The Minnesota HBPA has honored a Groom of the Week each Wednesday with a winner’s circle presentation, providing recognition to an individual that has done an outstanding job. This week’s honoree is Leonel Garcia who works for trainers Patrick and Tomey Swan.
Leo, who has worked as a groom since 1989, has been with the Swans for just a few months but Tomey says that he is “the greatest find I’ve ever made.” She encountered Leo on the backstretch at the beginning of the Canterbury meet when he and his father asked her how to find the racing commission licensing office. Tomey discovered that Leo was not yet tied on with a barn and snapped him right up.
Leo quickly became an asset to the operation. Not only does he groom but also gallops horses, making him extremely valuable to the team.
Growing up near Mexico City, Leo spent time around horses in his youth. He first worked in Canada as a groom and also has been employed at tracks in Pennsylvania and Florida. He enjoys all aspects of his work, keeping horses in his care both healthy and happy. When the Canterbury meet concludes, Leo intends to travel with the Swans to Remington Park.