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Sunday, September 04, 2011  •  11:58 BST

Freelance groom Alex Van Tuyll, the groom of Dry Old Party was awarded the Mountain Horse ‘Horse Care’ prize

Freelance groom Alex Van Tuyll, the groom of Dry Old Party was awarded the Mountain Horse ‘Horse Care’ prize

ALEX WINS 'HORSE CARE' AWARD

Freelance groom Alex Van Tuyll, the groom of Dry Old Party (no. 44) was awarded the Mountain Horse ‘Horse Care’ prize at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. The award judged by Polly Lochore, is awarded to the groom of the best cared for horse based on the presentation, condition and care of their horse throughout the event.

Alex from Dorset formerly worked for William Fox-Pitt. During her ten-year stint at his yard she was the groom at Burghley for Burghley winners, Highland Lad (2002), Ballincoola (2005), Parkmore Ed (2007) and Tamarillo (2008). It was after this win that Alex left to freelance both as a groom and cook. This year is the second consecutive year that she has groomed for the youngest rider at their first four-star event – last year she groomed for Laura Collett and Ginger may Killinghurst.

One of the major factors that makes a successful groom is Alex believes, ‘going beyond the call of duty’. “You have to be prepared for the unexpected and plan ahead and I always bring extra kit in case of emergencies,” said Alex who was up at 05.00 this morning to attend to her valuable charge. “But trying to keep the horse in his normal routine as much as possible is important which involves plenty of grazing in-hand. Yes there is a lot of standing around on the end of a rope but that allowed him to absorb the atmosphere while staying relaxed which is vital.”

Results
1, Alex Van Tuyll (Dry Old Party)
2, Rachel Nicholson (Cadoc Z)
3, Hesther Owen (Highland Prince)
4, Samantha Parker (Sidnificant)
5, Jane Boggis (High Havoc)
6, Sharon Mepham (Easy Target/Sir Percival)
7, Lewis Gudgeon (Chilli Morning)

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The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2011 Videos : http://www.youtube.com/burghleyhorsetrials