Aachen, Germany – July 19, 2019 – Top showjumpers and their horses require grooms that are highly skilled at their trade and very dedicated to the horses. One of them is certainly Sean Vard, Martin Fuch’s groom. Rolex Grand Slam sat down with him to get an inside perspective on his job, working for Martin and the horses he takes care of.
Can you tell us about the horses you have here this week?
This week we have Clooney for the Rolex Grand Prix, and then we have a new youngster and two more horses Chica BZ and Silver Shine. They are both going to do a big class each, Clooney will do the Rolex Grand Prix and then the youngsters will hopefully win their classes.
Clooney 51 is obviously very popular among fans; can you talk about what makes him such a wonderful horse?
It’s hard to explain unless you know him, but Clooney is mentally so quick, he’s very intelligent. He’s special, he’s one of a kind. I think he is the most intelligent horse in the world, he knows when the pressure is on. He’s had his difficulties in the past, but since he came back from surgery last year, he seems completely on it. He’s reliable, he’s a great horse, mentally so strong. He is not built to be a show jumper, but he does his best to be one, and the results speak for themselves.
What’s he like in the stable?
He’s hilarious. This week he has been particularly funny, he’s always looking for attention, always. If you are busy with another horse, you can see that he is always watching from the corner. He can be a bit difficult sometimes, with a high atmosphere, and when there are lots of people watching he can be a little spooky, but most of the time he is nice to handle and easy to work with. Once you have a pocket full of candies, you survive.
What’s Martin like to work for?
Martin is super, I’ve been working for him for three years now, I know his system. We keep everything very simple, once everything’s simple, he’s happy. Now, he trusts me, I do my own thing and it normally meets his standards – we work well together.
From a groom’s perspective, what makes Aachen so special?
From the moment you drive in the gate you just feel motivated to do better in every aspect of the job. From the warm-up, to the shopping, to the stables there is a really special vibe here. The atmosphere in the ring is so special too, it’s a different level.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Getting good results is amazing, but I think seeing a young horse progress is one of my favourite parts. We have Chica BZ here this week, she was a youngster two years ago and this year she is jumping the 5*. Seeing the young horses come up the ranks and watching them perform at the highest level is the most positive part of it.
Source: Press release by Rolex Grand Slam
Photo: © Rolex / Tiffany van Halle