At DDRC we have a small band of people that organise the events. These lovely people are listed below, however we are also looking for more help. There are some jobs that can be done on the day (so parents looking for something to do while their offspring competes might not be so bored!) or we also have a couple of jobs that are in prep for each event. One of them is organising the rosettes and another is getting sponsorship in. So neither of these need any knowledge of horses or ponys.
If anyone can help in the morning with the parking that would also be good. We are getting more and more people attending the event so the car park is becoming fuller and needs some organisation.
Doriel Watson – Chair
Doriel is the big boss here at DDRC and is usually seen wandering all over the showground. She keeps a check on everyone’s safety and ensures that no one is being too silly or ruining anyone else’s fun. She is also the saviour of most of our judges and makes sure they are stocked up with drinks/food throughout the day. If you ever have any problems, concerns or questions on the day, keep an eye out for her as she is always happy to assist!
Doriel grew up in the village of Shenley when it was surrounded by various mental institutions (which explains a lot!). Her first experience with horses was around aged 7 when she and her best friend discovered a couple of loose horses in the field next to her house. They quickly launched into heroic mode and blocked off the entrances, and ran to a local vet to tell him of their discovery! The horses owner was a trainer and was so grateful he let them both ride one of the horses as a thank you. It turns out, that this very horse was the horse filming the TV series ‘Black Beauty’. Both Doriel and her friend enjoyed it so much they developed their love and passion for horses, continuing on to have riding lessons every Sunday morning at the local riding school. At the time, the riding school used to provide horses for the local film studios and Doriel’s favourite pony was the cart horse filmed in the popular TV series Steptoe and Son. His real name was Bobby and he was a 14.2hh cob.
As a teenager Doriel lost interest in horses and didn’t ride for many years. Moving forward some years she began breeding and showing Guinea pigs and at one stage had 68 of them! From there she went on to rabbits, and then transitioned to showing her Collie dog. She managed to qualify for Crufts a couple of times, and finally managed to win her class and went on to win Reserve Best Bitch in the breed (quite a fitting title for Doriel). Doriel’s friend sadly passed away from a nasty car accident which led her to then become involved with the Collie Rescue London and South East and rehomed Collie’s for the next 10 years.
Doriel only became involved with horses again because her daughter wanted to learn to ride, due to Doriel’s golden heart she became involved in helping a lady who rescuing horses from the market. Every Wednesday she drove her trailer or box down and together they would buy any horses that were going to be bought by the meat man! Think of how many innocent pony lives she has saved.
Her son also became involved with horse riding and it wasn’t long before she was taking them both out to the local shows. Dacorum being one of her favourites, she was very upset when she discovered that Ken Burgin and Jim Fountain decided they could not keep the show going any longer as nobody was bothering to help out and they could not continue to do everything on their own. This was when Doriel decided to volunteer in 2000 and the rest is history…..
Debbie Sheldon – Secretary
Carol Hardy – Show day secretary
Alison Halfnight – Membership
Claire Palmer – Entries
Usually found judging the show jumping in Ring 1, Claire has been part of the DDRC team since 2004 having joined when the committee were looking for new members to ensure that DDRC continued as a few of the team at the time were stepping down. As a competitor at DDRC as a child, Claire felt that it would be very unfortunate for DDRC not to continue as it is a successful local show which has been going for a number of years and is a great place for new competitors to start out. Since joining the DDRC team, Claire has also qualified as a British Showjumping Level 1 judge.
Claire has 2 horses and a pony and can often be seen out and about competing at shows when not looking after her son and working. She has achieved many successes in showjumping, eventing and showing including competing at Hickstead, Ponies UK Championships and CTR Championships.
Paul Halfnight –
Paul is DDRC’s ‘Jack of all Trades’, when not found with his hands down one of the toilets trying to keep them working you will find him running the Clear Round ring throughout show day, if he is not there then he may be fixing any damaged fences in one of the show jumping rings.
Paul has been involved with DDRC for a number of years. It all started when his wife was persuaded by Doriel Watson to help with some administration and the setting up of the show on a Saturday afternoon. He soon found himself getting more and more involved!
After 40+ years of practising Architecture Paul decided to give it up and do something interesting instead and is now on a 2-year course in saddlery at the Princess Royal School of Animal Management and Saddlery, Capel Manor in Enfield. So, if you want any top notch handmade head collars or bridles Paul’s your man!
Tony Field – Website management
Tony joined DDRC about 6 years ago when he was in the usual father role of transporting horses to events. Arriving at DDRC with his daughter and her horse, the call went out for some helpers at the show. Not having anything else to do for the next 6 hours, he signed up and several years later he is still here.
Tony is normally to be found judging in ring 2, getting those people on their first steps in the jumping world. He also does the website and online booking system for DDRC. To make sure that Tony is applying the rules properly, he got trained up by the BSJA and is now a Level 1 judge operating with BSJA at various events.
Many many years ago when Tony was born, there was a ‘discussion’ between his parents. His mother thought his father was more interested in motorbikes than his new born kid. “That’s an idea says his father” and so Tony’s middle name was set. He was called after his father’s motorbike at the time; Vincent. Tony has taken after his father and presently has two motorbikes. Tony’s daughter though is not called Melanie Honda Field!
Returning to the subject of the online booking system, Tony is surprised at how many people pay full price for the classes, when there are large discounts available with the online booking system. For instance, a junior member cost, reduces from £7 per class to £5. Perhaps people have too much money at DDRC! But also the advanced booking does help DDRC since those entries can be prepared before the event and so this reduces the queues at the caravan and helps the organisation run more smoothly.
Jo Shaw – Our newest recruit and very much welcome
Steve Shaw – Our radio man