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An Olympic Groom’s Journey – Keep Calm and Go to London

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Pamela at the World Equestrian Games (taking care of the second horse from the left)

We’re thrilled to bring you a new guest blogger series. Pamela Nunn is a freelance FEI groom who went to previous Games with Canadian event rider Selena O’Hanlon and this time, will be going to London with team alternate Shandiss Wewiora. Being the first alternate is a bit tricky because you have to pretend you are going to compete and prepare the exact same way as bona fide team members. You never know… if you get called up, you gotta be ready to go!

In her blog, Pamela will share the point of view of a groom of a Canadian team rider heading out to London and give us some “behind the scenes” insight. Thanks Pamela!

You can check out her website at www.olympicgroom.ca.

From Pamela:

Today’s life lesson came courtesy of my first cup of tea, not when I am usually most receptive to great thoughts. The bag broke, moral of the story “Keep Calm and let things settle”.

Good advice as I start out on the road towards the Olympics. This will be the third Olympics I have attended. My first was the Munich Games in 1972. I went there on a school trip. I was thrilled to watch all phases of the Eventing and saw Great Britain win team and individual Gold medals. Fast forward to 2008, when I was working for Morag and Selena O’Hanlon and went with Selena and Colombo on their first International outing representing Canada in Hong Kong. Then followed our Silver Medal winning trip to the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010.

Now I am travelling as competition groom for Rockfield Grant Juan (stable name Juan) and Shandiss Wewiora, the named Alternates for the Canadian Eventing Team for the London Olympics. Shandiss is a talented rider just making her team debut. Juan is a 8 year old Irish Sport horse gelding, who is tall and very sweet.

Watch Shandiss and Juan riding cross-country in the Bromont CIC***

Our first step on the journey is our trip down to Training Camp at the Plains VA. Back to the tea bag story, my priority for the time between now and London is stay calm and focused on the small everyday details that make for a happy horse and rider ready to perform at their best. Things being as uncertain as they are when a horse is involved; this type of vision is needed, along with a good sense of humour and the attitude of fully enjoying and learning from the journey towards the goal.

More once we get on the road and I promise less philosophy and more horse talk.

Pamela