We Love Volunteers: Carolina Horse Park

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. We'll kick it off this week with some volunteer stories from Carolina Horse Park. This week, Margaret Crevar sent in some great stories surrounding the long-time volunteers at the Carolina Horse Park. Do you have a volunteer story you'd like to share? Send it to [email protected].

Pat Gibson and Vicki Reynolds at Carolina Horse Park. Photo courtesy of High Time Photography. Pat Gibson and Vicki Reynolds at Carolina Horse Park. Photo courtesy of High Time Photography.

From Margaret:

Let me tell you about a few very important volunteers from the Carolina Horse Park.

Pat Gibson: Pat is the Volunteer Coordinator for all the recognized Horse Trials (four each year), unrecognized Starter Horse Trials (six each year) and Pipe Opener Combined Tests (two each year).  She recruits all the volunteers, makes sure they get the jobs they want, work with their “conflicts”, and even fills in for slots that she cannot get filled.

Without her, Carolina Horse Park would not be able to run these events because, as you know, these events don’t happen without volunteers.

Now for a few stories. Earlier this month, Carolina Horse Park had a Starter H.T. where they offered Beginner Novice through Training (on the same courses as their earlier recognized HT), but they added Maiden and Green as Grass divisions.  The two stories I have are from volunteers who helped with these lower divisions:

Vicki Reynolds was the jump judge at the large water jump.  With the lower divisions, there were several horses who did not want to go through the water. She allowed the riders to try to get them through the water until they were eliminated due to refusals.

Instead of telling them to leave the jump, she got up and helped the riders get their horses through the water. This extra effort on her part made the unexpected end to a cross country ride a very happy experience for these competitors who are new to eventing.

There was also a Technical Delegate who requested not to be named. Towards the end of the day we had a long time volunteer who was doing her very first Horse Trial. She was very, very nervous. She got around her stadium course in a very slow manner and then headed out to cross country.

This particular TD saw that she was nervous and was going to be slow, so he followed her in his golf cart so that he could pull her to the side as other riders passed her. This extra support for this competitor meant the world to her and she came off the course with a grin the size of Texas.

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