Still on cloud nine from Badders, the volunteer adventure rolled on to one of my favourite venues – the stunning Chatsworth. This sport really does take me to some special places.
Another 4.30am alarm, dedicated or stupid, your call? Still its no bother when you walk into the stables for the most stunning morning briefings.
Quick briefing undertaken, some awesome Lansdown socks selected thanks to the official clothing supplier at the event and off we toddle to our fence with toasty warm feet. (Other items of donated sponsors clothing can happily be worn!)
Now this week, myself and Andy were delighted to be joined by our lovely friend Carol. Carol is a wonderfully experienced and dedicated volunteer I am lucky to call my eventing friend, one of the many lovely folk I have met through this volunteering adventure.
Oh and we had a another new friend join the team this week – everyone meet Monteberry (see photos) He is part of the Willberry Wonderpony family, a wonderful and worthy charity.
Our Saturday home was the Equi-Trek Endeavour; a traditional coffin type fence that had an upright log on mims clips, with a sizeable ditch then onto a brush topped log skinny. All nicely completed by stunning views from the hillside down to the main arena (with a very nice bonus of seeing the ERM dressage arena) and parkland.
The event was very well attended, so there were lots of eventing folk and members of the public who had never seen a horse trials before. It was lovely to field so many inquisitive questions about how eventing works, how the scoring is done and why was I blowing my whistle so loudly – honestly no question should ever not be asked, ask away always happy to help at our fence.
Val and the team at Chatsworth offer a very warm welcome, I can not recommend volunteering here enough – Lemon drizzle, plenty of tea and even a personal thank you to my colleagues from the Duchess of Devonshire (I was off faffing with my camera at this point, opps!).
With ERM and BETV lurking at every corner, I had to keep checking no cake crumbs were visible and with a camera drone popping up behind you every so often that is easier said than done. It really is amazing what innovations are being embraced by Eventing, anything to enhance the sport and encourage a bigger audience can only be a good thing – even if it means I need to brush my hair and keep tidy. I should be getting royalties with the amount of newbies that I pointed in the direction of the ERM website and social media feeds, but its worth it to see more and more people enjoy this wonderful sport.
Monteberry & I are packing up the car ready for Rockingham, see you there…..