McKay Security grooms seminar gets thumbs up
GROOMS Association president Fabian White yesterday said he was elated that the McKay Security Grooms Training Seminar is finally set to get under way tomorrow morning at Courtleigh hotel in St Andrew after being rescheduled.
The all-day affair starts at 10:30 and is the first of its kind for grooms in local racing, with presenters from the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC), promoter Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) and organiser McKay Security.
White, a veteran groom, who has plied his trade at Woodbine, Canada's biggest racetrack, is among the presenters.
"This should have been done a long time ago. Grooms spend the most times with horses, a strong but fragile animal worth millions, sometimes 24 hours per day, so this is really welcome, especially for new grooms coming into the system," he pointed out.
Dr St Aubyn Bartlett, consultant JRC vet, will make his presentation on 'Medical care of Horses', drawing on decades of expertise.
JRC steward Antoine Nembhard will address 'Policies and procedures on becoming a groom', whereas Ina Lawrence, welfare officer, will advise on 'Insurance and the benefits of being registered'.
White will speak to his members about the 'Way forward for the grooms' association'. Vincent Edwards, president of the Jamaica Racehorse Trainers Association, will share his vast knowledge of the 'Historical background of racing'.
SVREL's chief operating officer, Brando Hayden, will give the promoting company's perspective and expectations before Jason McKay, chief executive officer, McKay Security, gives the organiser's remarks.
"This seminar will also formalise the training of 35 stable hands from communities in the vicinity of Caymanas Park. Their introduction to the official grooms' cohort is expected to alleviate a shortage, which has resulted in one groom being assigned to multiple horses," McKay pointed out.
"This is the last part of their training before becoming licensed grooms," said McKay. "The presenters are drawn from the industry. We're working towards establishing best practices for grooms, who my guards, especially, have to interact with every hour on the hour. It is a possibility that this course could be offered to all grooms, annually, in order to ensure certain standards," he added.