Thursday, February 16, 2012

Horse Trial Organization

My event starts tomorrow.It is raining and I have a broken neck and can't do a darn thing. As far as I am concerned we are ready. Everyone has done a great job. We were happy.

Then the phone starts ringing off the hook and the computer is on fire. The threats start rolling in. UGH can't anything go right?So get out the fire hose and start problem solving.

The riders are furious ,because the times are not up on the website.They are threatening they will never come back to such a disorganized event. They can not plan their lives and help and travel plans. I understand all that as I have a competed a bit in my day.But I have never threatened or been rude to the staff of an event.

One thing that makes the schedualing so very hard is taking entries so late. We want to take as many as we can to help with the costs of the competition.People are entering later and later. we get phone calls the day before,even the day of,can we still enter?So schedualing gets put off till the closest possible hour. This makes it very hard to contact all the volunteers,produce the program correctly and get the the times out for everyone.There are so many people involved in an event it is hard to get to everyone. Believe us we all try!

Is the event REALLY run over three days?Are you kidding me? Did you just figure that out I say to myself?Well I never saw that. Can you give me special times so I can accommodate your event into my schedule?(Times 300)

My horse threw a show. My truck isn't working,my great aunt twice removed has a broken leg,my chickens have an infection.I am an Olympic rider ,trainer ...can I have my money back?

I am terrible on the computer and try very hard to hire people that are better at my shortcomings than myself.I know better than try and be a secretary for anything.Yet sometimes,things go wrong even with the best of help.And chaos ensues.It is always a small error ,usually exacerbated by miscommunication that can end in tragedy.

People get very mad because they are worried or threatened about their own circumstances. We are all overextended financially and none of us ever have enough time.My super event team have made some mistakes in not putting up the times early enough. That is a BIG ERROR!That has unconvinced many people.And I am VERY VERY sorry for ANY problems incurred by the error of my staff. At the end of the day it is a huge reflection on Paradise Farm.I desperately want to keep going and make everyone happy.But the other side of the coin is NOTHING has been done intentionally and no mistake made needs to be taken personally. There is is still time for everyone to get here and enjoy all that Paradise has to offer.

Another gigantic glitch that happened this morning is the stable manager at Buckleigh (where I ave been sending the stablers for the event for years)doesn't want people camping in their trailers. Oh my God a HUGE problem.WHHHHHHAAAATTTTTT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? NOW???????????Why didn't I know this beforehand?I personally stay in my trailer to be near my horses at all events. This is not the time to get such a change in plans.Fortunately it has been worked out this time. This again has nothing to do with Paradise Farm Horse trials but it sure effects it!

When we as organizers go to the annual meeting to schedual our dates in June we begin the committment to our next years events on our properties.The wheel of organization is an everyday thing.Riders want amenaties and convience that not all organizers can produce.

Permanent stabling with rubber mats and hot and cold water and electric are VERY expensive as it state of the art footing and concrete parking lots and major roadways through the farms.

I was once an interational competitor with a lot of my big time eventing spent in Europe.I rode with the best in the world. Blythe Tait,Ginny Elliot,Andrew Dreamboat Nicholson,Ian Stark you name it.We rarely stabled over night.One was always stabled at a private location or racetrack.One took what one got.We parked in farm fields and were pulled out by tractors most of the time.We rolled with what we got.

The anger and hostility from the competitors is scary.We (the organizers and secretaries and general personell) want things to be pleasant and trauma free.Well wow this morning was anything but that.

We want people to be happy and have fun. Paradise Farm is a great place for an event. We will always try to make things better.We hope the riders will come because of the quality and be able to forgive people when non life threatening mistakes can happen.We hope people will understand that we cannot always give monies back ,or that when there is a charge it is not meant to hurt the competitor but maintain the sport itself.Communication is the key.We all need to keep our heads up and look ahead and foresee problems and issues as far in advance as possible.

We always want to hear back from people that read the blog or come to the farm.Please use this to express your needs and we will do our best to accomodate. as alkways thank you all for reading.

Kick on, sit up and ride better!

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