WEG 2018 may be a first for team equine massage therapist Alice Dorman but she is no stranger to championships.
Alice groomed at Jerez de la Frontera (ESP) for Canadian Wyndham St John in 2002 and then at Aachen (GER) in 2006 for Brit Daisy Dick who with Spring Along was part of the silver medal-winning team.
“But this Games is special because it is my first championship working as the team physio for the Kiwis,” she says. “I have been working with them for a couple of years now and feel that I make a real contribution. We are heading to Tryon with live medal chances. This is a fantastic group of horses and riders who are backed by a great support team.”
Horses have been part of Alice’s world since she was a youngster. These days she trains a point to point racehorse who has won four races, and has an ex-racehorse who she loves to hunt through the winter.
“I really enjoy being hands on and having my own horses.”
Alice, who is based near Stow on the Wold in the Cotswolds, has been an equine physio since 2012. She has been working with the Kiwis for some years, but officially came on board for the team after the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Her first event was in 2016 at Boekelo where the team were second behind the Brits in the FEI Nations Cup event.
Alice loves being a part of the team. “It is an honour and privilege to work with such a talented and experienced group of riders,” she says. “They are a small group but everyone works together.”
But her job is not without its challenges. “During the season, the biggest challenge for me is getting enough time within the busy schedule of training and events to be able to see the horses on a regular basis.”
Every horse is different and plans are constantly changing and evolving. “I work very closely with the riders and grooms who are important in providing me with information and feedback on the horses, as well as the health team of Christiana (Ober, the vet) and Andrew (Nickalls, the farrier).”
She is looking forward to 2018 WEG, and hoping the team will turn promise into reality.
By Diana Dobson – ESNZ HP Media liaison