Volunteering at Sporting Days Farm
Volunteer Coordinator Kelly Patterson -
Join the fun and excitement of eventing! We would like to invite people to volunteer for a full day or half day at any of the Sporting Days Farm Horse Trials or Schooling Shows. Volunteers are the very backbone of the sport of eventing. Competitors and organizers know just how indebted they are to each and every person who takes the time to help at a show.
Without volunteers, eventing would cease to exist. Take the opportunity to get close to top horses and riders, make lots of new friends, and enjoy a beautiful day in Aiken. You don’t have to be an eventer, or even a rider, to be a volunteer - everyone is welcome!
People of all ages and levels of equine knowledge are needed to make sure the show runs smoothly. The days can be long and the weather doesn’t always cooperate, but many people enjoy the opportunities that volunteering provides and keep coming back for more!
Volunteers that ride will walk away with a wealth of new knowledge, and those new to the sport might discover a passion for horses. And volunteers don’t go away empty handed! Besides the opportunity to give back to the sport, you earn SDF logo-wear, coupons from our vendors & a free cross country schooling valued at $50. You will also be invited back for Volunteer Appreciation Day during the off season! Volunteers at SDF will be well-taken care of and profusely thanked throughout the day for their time and efforts.
Horse Trials, and schooling shows would never happen without the hard-working dressage stewards, jump judges, score runners and pole picker-uppers. Here are a few tips and links that our beloved volunteers may find useful in the collective effort to improve the quality of our great sport.
Each phase of the event requires a large number of volunteers. Assignment slots are filled on a, “First come first served basis,” with the exception of certain jobs that require experience or specific expertise. Volunteers should expect to spend at least a half day at each assignment. Some assignments may require an early morning briefing (i.e. 7 AM), but most morning shifts start around 9am. Afternoon shifts generally run from noon until competition ends for the day.
Check with the volunteer coordinator if you want to bring children with you to determine if your assignment allows you to supervise them or if we may have a job for them while you volunteer.
There is a place for every eventing enthusiast to volunteer!
Volunteer Job Descriptions
1. Scribe – secretary to the judge (requires experience)
2. Ring Steward – makes sure each rider enters their ring on time
3. Bit Checker – examines bits, spurs and whips to determine if they meet competition regulations-requires experience with horses
4. Warm Up Steward – supervises the warm up area and sends riders to their rings at the proper time
5. Ring Rakers – smooth out the footing in each ring as needed
6. Score Runners – Bring dressage tests from rings to scorers office.
7. Ring Rakers - Rake the corners of the dressage arenas where the drag can't reach.
1. Fence Judges – sit at each fence and record what happens as each horse jumps the fence
2. Start – Counts down horses to their start time and records that time (experience required)
3. Finish – Records finish times (experience preferred)
4. Warm Up Steward – Supervises warm up area and sends riders to the start at the appropriate time (requires experience with eventing and maturity)
5. Score Sheet Runner – Drive golf cart around cross country course to collect score sheets from jump judges while always aware of where horses are on the course(requires experience with eventing and maturity)
1. Judge’s Scribe – writes down scores for the judge
2. Timer - Works with time clock/stop watch (experience required)
3. In Gate Steward - Keeps horses entering the ring in the correct order and on time
4. Warm Up Steward - Supervises warm up area and sends horses to the ring as directed by the in gate steward
5. Jump Crew – Puts up fallen rails and fences
Hospitality - bring water, snacks, and meals to volunteers, staff and officials throughout the day
Awards & Prizes - help organize and hand out the awards and prizes
**Other jobs are available once all the necessary slots above are filled.