Monday, April 20, 2015

How Many Volunteers Does it Take to Run a Horse Trials?

Fair Hill has the most amazing volunteers ANYWHERE!  I had so much fun chatting with the folks who helped us at our horse trials this weekend. From the dressage and stadium set-up crews on Wednesday and Thursday, to the scribes, stewards, and runners for dressage, and the stadium crew on Friday, to the xc jump judges and stadium crews Saturday and Sunday – you all are an AWESOME bunch.
Thank you, Stadium crew!
We had lots of family volunteering together: moms and daughters, dads and daughters, husbands and wives, and sisters.  We had pony club members from St. Augustine, Delaware, Cheshire, Fox and Hounds, Tuckahoe, Conestoga, Brandywine, Radnor, and Shore Riders.  We had very young jump judges in training like Carter and Mya (who has already competed in utero with her mom Jamie) and Page and ZuZu. We had several veteran jump judges with 15 or more years of experience who were easily handling all the tough xc combinations – including not only explaining the rules to me, but also thoroughly explaining exactly what happened on course when TDs came to check on rider questions.  When I commented on how amazed I was that the judges could remember everything, Randy said it best, “This isn’t our first rodeo.” How LUCKY we are to have the years of experience all our volunteers bring to the table.
Thank you Kelly, Riley, and Karen!
We had volunteers from right down the street and groups that traveled up to two hours to come and help us.  We had volunteers who were going to use their free schoolings and those who no longer rode.  We had volunteers who hiked and biked the trails of Fair Hill and enjoyed helping us because they were former riders and wanted to support all the activities at the park.  We had volunteers who brought their amazing dogs and those who knew how to set up a virtual tail gating area for the day in the bed of their trucks.  I found out we even have a vet who is a wonderful photographer and chef!

Thank you Toby the dog, Holly, and her mom Lisa!

So…how many volunteers does it take to run a CIC***, CIC**, CIC*, A, I, P, and T horse trial?Well, counting Bodgie only once (though we all know she does the work of 10 volunteers!) I personally talked with 107 volunteers.  Now, unfortunately, I am sure I missed a few folks either during set-up or over the course of the weekend, so let’s pick 110 as a nice round number.  

The winner of our raffle (selected by my impartial, non-horsey, but very supportive husband), and winning a Sunday Supper for two at the Fair Hill Inn, is Bri Beiler. Thank you to all of our fabulous, wonderful, hardworking volunteers.  Fair Hill is the special place it is because of all of you.  

Fence Judge briefing with Sally Ike.  Thank you, fence judges!

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