... carriage driving news ... carriage driving news ...

BEF Groom Award goes to Jackie Potts
15 January 2007

The 2006 Kuster BEF Groom Award has been awarded to Jackie Potts, groom for event rider William Fox-Pitt.

The top three grooms were:

1st ? Jackie Potts, groom to event rider William Fox-Pitt

2nd ? Lynne Parkinson ? Yard Supervisor for the (International League for the Protection of Horses) ILPH in Norfolk

3rd - Catherine Owen ? groom for world Champion event rider Zara Phillips.

Winner Jackie Potts is head girl to William Fox-Pitt and has been since 1993. In his nomination of Jackie, William says ?Jackie and I have enjoyed 14 seasons eventing together ? there have been the most amazing highs and lows but through them all she has kept her feet firmly on the ground and her chin up. She is a huge support to me, always loyal and it is a privilege to have worked with someone so dedicated and professional. She is the ultimate team player whether at home, on the yard or at a championship where she flourishes.?

William Fox-Pitt is one of the UK?s most successful event riders, finishing the 2006 season 2nd in the international rankings and top of the UK rankings for the 6th year running. He comments in his nomination how Jackie has had an undoubted effect on his horses with her individual attention helping each to reach its own unique potential.

Second placed Lynne Parkinson has a very different life to the competition grooms finishing 1st and 3rd. She is yard supervisor for an ILPH yard, where staff are often confronted with appalling cases of neglected and abused equines. Lynne is in charge of the yard and staff at Hall Farm in Norfolk - a recovery and rehabilitation centre which holds up to 140 horses at any one time.

The ILPH comment on Lynne?s success: ?We are all incredibly proud of Lynne. She puts in huge hours to help care for the horses and never flaps, panics or moans, regardless of the tasks asked of her or the hour of day or night involved. ILPH Hall Farm is a much better place for Lynne?s input and all who work with her would agree.?

Third placed groom Catherine Owen grooms for World Champion event rider Zara Phillips.

World Class Performance Manager for eventing, Yogi Breisner, comments in his nomination, ?Catherine?s dedication, hard work, knowledge and above all devotion to her job in general, and her commitment to Toytown in particular, has been part of the overall package that led Zara to winning Gold medals in the European and World Championships.?

All the grooms nominated for this prestigious award would have been deserving winners but the all round commitment, talent and enthusiasm shown by Jackie Potts made her the eventual and deserving victor.

Andrew Finding, Chief Executive of the BEF comments, ?Jackie Potts is a deserving winner of this award, it is a well earned recognition of the continuing hard work she puts in and the contribution she has made to William?s success. There was little to choose between the top three, congratulations Jackie on your success.?