It's a well documented fact that it takes around 120 people to put on a day's competition at an affiliated event - but what do all these people do? The vast majority are volunteers - and at Skipton this includes the organisers, committee and catering team too. We are all people who love our sport with a passion and want to put something back for all the pleasure we get from competing and being involved ourselves.
What can I do?
Cross Country : Fence Judging. Every one of the 20 or so fences out on the cross country course needs a pair of judges - you'll be situated close to the fence in your car and as a pair you watch each horse through the fence taking a timing point and recording faults, the day starts with the briefing where an update on procedure and any rules changes are given (around 8.15am) and you'll be out on course until the final horse - around 6pm. You'll be well fed and watered and it's an interesting day all told. Don't worry if you're new to fence judging, there are some fences more straightforward than others - and our officials are on hand to help out.
Start Team : Our stalwart start team led by Mike Bain (The Bain's Babes) are an ever present feature at Skipton - but, being on the edge of their usual area there are generally opportunities for new members to join this diverse and entertaining team. The team are responsible for starting horses onto Cross Country, recording finish times and relaying results to control. It's a dynamic environment and there are opportunties to try out all the various aspects of the work the team does.
Catering Runs : A dedicated team is required to supply bacon butties, lunches, flasks and drinks to all the outlying areas - Cross country control, start, the dressage judges and stewards etc. It's an absorbing job starting around 8.30am and finishing around 2ish when the last lunches have been delivered.
The Tea Run : There are few more welcome sights to cross country fence judges than the approaching "tea wagon" - team of two (or more) required for this role, ideally with 4x4 but we can provide one. Tea runs start around 10.30 and complete c5.30 depending on the time of the last horse. Expect to do 3 or 4 circuits of the course with your welcome payload of tea, coffee, biscuits and cake.
Dressage Area. Stewarding: Dressage stewards are the lynchpin of timekeeping in the dressage area - checking riders have arrived in the working in and getting them to the correct arena, on time, is an essential role. You'll generally do a 5 hour stint and either have lunch afterwards in the marquee or during your class.
Writing for Judges : This is an excellent job for those interested in dressage or competing themselves - get an intimate look into how those points are awarded and what makes a 6 or an 8 ... our judges are vastly experienced and writing for them is a very enjoyable experience - lunch is provided.
Score collecting : The smooth running of the event requires the dressage scores to be efficiently collected from the judges and ferried back to the scorers for them to be totalled up and entered onto the scoreboards, this is a job for active people - expect to be on the go from around 8.15 until approximately 4pm - you'll be well fed and watered "on the hoof"!
Car & Lorry parking, Road duties : Skipton is a busy event with around 300 riders per day expected to compete and a busy spectator car park too. Supervising the lorry or car parks is an active and involved job which keeps you on your toes - it's an early start at 6am on the lorry park but the relaxed lunch in the marquee afterwards watching some showjumping with a glass of wine makes it all worthwhile! We have a road closure in force for the trials weekend and during busy periods operate a stop / go traffic control along the lane and in and out of the field - a self contained team is used for this job which runs from approximately 10.30am until 2.30pm each day. Radio use is part of all of these roles, no previous experience necessary.
Show Jumping.Collecting ring steward : In this role you're responsible for the smooth flow of riders into and out of the collecting ring - keeping a rider in the ring at all times where possible to ensure the event runs to time.
Score writer : Working alongside the judge your role is to record the scores of each competitor - you'll also act as a second pair of eyes alongside the judge.
All our volunteers are well looked after - well fed and watered with either a packed lunch, plated lunch or lunch in the marquee depending on timing and location, we are known for being a friendly event and we really value our volunteers - there will be a token of our appreciation at the end of the day (and usually a cheesboard too ....)
Interested? eMail : Volunteer@skiptonhorsetrials.co.uk for more details
Camping available on site FREE of charge for Skipton Horse Trials Volunteers
Help is always needed but if you can't assist over the weekend why not join us in the week before. There is always plenty to do from setting out arenas to painting fences.
Providing a premier setting for the ultimate equestrian challenge
Skipton Horse Trials