Helpers

We would be unable to run any events without the valuable support of many wonderful volunteer judges and helpers.

We do need a large number of judges to run each event successfully, on average 25+ for a full TREC or half a dozen for an arena competition.  If everyone does a little bit then we are able to run many more events and provide more opportunities for all our members to ride.

Please remember that all WHTG members are expected to provide help for half a day at Winter events and one full day (or two half days) at a Summer event. However this can be provided by a willing family member/friend who doesn’t even have to be horsey!  It is also possible to provide help in other ways.  For example taking entries before the competition, helping build the PTV course, collecting or inputting scores, organising training venues and instructors so that you can still ride at your chosen events.  Records are kept of those who actually help out at each event, and any member who competes but never provides help may be excluded from competing at future WHTG events. If you put your name down and then are unable to make it, please let the organiser know beforehand so that they can try to replace you.

It is entirely possible to help for half a day at TREC competitions alongside competing – usually by judging the PTV or Control of Paces for a level that you’re not competing in, and the great community spirit that TREC is renowned for really helps at the end of the day when everyone clubs together to get things cleared away and tidied up. There is often a wait between the end of the competition and the presentation, and you can help with clearing PTV equipment away, packing the club trailer, sorting out the rosettes/prizes for presentation, dismantling gazebos, taking down and collecting signs etc – many hands really do make light work!  At the end of the competition, rather than asking the organiser – who will no doubt be looking rather harrassed – when prizegiving will be, please just ask what jobs still need to be done.

At WHTG we look after our judges – free refreshments will be provided in return for your help.  Those of you on a diet may not appreciate the chocolates that are often part of the thank you from the organiser!

Judging

No training is necessary as you will be fully briefed by the Technical Delegate (TD) or another experienced TREC judge on the day. However, if you would like to attend TREC judge training please contact sarah@white-horse-trec.co.uk  It is very helpful as riders to see the rules from the judge’s point of view, and will build your confidence when judging.

POR Checkpoints
The TD or Tracer will explain the individual requirements of the checkpoint to you, along with any special instructions – please listen carefully and ensure that all flags are placed correctly on the ground. If you are not sure, please ask for clarification. You should be given a set of flags (red and white), a speed card, a satellite controlled clock, clipboard with sheets on, list of competitors, emergency contact details and a pen, plus some refreshments. It helps if you can bring your own folding chair and a book or radio as it may be quiet, and sunblock, water or an umbrella as the weather dictates. Checkpoints can sometimes be busy and judges need to be aware of safety requirements around horses. Non horsey people would be able to help but would usually be paired with a more experienced judge.

– As each competitor or pair arrives (don’t assume that two riders together are in a pair, even if they have consecutive numbers – always check!) record the time they enter in full minutes as displayed on the clock, do not round up or down from the seconds on the clock display – the time is taken from leading foreleg crossing the line between the flags, the leading foreleg of the second horse if in a pair.
– If they did not come through the correct set of checkpoint flags, note this down on your clipboard.
– If in your opinion they, when within sight of your checkpoint, made a deliberate attempt to significantly alter their score for a section, note this down on your clipboard also, and bring it to the attention of the TD on your return to the venue.
– Ask the competitor(s) for their record card and work out the time they will leave at, noting this on their record card and your clipboard. They will be in your checkpoint for a minimum of five minutes, but sometimes a few will come in at once and you will send them out at five-minute intervals so they may have a longer wait. If the checkpoint becomes congested you have the discretion to reduce the time between competitors leaving to three minutes for safety.
– Inform them of the speed for the next section – you will have a card which you will usually display prominently at the checkpoint.
– If they need to move slightly out of the way to prevent them being seen by competitors in the distance, or to a safer holding point then ask them to do so.
– Keep an eye on your clipboard and tell competitors when it is time to leave the checkpoint.
– It helps if you can keep track of who you have seen by ticking names off on your competitor list, so that if any riders get lost the TD has information about where they have/haven’t been.
You may have further instructions if you are at the start or end of a bearings or grid reference section for level three or four – the TD or Tracer will explain what to do and when!

POR Tickets
The TD or Tracer will explain the individual requirements of the ticket to you, along with any special instructions – please listen carefully and ensure that all flags are placed correctly on the ground. If you are not sure, please ask for clarification. You should be given at least one set of flags (red and white), clipboard with sheets on, list of competitors, emergency contact details and a pen, plus some refreshments. It helps if you can bring your own folding chair and a book or radio as it may be quiet, and sunblock, water or an umbrella as the weather dictates.
– Try not to be too visible!
– As competitors come through the flags, ask them for their number(s) and note this down on your clipboard.
– There may be several routes into/out of your ticket. Make sure that you note down which route they took.
– Follow any other instructions given by the TD/Tracer.
– It helps if you can keep track of who you have seen by ticking names off on your competitor list, so that if any riders get lost the TD has information about where they have/haven’t been.

Control of Paces
You will sit or stand at a fixed point near the CP corridor with several other judges, and you are judging whether competitors touch/leave the inside of the marked corridor, or break pace out of either canter or walk – the quality of the pace is not judged and flying changes are allowed.
Electronic timing equipment may be used, otherwise digital stopwatches and hand signals will be – judges will agree on hand signals to be used, it is usually an arm raised and dropped as competitors enter the corridor, with different signals for ‘broke pace’ and ‘outside corridor’. Usually only one person has a clipboard and stopwatch but at major championships every judge may have one so that hand signals aren’t used.

PTV

Starter/finisher – you will be given a satellite-controlled clock and informed of the gap to leave between competitors – it may be setting each one off when the last reaches a set point on the course, or may be fixed times. This job can be done by anybody, no experience needed.

Obstacle judges – every obstacle is different. You will be provided with an instruction sheet (please read it carefully!) and briefed by the TD or organiser. Reasonable experience of horses is required for almost every obstacle – being able to tell what gait a horse is in and whether it changes, interpret the rules correctly in terms of effectiveness faults (refusals etc) and assess the rider’s use of aids/position/safety to give an accurate style mark. If you deduct effectiveness marks or give penalties you should always write a note to explain it, for example ‘knocked 2x’, ‘one refusal’ or ‘brushed gatepost with bum’ for effectiveness; ‘got reins wrapped around gate latch – unsafe’ or ‘one stirrup down’ for penalties, in order to assist with any queries. If gait is involved in the scoring (eg corridor, low branches, bending) please note down what it was, including whether it changed.

Other jobs
There are many other very important roles to be played, many of which can be done alongside competing.

Constructing or dismantling the PTV course – a big job that is heavy in manpower but can often be done before/after the competition so that you can still take part, check with the organiser about when they plan to put the course up.

Organising the number bibs – a relatively simple job that really helps the organiser. They are kept in two shallow boxes made of clear plastic. If there are any missing please make a note so that the riders can be asked to return them.

Helping with prizegiving – sorting out rosettes and prizes into the right order.

Parking steward – as it says on the tin.

Looking after judges – taking round cups of tea/coffee/lunches.

Cooking the Saturday night meal – great for BBQ-mad dads.

Scoring – mostly data entry on excel, requires a good working knowledge of TREC rules to spot anomalies in the results sheets and inform the TD/organiser. May involve entering several thousand numbers per competition.

Horse-holding – on POR day if there are not sufficient tie-up points, horse holders are very useful.

Removing signs – often there are lots of WHTG signs around the venue and on the roads leading to it which all need to be removed, a quick job for a couple of people with scissors to cut the cable ties and collect the signs up.

One Response to Helpers

  1. Wendy says:

    HI, I used to compete until 2010 and would like to offer my help if you need any.

    Like

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