I love Solihull for a few reasons, namely as this is where my volunteer fence judge journey started back in 2015 with the first fence judge training course I went to with the characterful Dave Thompson and then went onto my first ever fence judging day with them. It’s where I have met my long-suffering fence judge partner, and now life-long friend Andy and Catherine, their wonderful organiser extraordinaire and again, someone I now call a friend. Volunteering with BE really is a friendly, enjoyable thing to do.
Like most other BE venues, Solihull is a great place to start – friendly, welcoming and lots of fixtures to get your teeth into. Always well attended by plenty of riders and always a geat day of competition to watch.
Whilst sitting at our lovely fence in the afternoon sun, a couple came up with two young girls and they were very keen to ask questions (we genuinely love questions) they wanted to know why certain things were done, how the competitors were marked and how they won each class. They were inquisitive and keen to learn and hopefully (with lots of encouragement from us) will be joining us as fence judges in the near future.
It really is that easy – approach a local venue/fixture and speak to their volunteer coordinator, training is given, as is all the essential equipment you need and you even get cake, what could be better?!
So how did our day go? Well after a brief briefing from Mr Clissold, BE Technical Advisor and Bronwyn one of our lovely controllers, we made our way off into the countryside onwards towards our fence. Today’s fence was the lovely water complex here at Solihull – with a fence into the water, across the splash and then up a step to a cottage 3 or 4 strides after.
The purple wellibobs got a chance to paddle as we had to extract one unfortunate rider who unseated in the water, but apart from a few heart stopping climbs of the step we had a really enjoyable day of competition. Water combinations often provide added drama and an extra special day and I am grateful to Catherine & her team for this lovely combination today.
The cake, well Solihull did not disappoint as I knew they wouldn’t – a what can only be described as massive, iced currant bun with a cherry on the top, perfect with a cuppa by the water’s edge. With the sunshine it felt like we were at the seaside.
Now after taking a very exciting phone call, the next blog will be from a very special fixture, off to clean the wellibobs…..