Mattingley - a volunteers report

Rana

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A long and busy weekend at Mattingley for me!

Started early on the Saturday - you wouldn't believe how long it can take 2 people and 1 small dog to get out of the house :D. But we were off eventually and popped over to sort my horse out before heading down to Mattingley. Luckily one of our most local events, so not too much of an early start :)

Arrived early for bacon rolls and met up with some of the other regular fence judges in the briefing tent. The usual briefing, extended a bit as there were some new FJ's there. Poppy Puppy made a friend in Bramble the terrier and they had a play fight under the table, so Pops was taken outside and peace was restored :eek:

Off to our fence, the log on top of a bank for the BE100. We were also a stop fence, so had a radio and made sure our flags were all in order. Made our way onto the course, feeling very grateful that OH had fixed the 4x4 as it was quite a trek out to the far side of the course :D Got ourselves all set up, found a timing point, and settled in for the day. A quick radio check and the XC course had a green light.

Nothing eventful during the BE100, except that Thistle and her daughter, and Aregona, all stopped to say hello - lovely to meet you all! :)

Then it was time to move down the course slightly, for the BE80. A lovely simple fence, but a slightly tricky approach as it was off a narrow track, after a fence with an alternative - those taking the alternative looked as if they missed the previous fence, so a couple of tricky moments when we weren't sure if they were coming to us or not! Had to be on the ball at this one.

Sadly, there was then a nasty fall in the SJ warm up, and the course was held while all doctors and paramedics helped the poor girl who had come off. I do hope she'll make a quick recovery (have posted in the other thread to send my best wishes).

Meantime, the XC steward drove round the course to check we could all stay late as they were hoping to get all competitors round. Fortunately all FJ's were able to stay, and I believe everyone was allowed to run XC.

No drama's in the BE80, a couple of refusals, and a lost shoe which took us 15minutes to find even though we'd seen it fly off! The competitor was more worried about the shoe than she was about having had a stop. One girl came trotting towards us, closely followed by a faster horse, so we let her know and she kindly stepped to one side to let the next one through. Had to stop one horse as there was a fall later in the course (nothing major, they just needed a minute to get the rider and horse reunited). Fortunately it went smoothly and we got the times right! Had a few come through close together, so a quick call over the radio to let the next fences know they had 2 coming quickly.

And finally it was 7.30 and it was back to the briefing tent for a much needed Pimms! We eventually got home at 8.30, having left home at 6.45am. A long day, but we'd have stayed for longer if it meant everyone could get round safely. Everyone was very friendly, several competitors said thank you as they walked the course, and nearly everyone had a smile and a hello :) We were well looked after with a good lunch, soup and sausage rolls in the morning, and cake in the afternoon. Poppy now recognises Margaret's distinctive white Landrover and knows that treats are coming (Margaret is lovely and brings dog treats with her on the tea run :D )

Then it was back on Sunday. I roped OH into sorting out my horse on Sunday morning, so managed to stay in bed til 6.30, before heading down to Mattingley to help in the start from 9am.

It was my first time in the Start, and I was the starting timekeeper (you have the Starter who counts down, then the start timekeeper who notes the number/description/time, the finish timekeeper who notes the finish time/time taken/penalties, and the "back up" timekeeper who does everything and double checks the adding up!). It was really interesting to see how it ran, and to see the XC from a different perspective.

There were a couple of holds on course - I think after Saturday's accident, everyone was being ultra cautious and calling for medics for any fall where the rider didn't just land on their feet. Definitely better to be safe than sorry! And another one when the radios broke and control couldn't hear the fence judges properly! We caught up though, and by the end of the day, we were 15-20 mins ahead. Thank you to all who went before their time and kept us running smoothly!

Not a late finish, and I was home by 6, for a nice relaxing evening of falling asleep on the sofa.

Mattingley is such a lovely event - for competitors, spectators, and volunteers. It is a real shame that it was the last ever event there, and I do hope it may be resurrected in the future. We feel very privileged to have helped there, and the commemorative paperweights we were given are a lovely memento of the event.

Hartpury next. We're there both days so camping overnight. I'm not sure how I feel about camping :rolleyes: , I like my creature comforts too much :D I'm sure I'll cope though!
 
