The Groom Elite program has been successfully educating horsemen at racetracks like Santa Anita, Fair Grounds, Churchill Downs and Philadelphia Park since 2001. Philadelphia Park graduated its second class of "elite" grooms (above) in 2008.
The mission of the program is to provide horsemen with the opportunity for personal and professional growth by teaching them about the horse and enhancing their professional skills. Because many trainers do not have time to be teachers, but often expect their grooms to be knowledgeable regarding equine health, the Groom Elite Program provides the expertise in both a classroom and practical setting, using experts like veterinarians and licensed trainers as instructors.
The program is made up of five week course, ending with a final exam. Graduates receive a certificate, and Groom Elite jackets and t-shirts.
GRANNY YOUMANS SCHOLARSHIP FUND
The Granny Fund was established in March, 2000 as a memorial to Catherine "Granny" Youmans, the mother of PTHA Secretary Connie Youmans. Granny, as everyone at the track called her, was a fixture on the backstretch at picnics, banquets, ball games, etc. Throughout her life, she talked to people about getting, continuing, and using their education. She was adamant about people bettering themselves through education.
When Granny passed on February 22, 2000, no better memorial could be established than a scholarship fund in her name to aid stable employees.
In the past ten years, people have made various donations to the Granny Fund, some when they hit a lick at the races, others to commemorate a loved one's passing, and some "just because." The fund has been used to help many young, and not-so-young stable employees continue their education in college and night classes.
The form to complete is simple, and must be completed before consideration. The maximum scholarship is $1,000 per person. If you want to enroll in adult education classes, the Fund will reimburse you upon completion of the classes-- otherwise, the funds are sent directly to the school or college being attended.
Stable employees must be working full time for a trainer at Philadelphia Park for at least the past six months to be eligible for consideration.