Maureen 'Mo' Dolan, a veteran groom in the Jeff Smith stable based at Showplace Farms in New Jersey, has been named Groom of the Year in the annual competition sponsored by Harness Tracks of America and Hanover Shoe Farms.
Ms. Dolan, currently caring for the $208,814 older trotting gelding The Mighty Mr K, from Jeff Gural's Little E Stable, has cared for some major stars in the past, working for trainer Joe Holloway. Past horses in her care included Tooter Scooter, Megamind, Island Glow and She's A Great Lady, as well as that great filly's foal Lady MacBeach. She also cared for Jenna's Beach Boy for a short time.
Ms. Dolan worked for 20 years alongside Pam Baillie, Groom of the Year in 1996, when Pam was caring for world record holder Jenna's Beach Boy. It was Ms. Baillie who nominated Ms. Dolan, and in her nomination letter she wrote that good horses make for good grooms, but said Maureen Dolan went far beyond that.
"What makes Mo a great groom is her dedication, commitment and sacrifice, no matter how good the horses are. I've worked with Mo long enough to know that she is the hardest-working, most conscientious person I know. Anyone who knows her can attest to that. She is never in a hurry to get done and never takes short cuts.
"She puts 100 percent into taking care of horses no matter their price or class. She's always willing to take that extra time to make sure a horse is properly cared for. She takes great pride in her work. Over the years she has managed her money well enough to own a home and truck and trailer, which she manages to make extra money with. You don't see that a lot any more. She sets a great example for all of us."
HTA's and Hanover's judges, agreeing, noted that the award is symbolic of the work ethic of grooms everywhere.
Courtesy Harness Tracks of America