When British Carriage Driving contacted me to ask if White Horse could step into the brink and upgrade the club two day event to a Regional, to cover a shortage of events in the South, I chatted with the rest of the committee and we thought why not… how hard could it be?It started out really well; we were staggered by the generosity of everyone. Within days we had all classes sponsored and various help with obstacle sponsorship as well as a couple of large donations which helped towards building two lovely permanent obstacles.
By chance I had to attend a corporate day at Choices Hire; it was so exciting an amazing marquee, life-sized cowboys and Indians at the entrance and several more exciting items inside. Very soon I was talking to the Director who introduced me to an adjoining company called Mayflower Marquees and Theming Company. What a place! A barn full of fabulous items from sharks to Christmas trees, Greek statues, Pirates and skeletons. I was in heaven and furthermore they were keen to help us and the offer of a marquee and whatever items I needed followed.
But then panic set in. Entries were very slow to materialise and arriving back from my vacation at the end of July (with three weeks to close of entries) we still only had 3 entries to the Regional – queue a few sleepless nights! Soon though the poor postman started to struggle to the door laden with entries and suddenly everyone wanted to come to Redenham and at last we had a competition on our hands.Our course builders worked tirelessly to have all the obstacles built, the marquee arrived and was beyond our expectations, stunning like a wedding marquee and was so much bigger than we had envisaged. The decorations for each obstacle also arrived. The Queen and Corgis were set up at the Queen’s Tea Party, the Cowboys and Indians at the Wild West and the pièce de résistance was the skeletons and galleon at the feared pit obstacle. When the competitors arrived they were stunned and just hearing the comments about ‘best dressed obstacles’ made all the hard work worthwhile.
Seeing a packed lorry park, two dressage arenas and two cones arenas in full swing on the Saturday was a joy to behold and everyone’s enthusiasm carried through to the evening with the hog roast and salad buffet followed by entertainment from local singer Chris Berntsen, everyone was in the party mood and a fabulous evening followed a great day.Marathon day was dry and bright with 61 competitors, 43 Regional and 18 club competitors taking to the countryside before tackling the obstacles, no problems, no incidents, even at the pit – which had caused a lot of discussion, ‘up the bank or down the bank’ … a very testing obstacle that ended up driving really well and will probably still be a talking point for many years to come!
Within two days of holding the event the site was completely clear, only the permanent obstacles remained, the park was back to normal and you would hardly know an event had even taken place such is the wonder of Redenham Park.Lovely photographs, super comments on Facebook for weeks after the event and even the bigwigs at BC sent us messages of congratulations. We did it, we ran our first Regional, we learnt a lot, had great fun but we also worked our socks off. Would we do it again? Could we afford to do it again? Do we want to do it again?…..
Of course we do – join us 27th & 28th August 2016
By Julia Crockford – WHHC Chairman