Volunteering at a horse trial is a fun and rewarding way to get involved with the sport! No experience is required for most volunteer positions. There is a cross country training session each morning before the competition begins which will help our jump judge volunteers understand their jobs, and there are staff members to help all volunteers with questions and other things they need to know to have a fun and enjoyable day. Examples of jobs for volunteers include: cross country fence judge, dressage scribe, stadium jump crew, score runner, and hospitality. Read more below for all the perks!
THE PERKS: Spend your day in a beautiful setting watching amazing animals and excellent horsemanship! Our volunteers are honored and appreciated!
You will be greeted with breakfast when you arrive to get your assignment, along with your volunteer logo wear. While working the horse trial as a scribe, runner, in hospitality, as a parking technician, safety coordinator, shuttle driver, fence judging...you will be treated to lunch and beverages. To thank our wonderful volunteers, when the day is over and the scores are in, we would like to join everybody together for a party to end the day. And don't forget to pick up your cross country schooling pass before you head home!
Thank you, thank you to anyone who helps out at our events!!! Our volunteers will also be eligible to participate in Volunteer Only schooling days at the farm.
All volunteers will receive instructions or training for their positions. Please arrive promptly at the requested time so that you have the opportunity to ask questions and become confident of your role. Thank you for offering your time and energy!
Dressage Steward - The dressage steward is responsible for the smooth running of the dressage phase. Oversee, assist and maintain the comfort of the dressage volunteers. Keep warm-up areas safe and controlled. Maintain contact with the show secretary, officials, and organizational staff to resolve concerns and problems. Work in tandem with the in-gate steward to control the flow of riders through warm-up, bit check and the show ring. (For unrecognized events, the dressage steward is also the in-gate steward).
Bit Check - Assure that horses and riders are tacked and outfitted as dictated by USEA/USEF rules, and that all horses are inspected. Report concerns to the dressage steward and technical delegate. Bit check volunteers must have prior experience in handling horses. (There are no bit check positions at unrecognized events).
Warm-Up - Working in tandem with the dressage steward, serve as control for the dressage phase. Ensure that competitors are accounted for in lower warm-up. Greet and check in competitors at the upper warm-up and ensure that they adhere to their ride times. Maintain a safe number of riders in upper warm-up. Communicate with show secretary and judges as necessary. If you are out-going and like to multi-task, this is the position for you! (For unrecognized events, this position is filled by the dressage steward).
Scribe - Record the judge's marks and comments. Ensure that the correct rider and horse have presented for the test. Keep track of time to help keep your ring from falling behind schedule. Clear, consistent handwriting and a quiet, friendly demeanor are encourage. Click here to view Guidelines for Dressage Scribes.
Warm Up Steward - Check in competitors to the dressage phase; maintain the flow of riders to bit check, the upper warm-up and/or dressage rings. Monitor the warm-up area for safety. (For unrecognized events, warm-up stewards also serve the role of ring stewards).
Ring Steward - Maintain the flow of riders through your ring. Communicate with in-gate and warm-up stewards to assure that your riders are present and arrive on time. Assist the judge in your ring as necessary. You may also be responsible for opening and closing the out-gate so riders can exit the arena. (For unrecognized events, ring stewards also serve the role of warm-up stewards).
Score Runner - Carry dressage tests from the rings to the scoring room. You may also be asked to collect stadium scores.
Stadium / Show Jumping:
Jumping Steward - The jumping steward is responsible for the smooth running of the show jumping phase. Oversee, assist and maintain the comfort of the show jumping volunteers. Keep warm-up areas safe and controlled. Maintain contact with the show secretary, officials, and organizational staff to resolve concerns and problems. Work in tandem with the in-gate steward to control the flow of riders through warm-up and the show ring. (For unrecognized events, the jumping steward may also be the jumping judge).
Scribe - Record the judge's marks and comments. Record time for each competitor. Ensure that the score sheet is correct and accurate. (This position may not exist for unrecognized events.)
Timer - Run a stopwatch or timer for the jumping test. Ensure that accurate time is kept for each competitor. (This position does not exist for unrecognized events.)
