BE Volunteers applauded at Blenheim

BE Volunteers applauded at Blenheim

Image Courtesy of Mike Bain

This year’s British Eventing Volunteer of the Year awards were given to their hard working and loyal recipients by the Duke of Marlborough at the prestigious Fidelity Blenheim International Horse Trials (Sunday 15th September 2013) following nominations from Organisers, Officials and Volunteer co-ordinators of BE’s affiliated competitions. 

There are three awards that are given out on an annual basis to recognise exceptional volunteers who have been deeply involved in the sport over the past year and have shown enthusiasm and dedication to supporting BE events in any capacity. 

This year’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’ is Michelle Taylor from Doncaster; Michelle is a well-known and much respected face at many BE competitions in the Staffordshire and Cheshire region. She has diligently undertaken every role possible at each event she attends in order to fully understand the complete workings of an event. In addition to her contribution to the sport in a volunteering capacity, Michelle is also the Joint-Organiser at Stafford and a committee member at Catton and both Frickley Horse Trials. Michelle’s commitment is for events at every level from BE80(T) to three star in varied roles including fence judging. stewarding, sector control, start and finish, provisional scoring as well as the tea run. In total Michelle helps at between 12 to 15 events a year and has trained other volunteers at the request of organisers.

The ‘Fence Judges of the Year’ are David and Jeanette Lewis from Nottinghamshire, a husband and wife team who are extraordinary in the amount of time they give to BE competitions. They volunteer most weekends throughout the season at BE events located anywhere between Birmingham and the Scottish borders. With their experience they are often given the more challenging of fences and combinations. People walking the courses with their dogs will find the couples’ infamous and generous ‘dog pit’ stop at their car.

BE’s ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ this time is Olivia-mea Cotterill from Stoke-On-Trent. Olivia is only ten years of age but has helped at eight events this season alongside her BE Volunteer parents Paul and Amanda and her elder brother Tom. Olivia is often given her own tasks to fulfil which she can be relied on to do well, willingly and with a smile.

All of the winners received a VIP treatment at Blenheim Palace on the day of the award ceremony and also each received a year of free BE membership; the Fence Judges of the Year have also been invited to Fence Judge at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in 2014.