Working At The Driving Show This Weekend

Weather finally broke, cooled down for the weekend. We are volunteering at the Blue Ribbon Driving Show in Ionia MI. Saturday has a morning clinic and Pleasure Classes in the afternoon. Sunday is Fun Show stuff, not show dressup. Will be mostly Dressage and Cones Classes. But you will be Judged on your Dressage, timed on Cones for placings, get ribbons.

The MHDVA is trying to get folks out to enjoy driving, only serious part of the time. But we needed something driving with no activities locally since March. All rules for Covid will be enforced by masking, distancing. Food vendor expected instead of our usual pot luck dinners.

I went over and worked creating equipment. We needed numbered boxes to put by the cones, dressage towers for the visible letters, more cones to drive thru. Who would think they would take so long to assemble! I got in at the end. Other folks had cut the items out, punched holes, were painting things red, putting on HUGE letters and numbers, creating ribbons, planning courses for various classes earlier this week. So it was just left to assemble them, when I got over there. And it got pretty funny when we decided it took 4 hands to do the job! We did get a system going, put top together first, then other steps in order, which made it easier. Holes to fasten together were aligned well. But getting the cable ties thru and around was…interesting, to say the least! Finding the second layer of holes to poke the ties thru was not always easy. Notice I did not say our 4-hand system was “much faster”, just easier Have to say the assembled items were rewarding to see as they stacked up in the completed piles! Things will be very nice, visible, for the competitors during the days. I told the Show Organizer I would come do “crafts” with her anytime!

So it will be “up and at it” Saturday morning to get over there on time. I think I am Ringmaster or a gate person, maybe both! And then do it again on Sunday. Temps are dropping, predictions are expecting lower 70Fs to compete in. Should be perfect. I think pre-entries are thin, but we might get some more who come with the good weather. If there are few, we will get home earlier! Have to pack a sun hat, long sleeved shirt and sunscreen for being out all day.

Have fun!

& Wish Bugs & I were there.
Cones are his Thing & the No Dressup appeals to me.
But I will be in Napanee with Faux Grandson tomorrow.
Maybe next year?

Are you planning on the Ntl Drive?
I will be there with my Club.
Longer stay this time: Tues-Sat.

The show went very well. Weather was perfect, sunny, 70Fs, with almost no humidity and a slight breeze both days. There were some glitches, new rules to contend with, and we were out of practice at putting on a show! But overall, every thing worked out well. The attendees got much helpful advice at the clinic portion, which they put into effect for the show classes. Entries were spread out, with same classes for draft, pony, horse, and VSE. Ring surface was firm, so not exhausting to pull vehicles on it.

Competitors all seemed to be having a very good time, lots of smiles. A couple ladies in the horse classes took turns being first and second, both were experienced drivers, skilled with the reins. We had two Pairs, one with horses, one with ponies. Unfortunately the ponies’ vehicle had a wheel issue, we had to stop the class, unhitch and lead the ponies out. Good practice in an emergency, all under control safely. Judge caught wheel going bad and stopped everyone in place. We got people and ponies off the carriage before complete wheel failure and possible accident! Ringmaster (me) got to pull disabled vehicle out of the ring. Glad it was small pony size, not the draft horse carriage!! Ha ha Sad because that was the only class pony pair got to go in.

Sunday we had to get up earlier, since husband was in charge of Cones. Several horses did Dressage test, then had to do their Cones section right sfter, as part of the CT section. Then when they finished, we did more fun classes with cones. We only had to move the box numbers to get a completely different route for each new class. That left plenty of time for drivers to walk the new course. Such a time and work saver! The other volunteers laid out the gorgeous obstacle class in the big Dressage ring. Lots of interesting obstacles for the drivers to get thru. We finished early with so few horses. Those who needed their ADS Points, collected their paperwork and everyone got their ribbons from the Office ladies. We were not allowed to hand out ribbons after classes, a Covid measure to reduce physical contact. The Office ladies were so well prepared with class lists and everything else, that we ring people had things just clicking along.

The volunteers had things dismantled in short order after the last entry in both rings, packed in the equipment trailer or handed back to whoever loaned us items. The new cones, letter towers and number boxes to mark cones were wonderful! Got compliments from competitors about being able to see things easily for Dressage and Cones. The light weight of picking them up helped too, carrying several stacked boxes and towers or cones. The “commercially” made cones were much heavier to move about! The biggest cleanup was the chains and stakes for the Dressage ring. Stakes were great holding chains up, easy to push in the ground, just that there were a LOT of them to collect! Ha ha And it seemed the chain was miles long in big loops, over by the person putting it all in the big plastic bag. I just was amazed at how much chain it takes for a Driving Dressage sized ring. I thought surely we would have extra, leftover chain when we loaded it to go over.

We got done pretty early, which everyone seemed glad of. Plenty of time to drive home (even out-of-state) without being exhausted. Most competitors came to the Office to say what a great time they had, where they planned to hang their ribbons. Everyone I saw was smiling, which makes you feel good. The volunteers were a great bunch to work with, many not even Club members! Just came out to help a horse group with our activity.

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