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Richard Skillen, Mel Obst and Charlotte Attwell presented with Grooms Award in memory of Jenny Ducoffre at CHIO Rotterdam 2024

Saturday, 22 June 2024
CSIO5* LLN Rotterdam 2024

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Sean Lynch, Mel Obst, Richard Skillen, Britta Ducoffre and Charlotte Attwell. All photos © Mackenzie Clark.


Text © World of Showjumping



In memory of Jenny Ducoffre – a loved and much-respected member of the showjumping community – who tragically passed away on 21 May 2024, a Grooms Award initiated by one of her closest friends Sean Lynch was presented during CHIO Rotterdam 2024 on Saturday afternoon. 

44-year-old Ducoffre had recently started up on her own after having worked with Belgium's Jos Verlooy and the Verlooy-family's EuroHorse in Grobbendonk, Belgium since 2013, when she passed away. 

In 2019, Jos and Igor – a horse that had a very special place in Jenny’s heart – won the team gold and individual bronze medals at the European Championship in Rotterdam with Jenny by their side. As a team, Jos and Jenny won five-star Grand Prix classes and Nations Cups – with many different horses – but most memorable of all for Jenny was the victory at CHIO Rotterdam in 2018 with her all-time favourite Caracas, in the CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix. 

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Mel Obst, Richard Skillen and Charlotte Attwell in Rotterdam with Sean Lynch and Britta Ducoffre. All photos © Mackenzie Clark.

"I always knew Jenny loved this show, so what better way to celebrate her," Sean Lynch told World of Showjumping. "We wanted to make a small, kind gesture in a heart-breaking situation. A special thanks to CHIO Rotterdam, Fundis and Lieven Hendricks for the help and support." 

Jenny's mother Britta Ducoffre was in Rotterdam to present the Grooms Award to Richard Skillen (Willem Greeve), Mel Obst (Marcus Ehning) and Charlotte Attwell (Joseph Stockdale). 

"First of all, I want to thank all the grooms in the world and the whole community for their support during this difficult time," Britta Ducoffre told World of Showjumping. "As some of you know, Jenny and I had a rule; whenever she was out driving in the night, I wanted to wake up in the morning with a message from her, letting me know her location. Now, some of her colleagues have started to do that as well. Also, it was touching to see how many grooms and riders attended her funeral last Tuesday and how many smiling faces greeted me in Rotterdam today. I will always miss her, but it is nice to know how many loved her.”  

Another initiative that will be launched in Jenny's memory will be a foundation set up by Julia Becker. "Jenny cared deeply about the working conditions for grooms, and she was a firm advocate for making the stable areas better, the vet checks safer and the show schedules more sustainable so that grooms would not have to work all night. Julia will be setting up a tool to help grooms discuss the issues they are faced with at shows, and hopefully together, we can make a difference," Britta said.

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