We again had a very large number of entries, similar to last year, with 272 dressage tests performed, 271 show jump rounds and 256 riders going Cross Country and some difficult conditions in the morning due to the weather. However, we still managed to finish within about 30 minutes of planned time. For that I am grateful to all of you, the competitors, and to our army of volunteers. You were also most generous with your donations to the NW Air Ambulance, over £300 raised, and I am sure we will be adding to that substantially once all the accounts are finalised.
I am once again in admiration of the King family and all their team who prepared superb facilities for us with extensive treatment of sections of the XC course to combat the worst effects of the rain. Thanks also to the Somerford based XC course designer and International Event Rider, Andy Heffernan, who gave you all much to think about on the course. We know we are very fortunate to have such superb facilities on our doorstep.
Many thanks to our Official Steward, Wendy Penny, who was most helpful, considerate and supportive to all the officials and riders/friends.
I could not begin to list all those who helped, gave of their time so freely and who deserve our gratitude so I will just mention by name the team leaders who, with their respective teams, worked tirelessly all day:
- Event Secretary Pennie Drummond whose team kept the whole operation ticking over and were very much our public face both from taking your declarations to organising the presentations. This year we had the added challenge of passport/vaccinations checks but they and you responded superbly to that issue.
- Chief Dressage Steward Corrie McLellan and team who kept the six dressage arenas moving all day long.
- Chief Show Jumping Steward Louise Cairns and team who kept the whole thing moving – show jumping is inevitably a pinch-point for eventing but it ran superbly well;
- Chief Cross Country Steward Louise Shepherd who, along with our Official Steward Wendy Penny, ensured that the XC course ran smoothly and efficiently;
- XC Controller/Commentator Ian (Tiny) McLellan and XC starter Dave Pearson and teams who kept us all informed, safe and in order on the XC course;
- Event Scorer Emily Barnes and team for getting the results out in record time despite the complexity of the competition and the challenges met along the way. We have come a long way in the last two years with online scoring from the Show Jumping and XC start/finish and this is down to this superb team;
- Judges’ and officials catering team led by Sally Harris and Janice Daniel who kept the volunteers fed and watered all day;
- Volunteers Organiser Sally Harris (again – is there no end to this woman’s talents?) who had the unenviable task of finding about 150 helpers to keep the whole show on the road;
- Health and Safety Officer, Graham Ashmore, who even found time to take a limping Area 5 Representative, Meg Green, around the XC course on his quad;
- To our Honorary Vet., Arnie Agnew, who thankfully had a quiet day – for the most part!
- And to everyone else who helped – they were all magnificent and we couldn’t do it without them.
If they can all be persuaded to do it again, the 2020 Cheshire Shield is scheduled for Saturday the 4th July – so make a note in your diary now! Entries from across the pond welcome.
The course photographer was Martha Lily Thompson of Martha Lily Photography whose gallery of photos from the Cheshire Shield can be found at https://www.marthalilyphotography.co.uk/v/photos/79914hrg/cheshire-shield-6th-july-2019
We also had a video photographer on site – Nick Skipper of Meadow Productions Ltd. – and details of how to get a video recording of your XC round can be found at https://www.meadowproductions.co.uk/order/somerford
Enjoy the rest of your summer,
Regards … Geoff
Thanks to Martha for the use of these photos ….