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Tue, 2012-07-10 20:24

Call Me Fence Judge

Authored By: Suzanne Adams
The view from our post Groton House Farm Training #18

Dear Horse Trial Participant,

I am your Fence Judge.  You don't know me but I sit in a chair all day carefully watching each trip across my designated domain.  I am that nameless, sometimes faceless person volunteering so that you can have the ride of your life.  Treat me well...  For without me, the Event does not run... 
I, generally, ask for nothing in return... and, sometimes when its too cold, wet, hot or buggy, I find myself wondering why I just spent my Saturday making sure you present yourself correctly at my jump and left the area happy and healthy. 
Yeah that happens, yet most of the time, I leave tired, sunburnt and maybe just a bit chapped and dry with a big smile on my face 'cause I had good day watching, participating and loving the fun of a well run Horse Trial...
And, for as many of us that are Eventers doing our version of Community Service, I may be a friend of a friend of a rider who once 8 years ago said, "Sure, that sounds fun".  I never realized how that one feeble yes turned into a passion that keeps me coming back year after year. 
So when you walk your course - trainer, rider, young, older, family member - a quick glance in my direction, a smile of recognition and although, not really necessary, a thank you goes a long way to help me feel like my service means something to you. 
And, when you talk to me and ask me how the jump is riding, rain turns into sun and the world is full of rainbows and rose petals at my feet. I belong and you see me as a part of the team.
I love your enthusiasm...  your cheers of "Good Girl!" as you both hit the ground running.  Sometimes you may hear my own as you gallop off across the field!  I watch your eyes - keen and focused forward, your horse's ears pricked occasionally flicked backwards listening to you and eager to go.  So beautiful, so powerful...  teamwork and joy...  
And when you stop or run out, it leaves me sad 'cause I know how hard you trained to get there right in front of me and I know how far you need to go.  You may not know this but we are cheering you on...  I want you to win!  And, most of all I want you to be able to tell your story to everyone on Monday (Eventing Rule #4)  I want my jump to be easy... 
I am your Fence Judge - Treat me well!  And, maybe, one day you'll come and join me too!
Read more about Suzanne Adams' adventures on her blog:

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