Super groom Sean Vard – traveling with horses around the world

Professional riders would not be able to do what they do without a dedicated and competent groom by their side. Martin Fuchs, FEI world champion in January 2020, is one of the lucky ones who can count on a fantastic support team, including stable boy Sean Vard. Sean chatted with The Haygain Team during the Palm Beach Master Series in Florida, where he shared his knowledge of managing Team Fuchs, dwelling on what it takes to make horses travel around the world.

Kim F Miller, Equestrian Journalist

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An extraordinary international travelogue!

Sean Vard’s Instagram page is an extraordinary international travelogue. But it’s not the glamorous equestrian scenes of Switzerland, France, or Florida that most galvanize his followers: it’s the “White Wonder,” aka Clooney 51, partnering with Swiss Olympian Martin Fuchs in a victory at the European Championships, a reserve title at the 2019 World Cup Finals, and many other impressive show jumping achievements.

Sean, an Irishman, has been working with Martin and his horses for four years. Sean explained that Team Fuchs grooms do not work with specific horses, although he admits that the white steed is certainly much more present in Sean’s social updates; even in Fuchs’ stable of superstars, Clooney stands out for his super skills, even after his remarkable recovery from a bad colic in 2018.

Raised as a show jumping rider by parents who are now top trainers in the industry, Sean came to the job of 5* groom with the belief that horses should live as naturally as possible. Of course, Martin Fuchs also shares this philosophy. “We are a natural stable in the sense that our horses are allowed to really be horses,” Sean told The Chronicle of the Horse last summer. “This is a problem for me, when horses are always tied up in their stalls and never get to go out and enjoy nature. At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing.”

Sean Vard

This ideal lifestyle exists at the Fuchs home stables in Wängi, Switzerland, as well as the one they rent as a winter base in Wellington, Florida. Of course, it is more difficult to have this lifestyle in competitions and while on the road; Thanks to Haygain, Sean and Team Fuchs are able to provide their horses with fresh, clean hay with consistent consistency and palatability wherever they are in the world. Most importantly, Haygain-Steamed hay is stripped of 99 percent of dust, mold, fungi, and bacteria that settle in even the best quality hay. It is precisely these external agents that are the main cause of respiratory problems affecting an incredibly high percentage of horses: more than 80 percent, according to scientific studies conducted over many years.

“It was the only sensible thing for me to do,” Martin said about his decision to add Haygain to his horses’ diet about a year and a half ago. Sean agrees: “With the postponement of the World Cup finals and many other competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Martin’s horses may have more time to be ‘just horses.’ No doubt, when the world returns to normal-hopefully soon-Haygain will continue to be a major contributor to the good health that allows them to dominate top international sport.

Watch the video for some great travel tips from Sean.

How can Haygain help?

Haygain improves equine health through research and innovation in respiratory and digestive health. Numerous scientific studies have shown that Haygain’s high-temperature purification eliminates 99% of dust, mold, bacteria and fungi in hay, effectively eliminating the health threat from respirable dust. Developed by horsemen, for horsemen, Haygain understands the importance of clean forage to maintain the horse’s overall well-being. Haygain hay steamers and ComfortStall flooring are recommended by many of the world’s leading equine riders, trainers and veterinarians.

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