight – Melissa Murphy
How did you get involved in being a groom?
I grew up around horses and ponies and being a groom was always something I wanted to do, so I joined my local yard Charles Byrnes. It was the best thing I ever done, I look forward to each race day so much and can’t wait to get on the road to the track!
What products are always in your grooming kit?
Some products that are always in my grooming kit is a scissors, plating bands, fibre cloth, Mane & Tail and some baby oil.
Do you have a favourite CDM product?
My favourite CDM product is Dreamcoat, I love this product for summer racing because I use it to highlight the hind quarter markings I do on the horses which are always eye catching for the race goers.
Do you have a top tip for when you are getting horses ready on race day?
I always like to see what runners we have going during the week so that I can spend one of the evenings pulling all there manes to ensure they are the correct length for plaiting, which makes my plaiting process much faster on the days of the races. I always plait all horses in the yard before we leave for the racecourse, I find that they are all much calmer and settled in there own stable and they stand by themselves so nobody is required to hold them for me.
What’s the best part of race day for a groom?
My favourite part of the race day is watching the horses do well, it represents all the hard work that the staff do at home. I’m just very lucky that I get to go and represent the whole team at the racecourse. It’s always a bonus when we have a winner!
What is your post race grooming routine?
Post race, we bring the horses back into the parade ring unsaddle them and I bring the horse back to the race yard, offer them a drink of water and wash them down. I then bring them back to there stable, scrape them down and give their head a good rub with a towel to dry it and to remove and mud, I then put on a cooler sheet and walk them around for 15 minutes. When they have been cooled down I check them over for any cuts or scrapes and I would spray the scrapes and then would bandage and cuts to prevent infection. When there all settled back into there stable I would take out all their plaits and leave them with their bucket of water.
Any advice for someone interested in becoming a racehorse groom?
If you have any interest in becoming a race groom, give it a go, it is a very rewarding job and I can guarantee you will love it! You may also get the opportunity to travel to different countries with the horses which is a magnificent experience ☺️
Delighted to be supporting the stable staff at Gowran Park alongside our feed partner RED MILLS and supplement partner Foran Equine. Shining a light on the amazing work that goes in behind the scenes.
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