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Secrets of an international super groom

Rachel Watts is the head groom for Shane Rose Eventing and has travelled horses to and from multiple Olympic Games and World Equestrian Games – even once alongside Amanda Ross and her horse Koko Popping Candy (Zarzy).

From an early age, Rachel knew she wanted to spend time with horses but not necessarily as a rider. Studying at Australia's only independent agricultural and equine business management college, Marcus Oldham Rachel came to the industry with a firm background in animal management. Now having worked with multiple international eventers both in England and Australia, regularly taking 20+ horses to an event, and managing high-performance eventers it’s no surprise that Rachel has been awarded Equestrian Australia’s prestigious Groom of the Year award.

  • Hear what happens in the equine transport planes, where she sits, how she can look after her horse/s mid-flight and what the preparation and recovery is like.
  • Listen to unique insights into how she knows when a horse is fit and ready to fly, and the logistics and horse health procedures that can start as far as a year prior to travel.
  • Find out how the 2020 Olympic Games differed to other world games that she has travelled to in terms of competition and added COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Tokyo was humid! Rachel shares the insights into how the riders and grooms chose to manage the day for the horses to ensure they were maintained in peak condition.
  • What’s it like to travel with Shane Rose and the Australian silver-medallist eventing team, and how did Rachel prepare her horse Virgil for trot up and each phase?
  • Rachel spills the tea on how her stunning quarter marks and impressive tail braiding is achieved (including her tools of the trade), and some of the horse personalities at Shane Rose Eventing.  
  • For budding grooms, what are Rachel’s top tips on finding your place in the equestrian world?

All this and so much more in this episode of THE EQUESTRIAN EXPERIENCE.


Thoroughly enjoyed Rach’s interview. 

Fiona Hawkes

Great interview Rachel, always good to hear your insights and reflections on the team efforts.
You desrve a medal also!

Herman Van Hummel

Great interview Rach… As Amanda medal groom!  Good to see you and look forward to seeing you in person once we’re all free again! Cheers Jill Mooratoff 


Fantastic interview really enjoyed it thanks.

Carolyn James

Amanda and Bex,  That was so well done, the best I have ever listened to, so well prepared and researched. A new calling. Rachel is so professional and lovely, a role model for another way to the very top of the sport. Thank you all. 

Penny Rose
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