The sport of horse trials as a whole relies on the generosity of its volunteers. Although it is a cliché, it is absolutely the truth – events would not be able to run without them, and we are incredibly grateful for their enthusiasm. We are always happy to welcome new volunteers to our events. You do not need to have any experience and all necessary training will be given. We have a fantastic group of people who help at all our events, they create such camaraderie and everyone is so friendly, there really is a great feeling of being part of a team.
We are constantly in need of volunteers as there are a variety of roles available, these include:
• Fence judging
This job is usually done in pairs (sometimes even a team of three). However, if you are volunteering solo there is no reason you shouldn’t apply for the position of fence judge – we can always pair you up. Your day will start at the ‘Fence Judge Briefing’. This is led by the BE Technical Advisor and BE Steward who will show you the basics such as filling in score sheets and fall report forms, as well as explaining any relevant rules and stopping procedures.
You will be positioned on the cross country course around ½ an hour before the first horse is due to go cross country and, as the classes change, you may move to different fences. Your job is just what is says on the tin, judge how horses are jumping your cross country fence and allocate faults where relevant.
More information on how a competitor may receive faults on the cross country can be found on the ‘What is Eventing?’ page of our website. Fence judging is an excellent way of getting up close to the action whilst becoming an integral part of the smooth running of an event.
• Scoring team
The Scorers (up to four or five people with calculators in a quiet location) collate all the scores. They then provide the information to the Chief Scorer who puts it into the computer for the final results. Results are also inputted by the Live Scoring team and will automatically appear on our electronic scoreboards, as well as online. This role is suited to those who would rather stay out of the great British weather but still want to be involved in events.
• Live Scoring Team
As eventing has evolved, so has our technology. We now have ‘electronic score boards’ (basically, large TV screens) in the secretary’s tent. This is where all the scores will show up as and when they are collated. We need a dedicated team whose job is solely to use a very simple computer system to ‘input’ live scores as they are happening. Usually we would require one person to be in cross country Control, one in the Showjumping judges’ box and, if possible, one in the scorer’s area. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t very ‘techy’, the system is very simple, and training will be given on the day. Our Chief Live Scoring Advisor will also be on-hand to help you with anything.
• Cross country start and finish
There are usually up to six members in a Start and Finish team: a Chief Time Keeper, a Start Time Keeper, a Finish Time Keeper, a Recorder and one or more Collecting Ring Stewards. The Chief Time Keeper, or Starter, has a start clock to count the competitor down and set them on their way. There is communication via radio between this team and the Controller (and Commentator) as to who the next starter is, who has completed the course and what their provisional time and score is. This way Control can keep track of who has started and finished. The cross country start and finish team are key to keeping the event running efficiently and keeping competitors happy.
• Dressage stewarding and writing
This job is important as the Dressage starts the day off and so can affect the rest of the day if not started on time. The Dressage Steward generally keeps the order running to the scheduled times although there are moments when some flexibility is needed. Communication with competitors, other officials, dressage judges and your Chief Steward will be essential in this role. The Writer sits with the Dressage Judge in the car and writes down the comments and marks as the judge gives them. A plea from the riders will be for legible writing. Dressage Writers tend to be people who really enjoy Dressage, and in return you will learn an awful lot from the Judge’s viewpoint.
• Show jumping collecting ring steward
The Stewarding role is similar to the Dressage Steward but sometimes the running order can change. Most Stewards use a whiteboard where competitors can put their number down, so they run in order. There can be two or even three people to help manage this arena and keep things running smoothly. Breaks are scheduled in for competitor course walking and for changes to the course between classes. This role will require a confident person, with good organisational and people skills.
• Main arena party
In this role you will work alongside the course builder to maintain and adjust the show jumps during the competition. It may not be the most glamorous job at an event, but it is a very important one. As there are usually only one or two arenas running, and all competitors have to complete this phase before they go to the cross country, smooth running of the arenas is very important. You will be close to the action, the trade-stands and Secretary’s Tent.
If there is a role which isn’t listed here which you would like to learn more about please email email@example.com.
VOLUNTEER APPLICATION FORMS 2019
These can be completed online or downloaded and either emailed or posted to the office.
Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials (12th – 14th April 2019)
Whitfield Horse Trials (23rd & 24th April 2019)
Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International Horse Trials (23rd – 26th July2019)
Cholmondeley Castle Horse Trials (27th & 28th July 2019)
Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market Horse Trials (14th & 15th September 2019)
Please Note: Although there is no BE age limit for officials, anyone over 75 years will not be covered by the BE personal accident insurance policy. As cross country fence judges need to be able to move quickly in an emergency (both physically and mentally) we would prefer that there were at least two people under 76 years of age at each fence. However we would welcome older cross country judges to make up a trio.
The sport of eventing relies heavily on volunteers and without such people like yourself, the events would be impossible to run. As such as a small token of our appreciation we have introduced a number of new volunteer benefits.
Tri-Star Eventing Prize Draws
We hold volunteer prize draws; these take place daily and cumulate with one at the end of the whole event. Entries will then be stored and entered in a large prize draw at the end the season, where there will be a number of great prizes on offer. Please ensure that you pick up an entry slip from your head of department, i.e. chief steward and submit them to the secretary’s office before you leave.
Start Fee Vouchers
All volunteers will be entitled to a £15.00 start fee voucher for each day of volunteering at a Musketeer British Eventing Affiliated Event. These vouchers can be redeemed on any start fee at any Musketeer Event (Burnham Market, Whitfield, Houghton, Cholmondeley, Burnham Market (2)).
Please be aware that the following conditions apply to the vouchers:
- Vouchers must be claimed at the event you are volunteering at. They are available from the secretary. Unfortunately vouchers cannot be issued retrospectively.
- Vouchers are not transferable and can only be used by the person named on the voucher. The volunteer must be either the rider, owner or parent of the rider, in order to redeem.
- Please be aware that there is an expiry date on the voucher. We are unable to redeem expired vouchers.
- Only one voucher can be used per transaction.
Thank You Gifts
This year we also have a small thank you gift for each volunteer, which will be distributed via your head of department, i.e. chief steward.
Course Walk at Burghley Horse Trials
We will host a course walk at Burghley Horse Trials on Thursday 6th September 2019. Anyone who has volunteered at any of our 2019 events is welcome to join us.
TRI-STAR VOLUNTEER PRIZE DRAW 2018
The end of season Tri-Star Volunteer Prize Draw took place at Oasby Horse Trials on Sunday 14th October 2018. Congratulations to the winners:
Pat Haslam – Burgie Lodges Escape
Mary Heywood – Norfolk Retreat
Jan & Tony Humphries – Blair Camping & Membership
Sue Tomlinson – Stormtech Jacket
Philippa Brookins – Photoshoot with Nico Morgan; Janet Stevenson – Day out with the SN Hounds
The Haighs – Family day out at Chatsworth
Thank you to everyone who helped at a Tri-Star Event in the 2018 season, we hope to see you back out there next year!
Photo caption: MEM volunteers enjoying a course walk with Gary Parsonage at Land Rover Burghley 2018