Volunteering at a BE event can take many shapes, from being on the organising committee to fence judging and dressage writing. Every job you do as a volunteer is vital and contributes to the sport and its enjoyment. Some roles require more training than others. Why not try out different roles to see which you enjoy the most, meet new people and stay close to the sport.
Fence judging is usually done in pairs and involves manning a fence, filling out a cross country faults report, making people aware that a horse is approaching and communicating with control. The BE technical adviser and steward will give you a thorough briefing in the morning and let you know of any stopping procedures and things to watch out for. Fence judging is a great way to see eventing up close in some beautiful surroundings and you will be provided with a packed lunch to keep you well fuelled throughout the day.
Dressage, show jumping and cross country stewards are needed for the smooth running of the competition. The dressage steward keeps the order of competitors running at the correct times and also points riders in the direction of their arena. There may be two or three stewards working alongside each other. A show jumping steward does a similar job but often keeps a blackboard for competitors to put their number down so they run in order. A steward will let competitors know of scheduled breaks and course walks.
The role of a crossing steward is vital in terms of the safety of horses, competitors and spectators. Crossing stewards allow competitors to cross the course safely in between horses. It is a great role for seeing horses out on the cross country course.
Scores get collected from cross country fence judges as well as dressage and show jumping stewards. Cross country score collectors tend to be people on two- or four-wheel motorbikes or people from the local Pony Club or Hunt on their own horse or pony.
A dressage writer will sit with the dressage judge in their car or cabin and write down the comments and marks that the judge gives. A basic understanding of dressage is useful as some terms specific to the discipline may be used. A dressage judge will normally only judge one section in a class but this can still take most of a day to finish. Dressage writing is a great way to learn more and gain an understanding of what judges are looking for, as well as a great way to watch the start of the competition.
The entries secretary manages the entries as they come in and liaises with the organiser. If an event is over-subscribed they will ballot the entries according to BE Rules. They will be in the secretary's tent on event to give out numbers, take start fees and answer any questions.
Cross country start team
The start and finish team consist of a chief time keeper, start time keeper, finish time keeper, recorder and one or more collecting ring stewards. The starter must count down the competitors and start the clock while communicating with the controller and commentator.
Scorers collate and calculate all the scores and then provide information to a chief scorer who will put the scores onto a computer for the final results. A scoreboard writer will then put up all the results for everyone to see. All results need final validation by BE HQ before the results are final.
A BE controller controls what happens on the cross country course and communicates constantly with the fence judges, start and finishers, emergency services and the BE steward and TA. In case of an emergency, control stops the course, deploys the emergency services and communicates any actions needed together with the steward and TA. A controller often commentates on what is happening on the cross country course so a clear, confident voice and cool head is required for this role.
Become a volunteer
To become a registered volunteer, you simply need to sign up as an associate member of British Eventing. This will enable us to send you relevant communications and opportunities.
There are a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the season at a range of venues.
If you have a question about becoming a volunteer and would like to find out more, please contact our Volunteer and Series Coordinator at email@example.com