Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work for Team Orange? Sharon White’s groom Rachael Livermore gives us a behind-the-scenes look at what her duties look like at Last Frontier Farm in this latest Athletux blog. From riding and grooming to paying the bills and posting to Facebook, she’s done a bit of everything.
I came to Sharon’s in May of 2012, just after graduating from college. Sharon and I had the same first trainer, Deana Vaughn, who was riding for Sharon at the time. I told Deana I wanted to explore working at an upper-level barn, and she thought I would be a great fit for Last Frontier Farm.
I had always heard great things about Sharon and actually had never heard anything negative! I went for an interview earlier in the spring, and Sharon asked if I would consider being her groom. It wasn’t something I had really thought about before, but I wanted to travel and see what the bigger shows were like, so it sounded like the perfect opportunity.
I was there for about a year before I really took on the groom role full-force and was really lucky to have great people there to work with who have helped me and taught me (and continue to!) along the way. This spring, as Sharon’s string of upper-level horses grew, she enlisted Max Corcoran to come help us at the shows and teach me her ways.
That has been one of the most amazing opportunities. Max has an endless supply of knowledge and experience in so many aspects of our sport. She is also very patient with my many questions and is always happy to teach.
I think I was most surprised by how much more to grooming and upper-level competition there was than what I was used to (well, that, and how much I would come to love the color orange). I had never properly galloped or iced horses before, and now that is part of my daily routine.
Two months after I started working for Sharon, I got hurt in a freak accident, so Sharon asked if I would be interested in helping her in the office since I would be out for the rest of the year. I have learned so much about how to run a horse business, and think I have been able to contribute to Sharon’s program in that way as well with my own experience and communications degree.
I helped with sponsor relations, social media, billing, scheduling, entries and everything else that goes into making the barn run. As I healed and started doing more care of the horses, Sharon and I decided that I couldn’t do both things full time, so we lessened my responsibilities in the office so I could spend more time focusing on keeping the horses fit, healthy and happy. It’s always a struggle to find the balance, but I think we have a good thing going.
One of the most amazing things about working at Last Frontier Farm are the people you meet. We have the best owners, supporters, friends and not to mention horses. We are spoiled with home-cooked meals, full coolers and sandwich trays at events, and a whole lot of cheering and orange spirit.
Sharon is one of the hardest working people I have ever met, and she is always behind me 100 percent, which is an incredible feeling. She has been really great with making sure I still have opportunities to ride, which I really appreciate, and I get to ride some lovely horses that have taught me a lot.
I ended up leasing my own horse out this year, and it was definitely hard and an adjustment, but I think it’s all worked out well. I hope to get back to competing myself in the future, but I think everything I’m learning now and all the experience I’m getting is so essential, and I’m excited to keep going on new adventures with Team Orange.