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Backstage With Barn Managers And Grooms

July 26, 2011

Debbie Buchanan Enjoys Life In The Fast Lane At Lane Change Farm

Deborah “Debbie” Buchanan’s attitude about managing 17 horses that compete at multiple horse shows, in multiple derbies, with multiple riders, is much like the Nike maxim.

“We just do it,” said the barn manager of Lane Change Farm. Buchanan, who has worked for rider Kelley Farmer and trainer Larry Glefke for nearly a decade, believes it’s all in a day's work.

“It’s just part of the business,” she said. “[Hunter derbies] are Larry’s thing now, so they do five to six horses in one every week.”

July 19, 2011

Clark Shipley—International Groom And Globetrotter

When the famous show jumper Authentic wants something, he knows who to talk to: Clark Shipley.

“If Authentic is in his stall and wants to go out in the paddock, every time he sees Clark he screams at him. He knows Clark is the one who takes care of him, and Clark makes sure he’s happy,” said grand prix rider Beezie Madden, who rode Authentic to team gold at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, team and individual silver at the 2006 World Equestrian Games, and individual bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games.

July 12, 2011

Kate Gillespie Runs A Tight Ship For Team Peters At Arroyo Del Mar

Kate Gillespie isn’t exactly sure why she excels at her job as barn manager for Steffen and Shannon Peters’ Arroyo Del Mar, but she thinks it might have something to do with her upbringing.

“It comes pretty natural to me, most of it,” she said. “People are like, ‘How did you see that?’ or ‘How did you notice that?’ I don’t know if it’s from growing up in South Africa; I wanted to be a game ranger and live in the bush, and you become very aware of your surroundings out there.”

July 6, 2011

Natalie Varcoe-Cocks Has Groomed Her Way Around The World

What’s the quickest way to win Natalie Varcoe-Cocks’ heart? Compliment her on her superior organizational skills.

The perfect groom has an abundance of affection for horses and a healthy sense of humor, with a dash of obsessive compulsive tendencies sprinkled on top—that description fits Varcoe-Cocks to a T.

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