The International Grooms Association (IGA) is now one year old, and after a successful first year of collaborative development the association is marking its’ first anniversary by expanding both its team and its focus.
Founded with the support of the FEI, the IGA represents the voices of international grooms, working to bring about positive developments for grooms by demonstrating their vital role in horse sport, and the ways the rest of the equestrian community can support these teams behind the scenes.
During this first year IGA members have been invited to participate in member only surveys, the results of which have been used by some shows to implement change, and by the FEI when creating their new groom focused section of the FEI Event Organisers Guide.
As this is the first time grooms have been referenced in this resource, the IGA is very proud to see members’ voices included in the new advice.
Throughout the year the IGA has been able to offer members a feedback facility, so that grooms are able to share their experiences at FEI shows and events, as well as collaborating with the FEI regarding their own feedback facilities.
The generous support of more than 40 FEI events and shows who have committed to be a part of the Show Supporter programme has helped the IGA in its work towards a better future for grooms, but has also meant the IGA has been able to work directly with these shows to shine light on the grooms working during their events.
As the IGA moves forward into its second year the time has come to broaden its scope; the recent appointment of Courtney Carson as US Coordinator is an exciting opportunity to see greater development in the US market.
In addition the board has welcomed Ashley Kashark as Youth Representative director, a role which will help give a voice to younger grooms- the future of horse sport.
Finally, the time has come to establish IGA Rep groups; a network of grooms around the world who wish to play a bigger role in bringing about positive development, and help us demonstrate how equestrianism can become a more attractive and sustainable industry.
IGA Executive Director Lucy Katan said “it has been an exciting first year for the IGA, and we are proud of all we have achieved. However these are only the first steps in a much longer journey. The establishing of the IGA was a truly historic moment in itself; to give international grooms a formal voice for the very first time.
To see this voice used, and listened to, has shown how the international equestrian community is working together to celebrate the role of the grooms and find ways to support grooms in their work.
We are very grateful to our three fantastic partners Cavalor, Haygain and Boehringer Ingelheim. The loyal support of these three companies is enabling the IGA to create real change, and over the next year their support will be vital in helping us prioritise groom education alongside our mission to ensure better working conditions for grooms around the globe.
We know there are still big changes and developments to come, so we invite any grooms who have not yet taken the chance to be heard to join us on this journey towards a better future for international grooms.”
The International Grooms Association is very thankful to have both the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and Split Rock Jumping Tour as show supporters this week throughout the competitions. The IGA is also hosting a 1-year party for grooms working this week as well as spectating throughout the event. The party will be held Thursday evening from 5:30-7pm at the Murphy Pavilion.
Want to sign up for the IGA? Click here!