Frequently Asked Questions
If your specific question is not answered here please feel free to contact us at from the contact page.
First off you need to check the Events Calendar on the main menu of this site to see if a course is currently being offered at a track near you. If you are already licensed in that state you would qualify for tuition free attendance to any Introduction to Grooming 099 or Groom Elite™ 101 course being offered in that state. The Events Calendar will list a contact person that you will need to check in with for further details. If you are not licensed you may attend but will have to cover the tuition costs which the contact person can share with you.
You could make contact with your horsemens representative from the HBPA or the Chaplain from the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America and let them know you are interested in the course and ask them to consider offering one. Talk the program up to other grooms and get them to ask about it. Discussion about it will let the local HBPA know there is an interest and they may talk to us at The Elite Program about conducting a course.
Check our Events Calendar to see if there will be one at a track you will be at and make contact with the contact person. If there is not one at your track(s), you could make contact with the horsemen's representative from the HBPA or the track administration and let them know you are interested in the course and ask them to consider offering one. Talk the program up to other trainers and owners and ask them to inquire about it also.
The Groom Elite™ 101 course is not a simple course to administer
and requires a significant commitment in time from the host organization. Tracks must have a person able to dedicate the time to administer the course and the funding to cover the costs so that the low-wage track workers can receive this high quality education at no cost. Generally the cost of conducting a 101 course will depend upon several variables; membership in the National HBPA, will the program be held during a Quarter horse or mixed mix meet, which course, travel costs and availability of certified instructors and assessors, etc. We invite you to ask go to Get a Quote and answer a few questions and we will be able to give you a more accurate estimate.
We know that this is a complex program to administer and have developed a thorough and complete "how to manual" called the Coordinator's Guide that has been a valuable tool for coordinators to assure them of success. People who have never planned an event more complex than a birthday party prior to the GEP 101 have succeeded with the help of the manual. The staff at The Elite Program is never more than a phone call or email away for any question the coordinator may have.
It is a complete and thorough educational program that includes:
- Coordinator's Guide (how to plan a program manual)
- Groom's Notebook in both English & Spanish of all teaching handouts
- Power Point slide shows to support all of the classroom instruction
- Anatomical samples as teaching aids
- Access to audio equipment & headsets for translations
- Teaching aids and educational props
- 3M® Vetrap™ bandaging tape necessary for teaching and practicing bandaging
These are one-shot programs that are easy to organize and conduct. Simply go to Get a Quote and answer a few questions and we will be able to give you an accurate estimate. We also have many ideas about programs and activities that have been successful with past audiences that we can share with you.
We know that it is a challenge to find qualified employees. We encourage you to ask all applicants if they are Certified Groom Elite graduates and ask to see their certification wallet card. If the applicant indicates that they are a graduate but have miss placed their wallet card you may confirm their certification by searching our Gradates Names.
Another alternative is to encourage your current employees to attend a Groom Elite™ 101 program and help them succeed by trying to prevent conflicts with class time. Some trainers have found this education to be such a value to them that they have offered bonuses to grooms that certify. Several have arranged that specific grooms who they want to keep and promote have access to the program. A couple of trainers have started to use the program as their new employee training.
Elite Grooms are trained to both be more knowledgeable horsemen/women and to communicate observations with the trainer in order to be part of that all-important racing team. As the person who spends the most hours in the day with the horse their observations can prevent a small problem from becoming a crisis. The people who make the decision to take their own free time to learn to do a job better are obviously motivated and on the job for more than a paycheck.
A trainer told us about the time a Certified Groom saved his business. He had been out of the barn when a load of alfalfa hay came in; the Certified groom broke open a bale and refused the load. The hay dealer was upset and went to the trainer who came back and asked why the groom had done this. The groom showed him the deadly Blister Beetles he had discovered in the bale and told him how few it took to kill a horse, which he had learned from the GEP 101 course. The trainer had not been aware that these toxic beetles could be an issue on the East coast and told us he would not have opened a bale to examine it and he did not want to think about the consequences of that.
One trainer told The Elite Program staff that he has saved money as he was able to reduce staff costs because the five Elite Grooms were more efficient and trust worthy than the other three in his barn. He found that he did not have to replace three grooms that were not certified when they quit because the five Elite grooms were more than able to take up the horses. Even after giving the five certified grooms significant raises he was saving on payroll and had a better operating barn to boot.
The state veterinarian in Virginia told us how two certified grooms had seen a horse go down from heat exhaustion after a race at Colonial Downs. The groom on that horse was clueless as to what to do. The certified grooms took the initiative to treat the horse for heat exhaustion while waiting for the vet. The State Veterinarian told The Elite Staff that she had been very impressed with how correctly the grooms had handled the horse and their quick thinking. She was sure that the appropriate response had saved the horse's life. She had asked them how they knew what to do and they told her that they had attended the Groom Elite Program.
A horse at a TRF farm cared for by a group of Elite Farm Grooms were able to handle the first aid of a seriously injured horse for the three hours it took for the veterinarian to arrive. The veterinarian told the manager that the grooms' response and care of the horse had been perfect! This same group of grooms were able to identify a horse with the subtle symptoms of impaction colic very early and the veterinarian was able to treat it easily and inexpensively. He indicated to the manager that most farms would not have recognized this type of problem until the horse could only be treated with surgery.
Another trainer told the story of how he had to learn an expensive lesson before he learned about the value of his Elite Groom to his barn. He said that the groom had told him that he had found a hot spot on the tendon of a horse. The trainer checked the leg, found nothing and raced the horse. The horse bowed in the exact place that the groom had indicated he felt heat. The horse had to be retired and the trainer said that now he not only pays more attention to what this groom has to says he feels and his horses are going more sound. He also wanted to know when he could send the rest of his grooms to a class.