The Grooms Showcase

by | Mar 21, 2021 | Equitation, Hunters, Jumpers, Press Release | 0 comments

For Immediate Release:

THERMAL, Calif. – March 20, 2021 – An exciting evening kicked off with the Groom’s Class, where twenty-five grooms brought their favorite horses to the ring for a chance to win the $1,500 cash prize and the coveted title. The competition was sponsored by Peppermint Stables and The Peninsula Hotel Beverly Hills to acknowledge the hard working grooms who care for the horses 24/7.

Guest judges included Olympic Gold Medal winner Will Simpson, Licensed Official Diane Carney and FEI Steward Melessa Lee. All three judges looked over the entries to narrow it down to the top three.

Gabrielle Pedraza, winner of the Grooms Showcase.

Claiming the title was the Sander’s groom, Gabrielle Pedraza, with Cascalido. The winner received a GPA duffle bag donated by Equ Lifestyle Boutique, an Ariat jacket donated by Tack Warehouse, and a Walsh chain lead donated by Equisport along with $1,500.

Second place winner in the Grooms Showcase.

Second went to Archie Cox’s groom with Sunset Boulevard. Second place won a backpack and a Walsh Chain Lead donated by Valencia Saddlery along with a cash bonus.

Third went to Meadow Grove’s groom and Djibb van de Linthorst. They received a Desert International Horsepark backpack and a cash bonus.

The third place finisher in the Grooms Showcase

All entries received a Farmvet hat donated by Farmvet and a cash bonus. Over $8,000 was raised by barns to support the class and honor the grooms.

“We looked at the contents of their grooming box, the condition of the tack, the way the horse was turned out, and also the relationship with the horse,” said Lee.

“All the grooms had the heart that is necessary to do this job correctly. These top three just had the feel, the equipment, their horses were beautiful, they just had a feel, a little bit like riding,” said Carney.

Diane Carney judging the Grooms Showcase

“The winner was just a big beautiful grey horse, it was will turned out and had all the equipment, I wish he was grooming for me,” said Simpson. “This was the hardest class I’ve ever judged. They all work so hard it’s really hard to pick just one.”

The class got the excitement going for the R.W. Mutch Equitation Championship under the lights. The evening was filled with music, food, shopping and great competition for the final week of the 2021 Desert Circuit.

Olympic rider Will Simpson judging the Grooms Showcase



About the Desert International Horse Park

With nearly 1.3 million square feet of competition and riding space, the Desert International Horse Park is one of the largest equestrian facilities in North America. Offering multiple weeks of world-class equestrian competition from October through March, the facility is a destination location for thousands of equestrians, their horses, family and friends for several months annually. Competitors from all over the world travel to Thermal, CA to not only compete but to enjoy everything the desert has to offer.