Saying Thank You

Grounds crew members keeping a show jump course safe. Photo by Samantha Clark. Grounds crew members keeping a show jump course safe. Photo by Samantha Clark.

It is easy to become wrapped up in competition. Whether you are a spectator, a parent, a friend, a hapless significant other, or a rider, the charged atmosphere at an event is unmatched. The hustle and bustle of the stabling area, the warm-ups that require precise steering and a lack of claustrophobia, and the adrenaline rush as you come out of the start box are all contributing factors that make eventing one of the best sports around. Let’s take a few moments, though, and raise a toast to all of those working tirelessly to make that atmosphere happen. I’m looking at you: the organizers, officials, judges, volunteers, sponsors, and everyone else who makes this sport so amazing.

I know I have a biased opinion, but I am constantly amazed at the amount of times I hear “thank you” or see a smile on the face of a jump judge who has been manning the Beginner Novice coop all day. In my travel to cover multiple events, I have yet to meet an organizer or staff member who was not welcoming and accommodating. So this is my way of saying thank you to each and every one of you who dedicate hours of your life for weekend after weekend of competition.

Can you imagine the amount of time it takes to schedule hundreds of ride times over the course of a weekend? Or how sharp the person who coordinates the jump judges must be; that is a lot of people to manage in multiple places at once! How about the foresight it takes to order enough refreshments to stock the concession stand, or the power of persuasion required to bring sponsors on board?

It is a job that this sport truly relies upon. Without these tireless individuals, our sport would not have a foundation on which to stand. So, next time you are at an event, make sure to give a big EN thank you (and maybe a high five – chinchillas love high fives) to the people who literally give us something to ride for.

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