The FHBPA is pleased to announce that Sheldon Spencer, from the barn of trainer Monica McGoey, has been selected as the Groom of the Month for April.
Originally from Philadelphia, Spencer was just a kid when he started working with horses in 1978 at the old Keystone Park. He spent some time in West Virginia as well before making his way south to Gulfstream Park. The veteran horseman has worked with young trainer McGoey for five years, and was an easy choice as a candidate for Groom of the Month.
“He’s the first one to the barn every morning and feeds everybody breakfast; he’s there in the afternoon to graze them; he comes back in the evenings and takes them out for walks,” McGoey said. “He gives everything to the horses.”
McGoey noted that Spencer uses a hearing aid, but what some might consider a disability can actually be an asset when working with Thoroughbred racehorses.
“The horses are all really calm with him,” she said. “I give him the horses that are more high-strung, and he settles them right down. He has a way with them.”
That “off button” on the hearing aid can also be a benefit to Spencer when he wants to focus on his horses – or tune out the boss.
“I’ll be talking to him and then realize he isn’t listening,” McGoey said with a laugh. “Spencer just turns it off when he wants to.”
But he always pays close attention to his four-legged charges.
“I love my job,” Spencer said. “I love grooming horses. I love the way they are always moving forward.”
His favorite right now is the hard-knocking Morning Stride, a 6-year-old who has won seven of his 33 career starts and earned nearly $250,000. What makes this horse special?
“He works hard and stays straight,” Spencer said.
The same could be said of our Groom of the Month.
As we do every month, the FHBPA encourages all trainers to nominate individuals from their respective barns for future Groom of the Month consideration. Stop by the FHBPA Office to nominate someone from your team today!
Adam Coglianese Photos