With a relaxed Easter now feeling like a dim and distant memory, it is full steam ahead to the first of Millbry Hill Richmond’s British Eventing Horse Trials. The team are hoping that the stress, long hours and hard graft might shift a few pounds put on with the over indulgence of too many Easter eggs!!
The team behind the horse trials is small but perfectly formed! Everyone has their roles and expectations with the previous months work coming in fits and starts depending of the different responsibilities. However, it is all hands on deck for the next two weeks with the aim of putting on a truly spectacular event.
The course designing and building team headed up by Jamie Innes (designer) and Moray Nicholson (builder) lose any sense of normal working hours the for next two weeks. British Eventing’s team of stewards have worked the course and made recommendations. The jumps are all out in place and have been painted and had a spring clean. There are lots of new things to look forward to at the event, including a new bank complex which was originally worked on last autumn before being completed around four weeks ago. The fences will start to be dressed and will incorporate some of the sponsor’s wares. This is always tricky fitting expectations from both sponsors and the health and safety team at British Eventing!!!
The horse trials office is starting to become a real hive of activity. The amount of deliveries including stationery, sponsors banners and literature to be placed around the event, catering equipment etc means the small offices sometimes become standing room only! The horse trials is ran on a working farm and equestrian centre so the team need to ensure nobody’s businesses are disrupted and people can still go about their day to day lives.
The programme is starting to be pulled together with course maps, sponsors adverts, rules and regulations and the dressage tests forming the main body of the programme. The rider lists and timetable are the last things to arrive and these won’t be made available until the early part of next week meaning we have to have a print team behind us that we completely trust. It’s been interesting to see some events lose the traditional programme in favour of digital programmes or indeed no programme at all which has been met with varying degrees of like and dislike.
Until you have been part of the team putting on an event like the horse trials you never fully appreciate the time and effort that goes in. The logistics of it all can sometimes be very scary – from working out access to the site for both road and air ambulances to what happens if there is a horse fatality. Conversations like this put everything into perspective and make you realise the importance of getting everything right and every eventually covered.
With less than two weeks to go the sleepless nights have started. And it is perhaps apt that our latest sponsor to come on board is a wine retailer…
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