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Booboos

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It's amazing how many volunteers are needed to run these events so smoothly and what a long day it is for the poor volunteers! Good on you for doing it two days in a row!!!!!!!!!!!
 

whizzica

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7 July 2009
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A lovely report - and well done and thank you to yourselves and all the other volunteers - I was there for the BE100 with my daughter and we had a fantastic time, lovely people and well run event xx:D
 

SW66

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Great Report, always nice to hear about an event from a different perspective. :)

I have volunteered at a couple of events this year in the scorers tent & found it very interesting. :)
 

Haniki

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Nice to hear a competition report from a helper's point of view! I help at quite a few BE events in the SW as my friend is a BE x-country starter. I have helped in scoring, fence judged and helped at x-country start (timing, radio etc.). I much prefer the x-country start.
 

Rana

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Thanks all. Unfortunately Mattingley no longer have a new venue - Wellington can't take it over now :( So it was the last ever. Not sure on the reasons but I think it was financial.

EL - yep, I sure am! In fact, just posted a mini-report on there this morning :)
 

Jul

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Lovely report, thank you, and thanks again for giving up all that time to help.
I didn't realise that Wellington are now not taking it over. So it really was the last ever, for the time being at least. I'm glad I decided to take both my horses then (although a bit exhausted today!)

I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to say hello as I walked the courses on Friday. You will have seen me sail past on Saturday but I doubt you'd remember us - grey horse with rider probably saying 'GOOD GIRL!!' as she jumped the log on the bank, then definitely yelling 'STEADY!!!!!' as we approached the sunken road! Also think I managed a 'YAY!' as we jumped 'that' duck but probably out of earshot by then (or maybe not, with my voice!)

On Sunday, the starter called my number out to you guys in the box and I said 'That's me!' He said 'I was just telling them who you are' to which I replied 'I know!'. I did wave and smile to the people in the box, but again I was one of many you saw and was on a bay so doubt you'll remember me from then either!

Glad you had such a lovely weekend, we did too :D
 
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Thank you to all of those who volunteered this weekend. As a rider I had a wonderful day and it's down to all you guys who take the time to help out. I love volunteering, and just wish we had some events closer to us so I could help out more often. My wobbly baby made it round clear, abeit, very very slowly, but I was delighted with him. How everyone coped in such difficult circumstances was just amazing and an absolute credit to British Eventing and the organisers of Mattingley. Thanks guys! xx
 

Rana

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Jul - yes, I do remember you chatting away to your horse as you came past on Saturday! I think Glenn reported you as "Clear fence 13 having a conversation with her horse". Have to confess I was a little overwhelmed in the start as it was my first time helping there, so I was concentrating so hard on getting everything right that I barely noticed the riders!

Thistle - Sat was a bit of a marathon! Well worth it though, to make sure everyone stayed safe after that horrible incident. Please feel free to steal Poppy, she can shred your bathroom carpet instead :D Just kidding, I love her to bits really...

Hannah - what a lovely message. If you don't mind, could I copy and paste it to the organisers? Everyone was getting very emotional yesterday and they'd love to read feedback like that.
 

Rana

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Jul - teehee, I think most of the FJ's reported back the same. It's actually really nice to see riders who chat to their horses on the way round. It gives us a bit of a chuckle and if it helps you and the horse get round, it's all good :)

Thanks Hannah, will drop them an email now x
 

aregona

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It was great to meet you on saturday, big thanks to you any everyone else involve for giving up your time.
Poppy is amazing, lovely little dog :)

any ideas how the girl who had the accident is??? just wondering as im guessing your not too far away and may have some inside info????

thanks once again, hope to see you again x
 

Rana

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Good to meet you too :) Glad you got such good placings! I won't tell Pops you said that, her head is big enough as it is. She's going to need her own FB page soon.

No news, I think Thistle's thread is probably the most up to date, and much the same as the horse ambulance lady told me. I have emailed the XC steward to ask though, so she might have some news. Apparently they won't necessarily find out, unless the parents specifically contact them/BE to let them know. I do hope she's ok, keep thinking about her.

If you're at an event within about an hour and a half of Reading, we'll probably be there. Trying to think which ones we're doing that are kind of out your way. I think Dauntsey might be the closest??
 

Thistle

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Rana, the entries sec will have a contact email for the injured girl. Do you think you could copy/link to this thread and ask them to pass it on with all our get well wishes.
 

Rana

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That's a great idea Thistle, I'll pass the details onto her.

Aregona - great, not sure which day we'll be there, I said we could do either one but haven't heard back yet, so may well see you there x
 
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