Image Map

What I Did On Saturday

Monday, 12 March 2012

I ticked one of the things off my "Want to do in 2012" list and went to Somerford Park for a thoroughly horsey day out. We were volunteering at a British Eventing competition for the very first time and to say I was nervous was putting it mildly, despite having been on a great training course in February. I haven't really ridden since uni and even back then I never had the competitive spirit for this level. We do spectate a fair amount and it's always a fab day out, but this was a different task altogether. Everyone was lovely though. Anywhere where you're greeted with a big smile and a tray of bacon butties is officially in my good books.

View from one side of the car

View from the other side

So basically, when you fence judge you arm yourself with all the above equipment. If it's cold, you sit in the car. If it's sunny (which it wasn't) you sit outside and get a tan. Every time a horse comes past you blow the whistle to alert spectators, click the stopwatch to get a time, fill in the scoresheet to say if it's gone clear or had any penalties, radio through to Control to let them know and then breathe and watch for the next one. They were coming every 90 seconds or so at one stage so it was a busy old day! Excellent fun though and absolutely no chance to get bored.

Obviously, a picnic is a must. Homemade leek and potato soup from a flask, nom. We would have been splendidly fed by the organisers had it not been for all our various allergies. Honestly, we're a pain to feed - it's much easier to bring our own!

Most importantly, no-one fell off at our fences. Hurrah! We had some refusals but practically everyone went clear so it was a jolly nice introduction to the volunteering role. Here's a cheeky photo of someone jumping the house rather beautifully.

It's also an excellent opportunity to play "Horse I'd Most Like To Take Home". My winner was an incredibly sweet little pony called Mocha (not the one in the photo above, although that was pretty nice too). So, so cute!

Apologies gang, but I only took this one photo featuring me (there were competitors out walking the course and I got very bashful) and my face looks the most monumentally grim it has ever looked. EVER. No idea why - I was having a great day! Anyway, admire my wellies and posh coat, for they both rock.


  1. Looks like a fabulous day Alex! x

  2. Sounds like a great day out and I bet the leek and potato soup was delicious. :)

  3. Alex, that sounds utterly fantastic! Will you be doing much more of it?
    I grew up on a stud and really miss being around horses.

  4. How exciting to be stewarding at a jumping event! I love horses and horse-riding though it's only something I get to partake in very, very occasionally though I have friends who compete in international competitions and the like so I know how much of a stressful and time consuming hobby it can be, especially at a high level. I do think horses are one of the most beautiful animals.

  5. Wow Alex, looks like you had a great time. My youngest would have loved it.

    X x

  6. major envy here!!! Oh it looks like you had a cracking jump. Did you get given flags? I was always freaked out by the thought of having to remember what they were all meant for. The packed lunches are ace but homemade soup must come up trumps.

  7. I would love to have a go at this! I have been out of the horsey-loop for such a long time but I used to love watching the eventing. Looks like you had a great time!

  8. What a fun way to spend a Sunday. I've tried riding a couple of times but failed to get the hang of it, the horse always seemed to sense that I had no clue what was going on! Such beautiful animals, sounds like you had a great day, soup included.
    Great wellies btw :)

  9. Sounds fantastic, I miss riding so much. Was only little gymkhanas I entered in, but I loved jumping!

    ***To those I follow and who follow me - is my blog appearing on your dashboard? Blogger appears to be losing some blogs I follow!**

  10. What a wonderful way to while away a day! Glad you were on a 'safe' jump; all the ghastly accidents at Cheltenham this week, just terrible.
    Z xx

  11. I sometimes wish I hadn't been forced to give up riding lessons when I was little.
    This looks like much fun - mum and dad went and did a similar job last year at the three castles classic car rally in north wales and were at a checkpoint on the orme, which they said was good but a bit dull as it was a while between cars at some point.


I'm easily pleased - a simple comment will cheer me up no end. So do drop me a line below...

Sorry to readers who prefer to comment anonymously but I am getting clobbered with spam at the moment so have had to disable anon comments. Feel free to get in touch with me in another way!