THE BE VOLUNTEER – Pass the aftersun lotion!

Well this week the volunteering adventure rolled onto Weston Park – a stunning venue in Shropshire, made even more stunning glistening in the unseasonable April sunshine, summer come early perhaps?!

Weston 1 is a fab event, the Plant family always build a wonderful course with Novice, Intermediate and Advanced classes across the weekend – with Badders firmly on the horizon, we were treated to some top class competition.

Our home for the day was the Farm House Corner fence 15 on the intermediate track, a tricky little
corner on a related distance from fence 14 a big table.

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Now, where to position yourselves for a corner?

Well our simple answer is where you have a clear head-on view of the horse passing between the flags. As it happens following a run out and me swiftly asking the rider if they wanted the red flag repositioning before the all important final attempt number three, I ran over and put the red flag back IMG_6402up, and stood to the side of the fence, I was very interesting that my side-on view and my ever-suffering partner Andy’s view who remained in the head-on position was so different. Andy had the clear view, and unfortunately as the horse’s neck and shoulders & rider did not pass between the flags she rightly called a refusal. Which sadly for the rider meant a long walk back to the lorry park. But my side-on view appeared to give a false account of the rider passing over the corner – as I was side-on I couldn’t see how far over, or not far enough in this case, the horse and rider were.

With entry fees being what they are, prize money and ultimately in the interests of fair competition it is vital that fence judges are positioned correctly. I love my role, and have an amazing time but ultimately I want to make a fair, positive contribution to the sport I love every time.

The afternoon’s fence, number 17 for the advanced course, was a lovely inviting but very wide flower box, a lovely new addition built by the Plant’s over Winter. Deck chairs out and sun cream applied, we settled down for a great afternoon of sun, top class competitors and plenty of tea. 

One thing missing….. CAKE? Where was the cake????? In the officials tent for when we had finished the day’s judging. Whilst a lovely bit a cake, there is something about eating cake in the sunshine with the likes of Mr Nicholson flying past that makes it taste that bit better somehow. Is fence judging all about the cake…. of course it is.

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But all in all, a wonderful day spent in wonderful company watching the world’s best fly by, what could be better?!

Oh, that exciting email turned out to be a notification that my application to join the volunteering team in Stzrezgom had been successful! I’m off to the European Championships, eek that’s a bit exciting!

Right off to look at flights, learn some Polish and apply some more aftersun to my very red nose after allIMG_6405 that sun at Weston…..oh and taste test the lovely local produce goodies we got as thank you gifts from Vicky and Janet Plant.

See you at Solihull in a couple of weeks 🙂

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