We Love Volunteers: Maryland Combined Training Association

Without the volunteers who tirelessly work each weekend to make an event run smoothly, our sport would not be much to speak of. These hard working individuals are the backbone of each and every event, and we want to share the stories of these volunteers in our new series. This week, Beth Collier sent in this great story about volunteering at Fair Hill. We would love to hear more! Do you have a volunteer story you'd like to share? Send it to [email protected]

Burt standing next to his saved flag. Photo from Beth Collier. Burt standing next to his saved flag. Photo from Beth Collier.

From Beth:

When I’ve competed in horse trials, there are always wonderful volunteers who make it a great day. So, I volunteer at events to make it a great day for someone else. Plus,  it’s a great way to learn all the rules. Here is one of my favorite stories:

Husband Burt and I were cross country jump judges for the Preliminary division at the Maryland Combined Training Association Horse Trials at Shawan Downs, north of Baltimore.

We had a big corner jump, although there was a non-corner option. Phillip Dutton came by and his horse whacked the corner flag and ran out. The flag was broken off and we didn’t have a hammer or nails or a twist-tie.

Phillip came to a screeching halt and almost fell off. He turned around and said, “Can you set up the flag?” I was thinking about how we didn’t have a way to easily fix it and the next horse will be coming in two minutes.

So, Burt tried to prop the flag up but it just tilted over. So, he stood there and held the flag for Phillip. The volunteer coordinator later asked me if I had taken a photo, and I said, “No, because I thought I was having either a stroke or a heart attack!” Burt said he only held the flag because of his faith in Phillip’s experience as a top rider!

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