Happy Spring campers – well with the sun shining so brightly outside, you’d be forgiven for thinking Spring has sprung early. How was everyone’s winter?
My winter has been spent busily trying to get through a mountain of jobs before the eventing season kicks off. And with days left before this deadline, I am proud to say that all bar a few have been completed, so I can reward myself with getting out volunteering!
It’s becoming a winter milestone, when the email alert beeps and its an email from the Buntines’ to saying dust off the eventing gear people and they invite us all to the fence judge training session.
Off we are ventured to a quaint village hall in deepest Nottinghamshire countryside, complete with local hunt meet going on down the road. A cuppa and a few minutes to meet fellow volunteers, wish each other happy new season and catch up on the winter’s news (and gossip) then its eyes down for the business at hand.
If 2018 gave us the ’50 penalties’ 2019 will be giving us a headache! BE rule definitions have been clarified and things on that score do look clearer. FEI international classes do look a bit of a head scratcher at first glance. Whilst the beleaguered fifty is now a friendlier 15 for ‘missing a flag’ there appears to be a murky grey area lurking in the middle that is going to require fence judges to be on the ball, with a decision needed about which side of the flag was the majority of horse and rider – I think my tablet will be coming out with me to do some back up filming. Stuart thankfully confirmed that all Bede events will have ‘official’ filming in place to call upon for decisions.
The other big topic was data – with the arrival at BE of the brilliant Equiratings system to help make our sport as safe as it can be, correct and accurate data is a must. I for one take the completing of records with accurate data the most important job of a fence judges day. It was amazing to run through the stats we already have on safety and I for one look forward to playing a small part in helping that initiative.
A hearty lunch of homemade soup and then, what all fence judges have been waiting all winter for….. out came the cake!
It was great to see all the gang and all systems go for Belton International at the end of March for the first outing of Monteberry and the FJ gang. There are rumours that a Gin Den and Street Food Festival will be heading to Belton – if you aren’t volunteering anywhere that weekend, jump on the Bede website and get your tickets booked, a great family day out.
For those who fancy giving volunteering a go, British eventing still have some training courses running and/or give your local event an email or call and just volunteer yourself. They will welcome you with open arms and there’s bound to be cake involved so what are you waiting for?!
See you all out on course!