Volunteers Go The Extra Mile at The Kentucky Three Day Event
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Posted by Sheila Woerth
We’ve been working 11 hour days at times the last five days. Because of Easter last Sunday, all the flowers from Pemberton’s Greenhouses and the shrubs from Two Brothers had to come in early on Thursday. Because the temperatures and cold rain and wind would have destroyed them all, we were able, with the help of Jamie Gaddis, to keep them in the Alltech Warmup Arena till Sunday morning. We had to cancel planting on Saturday and our Pot Luck lunch. We verbally told or emailed everyone, and asked them to come help. We had 45 people come at 8 or straggle in after church on Easter Sunday. Some of our volunteers couldn’t come because they had family obligations.
Before we could start planting, everything had to be taken out to the individual jumps. I’m talking over 850 flats of flowers and over 200 hanging baskets! I met Bobby Murphy at 7:30am (I’d sent him a text earlier in the week, while he was in France getting married, asking him for help to get the flowers out to the jumps). Bobby had Chris Black bring a truck and long flat bed to help us transport everything. That saved us three hours.
We had 28 jumps to plant, but there are over 53 elements included in those jumps. There are nine jumps alone at the Head of the Lake! When I counted up all of the cabins, jumps, and gardens, it came out to 76 things that had to be done! We completed all but 10 of those 76 on Sunday. We finished everything on Cross-Country today before the Ground Jury Course Walk including additions to two jumps after that.
Becky Lanier and Bridget Bellocq did the incredible eight vegetable trays Sunday evening after working all day and worked on the trays till 11:30pm!! Go see Jump #24, the Market Table.
The Dressage ring was decorated Monday, and Lynne Glass and Richard Keel watered all the flowers on the jumps for 11 hours. Two Brothers delivered 60 shrubs at 10am. The Rolex judges’s boxes were decorated today as well as the photographers corrals, and many of the Land Rover cars and Rolex clocks out on course were done. We decorated the new Land Rover sign and car as you come into the park, and Bobby Murphy did the one inside the arena. All the sponsor signs in the arena were also decorated. Robin Corr and Lisa Cooper did a special project at Head of the Lake for the camera. The four half whiskey barrels were placed at the two entrances to the Three Day Event shop and planted.
My volunteers are dedicated and devoted to this event. I think they are some of the very best people I know. They get to be part of something bigger than themselves. They make lifelong friends among this group and stay in touch with one another throughout the year. The flats are all given away to them free for their hard work. Hanging baskets and other flowers pots are sold at a very low price and the money is returned to Equestrian Events Incorporated. My volunteers get a ticket in for all four days of the event, a food ticket, a parking pass, and usually a hat and cup and a T-shirt. These are the ‘perks’, as I call them, that they get. Kids are given the same items as the adults get. They may start as early as two, and by the time they are four, they will point and say, “That’s MY jump!”
Oh, yes, we also decorate the Grand Prix jumps Friday afternoon and decorate the new jumps that come in later that evening and Saturday morning for the GP Saturday night. We strip the Cross-Country course Saturday after that is completed, and take everything back to the Alltech Warmup Arena. Sunday morning at 6:30am we are back there to take everything to the Rolex Arena floor to decorate the new Richard Jeffery jumps for the Stadium portion of the Kentucky Three Day Event. We have till 10:30am to do all that. The water trucks come in and the Stadium Course Walk begins.
This has been my week so far.