Banner of the Best Groom to the Princess’ Cup 2017 event (Photo: http://nwnt.prd.go.th)
 
Bangkok (NNT/VNA) – On top of being a sport that does not differentiate between gender or age, horse riding is also popular for the elegant and dignified appearance of riders and horses alike. 

Equestrian sports have been present in the Olympics for over 117 years and are among the disciplines favored by Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana. The Princess's care for her horse resembles that given to a close pet and has come to serve as a model for the Kingdom’s mounted military officers, who she has asked to care for their horses with attention and affection. 

Her Royal Highness’ appreciation for the care of horses also added the category of Best Groom to the Princess’ Cup 2017 event, which will see equestrian athletes compete in categories including dressage, jumping and cross country riding. 

Competition for Best Groom will take place simultaneously with other contests as judges will view how the horses are prepared and dressed for each event, seeing whether horses performing jumping are suitably dressed for movement or if they are elegantly adorned for shows. 

Teams of 2 will be judged for Best Groom with each team to be given 40 minutes to prepare their horse before each competition. 

The act of grooming is not purely aesthetic, but has an impact on horse performance as it affects their mobility as well as their temperament, which can greatly enhance or degrade their ability. As the practice also involves showing care and affection for a horse, it can also be considered one of equestrian sports’ most challenging categories. 

The winner for Best Groom will be announced during Princess’ Cup 2017, taking place on November 25 at the Royal Stable Unit.-VNA