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Groom of the Year – Paul Walker preaches value of hard work

Jamaica Observer 2019-01-11 00:00:00


PAUL Walker, the proud winner of the Groom of the Year Award for 2018, who is attached to the stables of Anthony Nunes is preaching the value of day to day hard work and also team work.

“One cannot feel more pleased about this achievement than I am at present. But let us face the fact that while I am satisfied and enjoying the glory to see returns from my day-to-day hard work that I put out, this Groom of the Year Award could not have been possible without the help and assistance of the trainer and my fellow grooms who also work at the stables. They are all a part of this award,” Walker stated.

The champion groom then highlighted the value of hard work.

“It is still nothing too great to write home about but it still goes to show that your work is in the public's eyes to demonstrate that you are doing something and also doing it well,” Walker pointed out.

At the Nunes' stables, according to Walker, “very little is achieved without teamwork. Each individual has his work to do but when things get rough, we have to help each other to get the job done”.

Walker is from the Gregory Park community which is adjacent to Caymanas Park racing circuit and has been around horses from the tender age of 10.

His first plan of action was to become a jockey but that changed very early as he quickly sprung to his present height of 6' 2”. This ruled any thought of him fulfilling his boyhood dream.

Walker took a break from grooming at the Nunes stables to find employment downtown from 2008 but after four years in the wilderness of downtown and with an inclination to be around horses as it is with so many of his other Gregory Parkites, Walker decided to turn his focus back to the grooming of horses and rejoined Nunes in 2012.

The first horse that was put under his care was Stamp of Authority. Then came Electrifying, the dam of Patriarch, who to date Walker admitted as the best horse that he has ever taken care of.

“I looked after her for about 13 months before she raced and, the first time she did so, she won. I had the opportunity to win three races with Electrifying before she went to bush.

“Because of her, my life as a groom took off,” Walker shared. Some other horses that came under Walker's care included Rock Union, Patriarch and Universal Boss but for Walker, Electrifying topped them all.

The 27-year-old Walker said he will continue as a groom for the time being but later in life may want to turn his attention to becoming an assistant trainer. However, his dearest wish at the present time is to assist in helping his trainer win the championship this season.

“We have to work much harder to get the trainer to win, we have to double up,” Walker emphatically stated.