Rachel LaCount is the latest Minnesota HBPA Groom of the Week. Her first ever day at the races, she’s been told, was when she was two weeks old. Her parents owned racehorses at Canterbury Park and Downs. As soon as she was old enough to get a racing commission license, Rachel started working as a hotwalker, cooling out horses. She has now worked for Bruce Riecken for 15 years.
Rachel also has another job on top of her groom duties. She works at Rahr Malting, which makes malt for beer, in the lab for quality control and quality assurance. When asked why she continues to do both jobs, one science related and the other extremely equine-focused, she replied, “Because I love it and I can’t stop myself from doing this. This is my passion and the other job pays the bills.” LaCount is a prime example of not forsaking your passions for the sake of security. Hardworking individuals, such as Rachel, can achieve both. Visitors will often find Rachel in the paddock with the Riecken entrants or in the barn on mornings when the day job allows.
Before she started working Rachel was coming to Canterbury regularly as a kid and as a fan, which fed her love for the animals and for the community created around taking care of them. “I just love the horses. That’s why I love [working on the backside] so much. There’s nothing like it in the world. I like getting to know each horse and getting to know their personalities and having a connection with them,” she said.
Canterbury Park applauds Rachel for the work she’s done this season and offers congratulations for being recognized as the Minnesota HBPA Groom of the Week. She was presented with an award last night during the races.
Story by Megan Bormann.
Photographs by Megan Bormann and Mike Cronin