Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Horsemart interviews William Whitakers groom 'Robbie Jennings'

HM - How long have you worked for William?
RJ – I have been on Michael’s yard for just over 2 years now.

HM – How many horses do you have here?
RJ – Six in total, William has three and Michael has three so there are two of us.

HM – What about the rest of the family?
RJ - Robert & John have 8 horses here and Ellen another 3

HM – Do you all travel together?
RJ - No we are at different yards, William & Michael come from their Oxfordshire base and John, Ellen & Robert from Huddersfield.

HM – How many hours a day are you putting in?
RJ - Exercising starts at 5am if you want to get in main arena, so we start then to get the horses used to go down there. Most nights finish at midnight, as the big classes are on late.

HM – How do you get through that?
RJ – It’s the highlight being at the big competitions – every day is different you just get on with it.

HM – What is you highlight of your job?
RJ – I love to travel, it’s the best bit. To get to the world cup in Vegas last year with Michael was fantastic.

HM – Where else have you been?
RJ – Canada, KL lots of places, it’s great to see the world, and it’s the best part of the job.

HM – Do you have any horses of your own?
RJ – I do but they are at home with my parents and out on loan.

HM - How did you get the job with the Whitakers?
RJ – I started as a kid in my local riding school and loved it. I then went on to do a Horse Management at College then just followed job adverts. I was with Billy Twomey for 3 years, then to America for a year. After that it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. I then got the job with Michael.

HM – do you fly with horses when you go abroad?
RJ – Yes sometimes, only a certain amount of people can go on one flight so sometimes you’re not necessarily chosen.

HM – Which horse are we standing with now?
RJ - Super Girl.

HM – How often is she competing this week?
RJ – She will jump once a day.

HM – How is she doing?
RJ – She had a couple down yesterday but has had a third and an eighth with William, Michael won the last class so we are all pleased.

HM - What is her exercise programme whilst here?

RJ - Depends on her times really. If she is on during the day then I will just hand walk her. If she is on late she will be exercised, she is a bit scatty so needs a leg stretch! We can change things all the time as they may get tired.

HM - Do you change anything while you’re away?
RJ – We try to keep everything the same as at home as much as we can but I guess the biggest change is feeding times.

HM – Are responsible for what they eat?
RJ – The rider decides, they will ask if they want any extras or changes made.

HM – so to sum up for any aspiring grooms out there – what is the best part of your job?
RJ – The travelling, the experience of working all over the world is great.