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5 Minutes with Jess Harper

A great interview with Jess Harper, head girl to Georgie Strang, from the British Grooms Association

Name: Jess Harper

Age: 22

Job: Head girl for Georgie Strang

Why did you want to start working as a groom?
I previously evented, which I really enjoyed but I reached a certain level and decided that I wanted to be behind the scenes.

What were you doing before?
Apart from eventing myself for a bit I have always been a groom. Before moving to Georgie’s, I worked for a great junior show-jumper travelling around the UK looking after his ponies (and him!).

What are the best bits of the job?
My favorite moment is seeing the horses coming down the centre line at the big events; it’s a moment when you see all your hard work come together, the horses are looking their best and it always gets me excited about the week of competition ahead. I also love it when I see Georgie and the horse safely cross the finish line, knowing that they are back safe and sound – I can breathe again!

What’s the worst bit of the job?
The heartbreak that goes on behind the scenes. I am usually the first on the yard in the mornings, so I quite often pick up on if a horse isn’t quite right. The sinking feeling and worry when you think there is a problem is tough, as at the end of the day the most important thing is to have happy, healthy horses.

If you weren’t a groom what would you be?
I think probably something like a sports coach or teacher.

Why did you join the BGA?
I was recommended to the BGA by a friend who has been in the industry for over 20 years and highlighted the importance of being with a national body. There is so much great information available to us on the BGA website, along with getting tips and insights from fellow grooms, which I find really helpful.

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