At Equo we love getting behind the scenes, so we spoke to Lisa Renshaw at Speetley EC in Sheffield to find out how they pull off a weekend's showjumping.
Dave and I begin our preparations for the following days show at Speetley EC…
The British Showjumping course builder arrives and we follow their instructions to help build the showjumping course(s).
The course builder leaves and we wash the floors, clean the toilets, tidy up and Dave organises his paperwork ready for the following days competitors as I make sandwiches and cakes for all of the officials.
We both arrive at the centre. After a cup of tea we check the arena ensuring that no jumps have blown over and all is safe. We also check the car park and the steward’s area. Dave then sets up the timing equipment ready for the judges and course builder.
The course builder arrives and inspects the course, making any last minute alterations.
We all have a cup of tea and a slice of toast and wait for the judges and paramedic to arrive. This is the most relaxed we will be all day as we look forward to the first lorries and trailers arriving.
When all staff and officials have arrived we all take our positions and wait for the competitors. Dave takes any entries not made through Equo, I run the collecting ring, the paramedic parks the ambulance by the main arena, the judges sit in their box testing the equipment and the course builder and ring stewards sit at the ring side.
British Showjumping has started!
During the day and between classes I take the judges and course builder their sandwiches and cakes. I also harrow the arenas ready for the next class. Dave’s job is front of house. He continues to take entries and deals with the admin all day.
The jumping usually ends at 5:00pm, however this could be later depending on how many entries we have had. The judges and the course builder go home and Dave and I tidy up. Dave packs up the timing equipment as I litter pick the car park. Dave then finalises the paperwork and we have a cup of tea. Before we can leave, the centre has to be ready for the next day’s activities. This could range from people hiring the arena to a camp arriving or another show.
Finally, often between 7:00 and 9:00pm, we say goodnight and head home to our families, buzzing from the days sport, conversations and more often than not the laughter.
Questions and answers
1) Which show do you most enjoy organising?
We enjoy all our shows from discipline to discipline as they vary so much. If Dave and I had to pick one we would both choose the Arena Eventing, as they can be very exciting and the competitors really enjoy them!
2) How long have you been organising shows?
SEC has been open four years now and we have run shows from the very start.
3) What is your go-to snack from the canteen to keep you going through the day?
A Mars Bar – I love them!
4) What do you enjoy most about your job?
The sport and the opportunity to meet so many different people. The collecting ring is simply the best place to be!
5) What did you want to do when you were younger?
When I was younger I never knew what I wanted to do. All my life I have been happy in all that I have tried but I can truthfully say I am now most content (and tired) running SEC.
6) Can we have some history about your centre?
My husband and I are farmers. Five years ago we bought the farm and ceased to be tenants and suddenly became landowners… with a huge mortgage. Diversification took us down the equestrian path. I began a livery business and the rest, as they say, “is history”. My husband farms and I, with Dave’s help, manage the horse ‘side’.
7) Are there plans for any new big shows?
On June 11th and 12th this year we will be hosting our first British Eventing competition, which we are very excited about.
8) Do you ever compete yourself?
Not at the moment. Family commitments and SEC won’t allow.
9) If you had to do any other job what would you do?
Two jobs I would love would to be an artist or a writer, but I’m poor at both so it looks like the collecting ring for me!
10) What is your funniest memory from a show that you have held?
There have been too many to single one out. I have to say that without fail on BS show days the collecting ring provides me with some of the funniest anecdotes and amusing moments, but it wouldn’t be correct to repeat them!
11) At the end of another successful show how do you finish your day?
At the very end of a show day when I get home, I make a point of kissing my children goodnight, I share a lovely meal that my husband has prepared then it’s the hot tub to ease my aching back and leg and big glass of wine!
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