The life of an equestrian events manager is a busy one, but it’s so rewarding to see everyone having a fantastic time with their horses at your event. Strong organisational skills are a must for this role. Combining a passion for equine sport with strong planning and management skills plus good communication, a positive approach to problem solving and being able to work as part of a team.
At Eland Lodge we can run up to six events per week and therefore to keep all the ‘plates spinning’ can be challenging, therefore good organisational skills are essential, as it is down to the Events Secretary to deal with the entries, organise the competitor times, ensure the correct officials are present, the equipment is ready e.g. timing heads for a Showjumping competition or fence judge boxes for a cross country event, competitor numbers, rosettes and prizes have been ordered and are ready to be given out at the event. First aid, refreshment trade stands and toilet facilities have been arranged and are in place. It is also important to evaluate the event, did the event run smoothly, if there was a problem – what was it and how was it dealt with, what could be done to make the event more successful.
Forward planning is a key element as the competition calendar is booked approximately 18 months in advance, with the affiliated governing bodies e.g. British Dressage (BD), British Eventing (BE), British Show Jumping (BS) and Pony Club (PC).
Good management skills, which include good researching skills to identify potential new competitions to the calendar. At Eland Lodge we have successfully bid and been awarded the Pony Club Regional Championships for an additional three years, Second Round Dodson & Horrell Showjumping Championships, Second Round British Novice Showjumping Championships and British Showjumping Multiple Day events.
Being adaptable to change is important, an event may have to change at the last minute due to weather conditions, Covid 19 pandemic, equine flu etc. You also need a willingness to learn, this could be the latest governing body IT system e.g. EARS British Eventing’s new Entries, Admin, Results and Scoring or live scoring. We introduced live scoring at Eland Lodge 18 months ago, for all our competitions from dressage to NSEA events, eventing, hunter trials and Pony Club events.
Communication is key as an Event Secretary, being able to communicate with a number of different people - competitors, officials, volunteers etc.
Running a competition also requires flexibility and the ability to identify a problem that may be encountered during the competition and provide potential solutions.
Being an Event Secretary requires self-management and the capability to work in a team, which may be many different teams depending on the event you are running on that day.
Other skills would include being able to multi-task and stay focused at the same time, you may have a competitor requiring assistance while you are adding up a dressage sheet or placing information into the live scoring system.
Event Secretaries enjoy the buzz of adapting to new situations and taking on new challenges.