My Career Story – Jo O’Neill

“I feel great pride in looking after ‘my’ horses and enjoy every minute “

Racing Groom’s are vital to our industry. Here you can find out what our Careers in Racing Vlogger, JoJo, does on a daily basis.

My day starts very early, 4:4am my alarm goes off. I normal hit the snooze at least once or twice but I need to be up by 5:00am!!

Before work, I go and care for my own ex-racehorse and I try to be at work for 5:45am

I work away from the main yard, down the “pens”, which is where horses are trained from the field. I look after nine horses there so my first duty is to give them all their breakfast. I also check their legs for any signs of injury or heat, check they’re not too hot and watch for lameness and other ailments.

I then muck them out and usually try to be there when the riders come, to answer questions or tell them anything they need to know.

My first lot is then everyone’s second lot so I’m gathering my rubbers and girth sleeves in preparation whilst everyone is coming back in. I might empty the washing machines and hang ether contents up to dry if I have time. I tend to ride out three to four lots before lunch, by which time I’m starving.

Afternoon stables doesn’t officially start until 3:30pm but I usually start early as I’m busy down the pens. I have to fill up the feed bin and feed the field horses too.

I don’t brush the horses much as they’re happy covered in mud and time doesn’t allow me to but I pick out their hooves, again checking all is OK and cream any sore heels. I make sure to refresh their water and the final task I do is feed them all.

Any day is subject to change due to racing or any other driving jobs, especially vet runs that maybe emergencies. I feel great pride in looking after ‘my’ horses and enjoy every minute (except, perhaps, in the wind, rain and snow!)