Less talk MORE ACTION
Our show jumping columnist CLAIRE WILSON shares news and gossip
Ithought I would open with a little piece of personal history. I found my old school report from 1992 and it talks a lot about me being ‘determined and forthright’. And looking back now, I can see that these same characteristics have got me into the bad books with some of the elite. So I do admit, I am not afraid to question those in perceived power! But don’t take it personally, I have been standing up for what I believe in for a fair few years and I’m not going to stop now!
I bet you are wondering what my latest crusade is. Well, I’ve heard far too many stories where the frontline workers at a show are getting abused by riders. Many of these volunteers are simply trying to deliver the best service possible and (more often than not) with very little thanks. So I am going to start out showing some appreciation to some of our valuable volunteers!
At the AON Premier Show held at Woodhill, my spies saw Paula Mussen and Nicola Smith out in the ring, picking up lots of rails! Yes, even riders can spend time helping out as ground crew, in between their classes.
Youngsters Jess Schnell and Tessa Waldin have been spotted doing random acts of kindness at the recent shows. And this just proves that you don’t have to be an adult to be a kind volunteer!
At Dannevirke, single, young course designer Marcus Rose did a good job of his courses in ring three. And observers noticed that there were lots of young females there to help him adjust the courses. Employing good-looking course builders; could this be a cunning plan to recruit more volunteers?
One noticeable volunteer at the Masterton A&P was Trevor Pearce, who even with a broken arm, was helping to change courses all weekend! Desiree Foxley is another injured rider who has put herself to good use, supporting riders and contributing as a call-up steward.
Riding With The Stars, held at Hamilton’s Claudelands Arena, successfully showcased our sport to the wider public. There was a huge crew to thank, but Chris and Helen Hansen along with Roger Jefferd were a few individuals who donated their time to help stage this feature event.
Much of the workload for the show jumping department of the Horse of the Year Show fell on the Hawke’s Bay area committee. I believe that this group of hard-working volunteers put in weeks of