Goring Heath - a volunteers report

Rana

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Well, at one point it looked in doubt that I would even get to Goring Heath to help out! In 1 week, we had - ill dog (vet), lame horse (vet), I poured a kettle of boiling water over myself (treating lame horse), dislocated my shoulder (treating lame horse), and sprained my ankle (walking slightly less ill dog), then ill dog again (vet).

But I made it! 2 very long days. Up at 5, off to muck out and poultice the aforementioned lame horse, before heading over to Goring Heath for 9.30 on Saturday, to help in the Start Box.

I was working with a fantastic team, had a lovely day, and quickly got into the swing of things. We were looked after very well with a delish lunch, and cake in the afternoon!

It was good to see some of the riders up close, so to speak. One poor lady looked green with nerves, but she went clear (if slowly) and finished with a great big smile on her face. One horse did finish lame, so the vet was called. It looked much better within a few steps, and the vet was going to re-check it in the lorry park, so I hope all was ok and it was just a little bruise/twist.

Many thanks to all riders who went before their time. We did finish 15 mins or so early, which is much appreciated on such a long day!

Had to dash off quickly so no pimms and BBQ for me :( Instead, I headed home to do my 2nd muck out and poultice routine of the day. Finally made it home by 8.45 *yawn*.

Up again at 5am on the Sunday, over to sort out the now stroppy horse, dragging sleepy husband and Poppy Puppy in tow. Got to Goring for 8.45, got a lovely breakfast before the briefing, then out to our fence for 9.45ish. We were on the trakehner, which was fairly straightforward in itself, but then 3 strides on a curve to a narrow triple brush (separately numbered). The fence judges on the brush are also regulars, so it was nice to have a chat with them beforehand and during holds.

Poppy had a great time running round (before the course was opened I hasten to add!), and as it happened, the pro photographer was on our fence so he took some snaps of her. We bought a couple:

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/photo.php?pid=535709&id=100000168674749&ref=fbx_album

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!...0168674749&ref=fbx_album&fbid=157580210924267

I think I'm ok posting these as we have bought the digital image. Just in case though, they were taken by Ultimate Images, who did a great job taking pics in the pouring rain! They were taken before Poppy managed to run through the stinging nettles, which involved a very swollen muzzle and OH taking her to the FJ's on the previous fence who we know, who had Piriton with them (their dog eats wasps). 1/4 tablet and 30 mins later, and she was right as rain.

Our fence jumped well for the most part - we had a few refusals, and someone trying to jump from a standstill (reported back on that!). One pony put its front feet into the ditch, but quickly hopped back out. It was a split second thing, so definitely not classed as a trapped horse. It jumped perfectly second time around. Another one slammed the brakes on a few strides out, then napped most of the way back to the previous fence! Great little rider though, she got it going again and jumped it brilliantly (this was in the pony section, so I'm not being patronising saying "little" or "pony"!).

There were a couple of nasty (paramedics required) falls, but I'm fairly certain everyone was ok, just bruised and sore.

Again, big thanks to everyone who went before their time, we finished 10 minutes early which gave us time to pop up and buy the pics of Poppy! It really is appreciated.

So dropped the kit off, back in the car, and off to muck out and poultice again! Eventually got home at 8.40, unpacked the car, quick bite to eat and off to bed ready to get up at 5am again on Monday.

Another busy weekend for us, but we were brilliantly well looked after, with a good lunch, plenty of tea runs (with extra biscuits!). Definitely an event to go back to, it put some of the larger events to shame.

Start Box at Blenheim next, then Purston Manor, Dauntsey and I think Tweseldown UA. Then a break for the winter and I can start planning next year!

(And for anyone who's wondering, both dog and horse have made full recoveries!)
 

FigJam

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Wow, busy weekend! Well done to you giving up so much precious time. I don't mind fence judging, but much prefer the start box stuff! :) You get quite good banter with riders/other start team members and the day seems to pass quicker. Glad all animals on the mend, hope you are too!
 

Saratoga

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9 January 2008
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I was there on Sunday :wavey:, big dark bay horse, bright turquoise XC colours, think i probably gave him a big pat after your fence and the triple brush!!
 

Rana

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Thanks Rach, we couldn't resist buying them! *Mental note, keep puppy away from all pro photographers*

FJ - I love doing the Start box stuff, but Poppy Puppy wouldn't cope well with it (too boring for her), and I do like taking her (and OH) with me. And I do like being out on the course seeing all the action too! I quite fancy a stint in Control actually, but no idea how you get into that. Most of me is mended, just my ankle is ouchy if I step badly on it. I'm sure I'll live!

Saratoga - I recognise those colours! Can't remember your number, but OH reported back as "123 clear 7 and 8 with lots of pats". How did you get on the rest of your round?
 

digger2

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Rana,

Love your reports from FJ/helper point of view, and of course many thanks, am trying to talk my oh into helping out, the hospitality interests him, but not early starts lol
 

Rana

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Berkshire
haha, which area are you in? I may be able to recommend a very well catered event to tempt him with!!

My OH wasn't at all convinced to start with, but he's got really into it now. He even made his first post on the BE Volunteers FB page yesterday :D
 

Saratoga

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Saratoga - I recognise those colours! Can't remember your number, but OH reported back as "123 clear 7 and 8 with lots of pats". How did you get on the rest of your round?
I made the grave mistake of taking off my gloves in the downpour and subsequently had absolutely no grip whatsoever!! He made up too much ground to the step up bounce hedge due to not much contact help from me so had a silly 20pens but i was chuffed with him as skinnies didn't used to be his strong point and there were certainly a few on the course!
 

Rana

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Berkshire
Ah, I can see how a lack of gloves would be a problem! Glad you had a good round, albeit with an annoying 20. There definitely were a few skinnies!
 
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