Earlier this year, Esther Bukkems told us that she makes the horses under her charge feel at home wherever they are in the world.
But it also seems that Bukkems is at home in the world wherever her horses are. The 23 year old groom from Holland has risen in the world of show jumping alongside her boss, who has become one of the sport’s most visible personalities.
Bukkems joined forces with the USA’s Jessica Springsteen in May of 2015, and quickly became woven into the fabric of “Team Springsteen” with her inexhaustible devotion to her charges and her talent for keeping Springsteen’s horses in top shape, both at home and on the road.
In many ways, Bukkems is living the dream of a professional in the industry; Springsteen’s 2016 competition schedule included such glamorous locales as Cannes, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; and Madrid, Spain, and her home bases throughout the year include lush sanctuaries in Holland, New Jersey and Wellington as Springsteen trains with some of the most high-octane riders in the world. During it all, Bukkems was at the ingate for countless classes, many wins, and when Springsteen picked her most notable finish of the year: victory in September’s Saugerties $1 Million CSI5* Grand Prix.
Springsteen is at the helm of one of the top strings of equine athletes in the world; Cynar VA, Davendy S, Tiger Lily, and the newest addition Fleur De L’Aube, but as every rider knows, every good horse has a great groom behind it.
So the moments in the spotlight are not discounted by the many more moments outside of it, when it’s just Bukkems and the horses. Any groom can tell you that those long nights, early mornings, and miles on the road outweigh the time in the spotlight tenfold. Whether the world, or no one at all is watching, Bukkems is there for the horses, as every devoted groom always is.
How They Ranked in the Vote:
Esther Bukkems 40% – 1,500 votes
Mark Beever 30% – 1,130 votes
Celia Rijntes 12% – 458 votes
Marina Natali 9% – 337 votes
Sean Lynch 8% – 284 votes