2 August 2017

Q&A with Jess Mendoza's groom Phill Snow

Recently Brooke made the exciting announcement that British showjumping star Jessica Mendoza had become our new ambassador.

Phill Snow, Jessica’s Show Groom

Jessica competes all over the world and last year she became the youngest British rider in 40 years to join the Team GB Olympic squad.

She has been promoting Brooke’s new How The Other Horse Lives campaign, which highlights the stark differences between the lives of the developing world’s working equines and well-kept horses in the UK. Jessica was announced as Brooke's ambassador at Bolesworth International Horse Show 2017, where she met volunteers and took part in live Q&As for the charity.

To celebrate her new role we caught up with Phill Snow, Jessica’s Groom, to talk about how Team Mendoza prepare the horses for a show, ahead of the London Longines Global Champions Tour (4-6 August 2017):

1. How do you prepare the horses for a GCT show?

Preparing for the horses for a GCT show is much the same as preparing for any show we do. They will always be jumped at home, or taken to a training venue a few days before leaving to go to a show, and I clip them one or two days before, to have them looking at their best. 

2. How do you keep the horses healthy and sound during travel?

For all European shows the horses travel on our own horse truck, which I will be driving, the horses all wear protective leg wear to protect them whilst travelling, I try to make regular stops to check them, give them water, feed them carrots and apple and make sure they are not too hot or cold. I’ll also refill the haynets to keep them occupied during the trip. 

3. How do you keep the horses calm in a busy warm up arena?

Jessica Mendoza and Toyboy competing in Mexico

I always try not to rush the preparation before going to the ring. If I'm rushing and stressing, the horses pick up on it so it's important for me - and them - to keep calm.  The same goes for the warm up.  We try not to rush the warm up, giving them time between flat work and jumping to take a breath and relax. 

4. How big is Team Mendoza on the ground at an event?

The core team on the ground with the horses is myself and Jess.  Jess's parents also attend most events as do some of our horse owners supporting from the side lines.

5. Have you got a couple of top tips to pass on, for turning out the horses so beautifully?

There isn’t any magic to it but I just make sure I allow myself time to prepare properly so being organised is probably my best tip.  That and making sure you use quality grooming products and we’ve always used the NAF range.  It has everything you need.

6. What is your secret to being organised?

Jessica Mendoza and Toyboy

Having a plan and good team work.  Jess and I generally talk, or message the night before and make a plan for the following day, based on which horse jumps when.  We agree whether they are to be exercised before competing and what time she would like me at the ring.  This allows me to organise my time accordingly.

7. What do you think are the keys to keeping them healthy and happy at a competition?

Routine.  So that means giving them their regular Baileys feed and trying to maintain their usual feeding times; and getting them out of the stalls for a walk and hand grazing to give them time to relax.  We are also now using Protech masta infrared rugs and Orscana horse data science sensors which means I can monitor their wellbeing through my mobile phone, even when I’m not with them.

8. What don’t you leave home without

For myself, Cathedral City mature cheddar and English tea bags!