In Gate - Keep riders moving from warm-up to the competition ring in an orderly fashion. It may be necessary to announce riders as they enter the ring. Assist in fence crew duties if necessary. (This position may be combined with the Out Gate position depending on ring configuration.)
Out Gate - Keep riders moving out of the competition ring quickly and safely. It may be necessary to assist a fallen rider or catch a loose horse. Assist in fence crew duties if necessary. (This position may be combined with the In Gate position depending on ring configuration.)
Fence Crew - Replace fallen rails and assist with the changing of the heights and fence configuration for each division. It may be necessary to assist a fallen rider or catch a loose horse.This is a physically demanding position.
Warm Up - Keep warm-up area safe and controlled. Check in riders and communicate with Jumping Steward and In Gate to keep riders moving smoothly between the warm-up and competition areas. It may be necessary to assist a fallen rider or catch a loose horse.
Score Runner - Carry score sheets from the stadium ring to the scoring room. You may also be asked to collect dressage tests.
Cross Country Steward - The cross country steward is responsible for the coordination of volunteers for the cross country phase. Oversee, assist and maintain the comfort of the cross country volunteers. Maintain contact with Control, the technical delegate and organizational staff to address incidents, resolve concerns and problems. Position and manage volunteers to safely and effectively judge each obstacle on cross country. Some experience is preferred.
Start - Start riders on their cross country rides, and announce them on radio. Maintain the flow of riders from warm-up to start box. Maintain a safe time interval between riders on course. Keep radio contact with Control to be aware of incidents or holds on course, and control rider flow appropriately. Some experience is preferred.
Timing Recorder - Accurately record start and finish times for each rider, as dictated by start/finish timer(s). (This position does not exist for unrecognized events).
Timer - Accurately measure each rider's time on course. Record time or dictate to scribe. As multiple riders are on course at the same time, multitasking and attention to detail are necessary. (This position does not exist for unrecognized events).
Finish Timer - Accurately measure each rider's finish time. Record time or dictate to scribe. As multiple riders are on course at the same time, multitasking and attention to detail are necessary. (This position does not exist for unrecognized events).
Fence Judge - Assess and record penalties at a cross country obstacle. Maintaining a safe, clear area around the obstacle. Relay to Control, via radio, the incidents that occur at your obstacle, including refusals, rules infractions and fall or injury of rider or horse. A calm, professional demeanor and the ability to follow directions in emergencies are encouraged. (For unrecognized events, one fence judge may cover multiple obstacles). Click here to view Guidelines for Cross Country Judges
*A fence judges' video briefing is available at the right of this page for your viewing.
Warm Up - Check in competitors to the cross country phase; maintain the flow of riders to the start box. Monitor the warm-up area for safety.
Score Runner - Drive around the cross country course in a golf cart or ATV collecting score sheets from jump judges, start and finish timers. Provide drinks, snacks and other assistance as necessary. You may be asked to pick up stadium scores, as well. Minimum age 18; valid driver's license required.
Cooling Tent - Assist competitors with cooling down their horses after the cross-country phase. Make sure the tent is well-stocked with water and ice. Remove manure as necessary. Maintain a safe environment. Cooling tent volunteers must have prior experience in handling horses. (This position does not exist for unrecognized events).
Shuttle Driver - Help competitors, grooms, volunteers and spectators get around the show grounds in golf carts. Ferry tack from the cross country finish to competitors' trailers. You may be asked to fill in for cross-country or stadium score running, or help deliver lunches. Minimum age 18; valid driver's license required. (This position does not exist for unrecognized events).
Volunteer Greeter - Welcome and check in our volunteer crew, offer them drinks and snacks, and direct them to their assigned positions. Check out volunteers at the end of their shifts, and hand out schooling passes, t-shirts, etc.
Hospitality - Assist in greeting, directing, assisting and feeding volunteers. Make and deliver snacks and lunches, give rides, be a 'stand-in' in case a volunteer needs a break. You may be asked to collect scores or shuttle passengers. Anyone is welcome to fill this position, but to drive the golf carts, the minimum age is 18, and a valid driver's license is required.