Kindness is Free: Behind the Scenes as a Crimson Hills Volunteer
Following the announcement that the Retired Racehorse Venture‘s 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover and Nationwide Symposium, introduced by Thoroughbred Charities of America, shall be postponed to 2021, opponents have been working to determine what comes subsequent for them and their mounts. In her newest submit, Horse Nation RRP blogger Libby Henderson discusses volunteering at an occasion close to and expensive to her coronary heart: Crimson Hills Horse Trials. To learn the total submit (and to learn extra from Libby), go to its unique publication on Horse Nation.
Momentary stabling at Crimson Hills going up. Picture by Libby Henderson.
It’s Crimson Hills week! The second week in March might be the busiest I’m all 12 months. Crimson Hills Horse Trials (RHHT) is held this week in Tallahassee, and I’ve been a volunteer with the group for greater than 20 years. RHHT is an occasion held every year together with a novel partnership with the Metropolis of Tallahassee. We principally construct a small equine facility in a metropolis park in an area of about two weeks, and it’s a monumental enterprise.
Presently I’m co-chair of the Operations Assist Committee. It does precisely what you’d assume — we assist the whole operation. We often name ourselves the go-fer committee, as a result of no matter anybody wants, we go and get it! We cowl all the things from the golf cart rental and task to serving to to put the RVs used for places of work to creating indicators for posting round to operating to Dwelling Depot.
A few years in the past, I additionally acquired conned in some way into being the co-coordinator of all the Volunteers. I now know extra about Excel spreadsheets than a non-project supervisor ought to, and have been engaged on my folks expertise. Whereas I might by no means have chosen this as a job, as a result of it’s means too “peopley”, I’ve loved it — more often than not!
This 12 months has been particularly difficult, as we’re working with out spectators as a result of COVID-19 issues. Our occasion is second solely to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Occasion in variety of spectators that we usually have. Our quantity is round 22,000 those who come to see the occasion. This 12 months, we’re operating with out the spectators, with out the revenue from the gate and with the added requirement that we should bodily examine each volunteer to make sure that nobody has a fever and that everybody has signed two releases. Organising the infrastructure to watch 500-600 volunteers is at all times robust. We’re going to have nearer to 300 this 12 months, and simply arising with a approach to observe all these folks is sufficient to make somebody loopy!
Cross Nation Soar Decide co-chair Mark Daugherty and Magnus, my Scottie, who’s the official “Mas-Scottie” of RHHT. Picture by Libby Henderson.
As well as, we didn’t get the all clear to run the occasion this 12 months till six weeks in the past. We start to plan the following 12 months’s occasion on the Monday after the final horse has left the park, however over this final 12 months, planning was unattainable as a result of we didn’t know if we may maintain the occasion. So we’re packing six strong months of labor into six weeks this 12 months!
These of us who’ve been doing this for some time really feel it’s value it, although. We’ve constructed a household whereby we’ve seen volunteers’ youngsters develop up, get married, and have youngsters of their very own. We’ve had one marriage between volunteers that met whereas working at Crimson Hills, and we’ve constructed long-lasting relationships with buddies which have turn out to be household. Some days, the place you get up at 5 a.m. to enter knowledge into spreadsheets, feed your individual horses and canine, go to your full time job, depart early to fulfill the farrier, rush off to a different volunteer assembly you may’t miss, and the come residence to work on volunteer spreadsheets till after midnight — these days are robust.
The Retired Racehorse Venture’s Thoroughbred Makeover is an enormous present that’s put along with the help of lots of volunteers. It’ll run, greater than seemingly, whereas nonetheless below COVID-19 precautions (fingers crossed that lots of us are vaccinated by that time!). Protecting all the main points corralled and managing so many horses on the Mega-Makeover shall be exhausting and require additional volunteers. Should you may also help out in October for that present, please volunteer. For that matter, please think about volunteering for any horse present that you simply respect and wish to see proceed.
And be variety to your horse present volunteers. If any of the horse sports activities needed to pay everybody concerned, we’d all get priced out of competing. Within the phrases of a buddy of mine “Kindness is free, give it to everybody” — that may be a good motto at all times, however particularly to embattled horse present volunteers who’ve given up on sleep, with the intention to have a beautiful time displaying your horses!
Picture courtesy of Libby Henderson.
Libby Henderson is an lawyer, and the proprietor/creator of Larger Requirements Leather-based Care. She and her husband, Dennis, reside and on her great-great-grandparents farm in a tiny city in North Florida, together with her 5 horses and three terriers. She has been a lover of all issues horse since she was sufficiently old to learn all of the Marguerite Henry books, however got here to eventing solely as an grownup. She’s taken a little bit of a break from displaying, however at the moment describes herself as a Rubenesque, center aged, aspiring sub-beginner novice rider. She lately added a brand new OTTB to the household, who, after a 12 months off at what her husband calls their “residence for aged equines with points,” has obtained an all-clear to return to work and shall be heading to the Retired Racehorse Venture’s Thoroughbred Makeover. When not driving, (or feeling responsible about not driving), she is a passionate volunteer for Crimson Hills Horse Trials in Tallahassee, dabbles in native politics as a member of the native City Council, and reads far too many books.
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