Five things you can do to help Eventing thrive in your area

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Five things you can do to help Eventing thrive in your area

Everyone who partakes in the sport of Eventing does so because they love it. Competing horses is hard work and a major commitment, but we put in the hours without complaint. We know what we need to do in order to be prepared for the shows, and the feeling of winning your division makes up for all the late nights spent out in the barn. We don’t take our horses or our own fitness and training for granted because we know exactly how much effort goes into getting to that point; however what most event riders do take for granted is the shows we compete at. When was the last time you found yourself with spare time and decided to see if you could lend a hand and help the sport out? We competitors are the ones that want the shows, so why are so few of us involved in making them happen? Even a small effort goes a long way, so here are a few things you can do to pitch in!

1) Help set up for local shows. If you live within an hour of any event venue, you should be offering to come help leading up to competitions. Most of the time events end up with a few people working day in and day out to get ready for competitions. We wonder why event sites are shutting down, but most of the time organizers work extremely hard to put on a show they don’t even compete in, and lose money on. The more we can take the load off of organizers, the more willing they will be to continue running their Event. There is always an endless supply of tasks leading up to a show (painting jumps, flagging, preparing stalls, etc.), so try and set aside time to do your part (It’s more fun if you bring friends!).

2) Volunteer at shows. If you find yourself with some free time at an event, go to the office and ask if they need any help. Whether it be jump judges, or score runners, events are run by volunteers, so don’t just assume that everything is under control. Don’t turn a blind eye to the stressed out, understaffed show secretary trying to organize the entire event on their own – offer to pitch in. There are a lot of things throughout a show that just about anyone can help out with, such as picking up rails in show-jumping and setting up dressage rings.

 


 

3) Go to different shows. As creatures of habit, we tend to get stuck competing at the same venues year after year. This can make it really hard for new events or events that are more out of the way to field enough entries but also ends up limiting your exposure to different types of terrain and course design. Make a conscious effort to compete in at least one new show every year, and you might be surprised at how much fun it is meeting new people and running around a track you’ve never seen before!

4) Rally spectators for competitions. Eventing is an exciting sport, and I’m sure that your local family and friends would love to come for a day of sunshine and entertainment! Competitions are way more fun for everyone when there are a lot of people watching and cheering on the sidelines, so bring your friends and get out there watching!

5) Become an event organizer. I pretty much summed this one up earlier on with the whole “tonnes of work and little reward” thing, but if you really want to help out the sport this is the best way to do it. As stressful and tiring as it can be to run a competition, it is also a lot of fun, and very rewarding when it is running smoothly and the competitors are enjoying themselves. You do not need to be that knowledgeable in the sport, just organized and willing to collaborate with others. Eventing needs more venues, not only to allow current athletes more opportunities to compete, but also as a way to expose more people to our sport and attract new possible competitors.

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