First time Fence Judging
A couple of weeks ago, I was excited to spend my first day Fence Judging with my also trained up mother as my partner in crime for the day.
Our first fence judging experience was at Aston Le Walls BE 100 class on Saturday 2nd March.
I will admit I was nervous at the prospect of my first time fence judging and the night before was spent frantically reading over the BE rules and guidelines.
The morning of the event was a fairly early one, we arrived fresh and ready at 8.30 am and made our way to the fence judging meeting point, where we were greeted by highly experienced fence judges Jan and Tony Humphries who informed us our assigned fence (5 - Pheasant Feeder) and also allayed our slight nerves as first time fence judges.
Following a coffee and morning briefing, myself and my mum made our way to the fence, we fortunately had received great directions from Jan and were soon parked up.
Our first job was to inspect the fence, which was a highly inviting Pheasant Feeder and then we eyed our marker for the day (which provided my mum on stopwatch duty a mark for recording time as a competitor reached the fence).
Following this, Jan and Tony checked in on us to make sure we were happy with everything prior to the competition start and we set ourselves into a comfortable position to await the first horse and rider combination.
Soon we were in the midst of judging and all our initial nerves had come and gone.
I found myself able to communicate confidently on the radio to XC control and the other XC fence judges.
Our fence was an inviting one, and we had no problems throughout the day, apart from one (unfortunate) refusal.
It was surprising just how many horses we saw throughout the course of the day (we have calculated over 200) and over 20 score sheets were collected by a gentleman on a quad bike, who had perfectly timed the collection as we were nearing the end of one page.
Coffee/Tea were provided throughout the day and we were provided with a wonderful packed lunch and also cake in the afternoon.
At the end of the day after nearly 8 hours judging, we made our way back to the meeting office, to hand back our radios etc and receive a choice of a schooling voucher or bottle of wine for our hard days work.
I went with the wine for my mum!
I cannot recommend fence judging enough, a fantastic day, brilliant to get to see exceptional horse and riders up close (including Sir Mark Todd, Oliver Townend and Harry Meade) as well as a real sense of community and being valued.
I cannot wait to fence judge again and will back at Aston on April 6th.