Next month will mark the end of the road for a popular grassroots event.
After 10 years of running British Eventing’s (BE) Stafford Horse Trials fixtures, organiser Amy Dixon is stepping down from the role following July’s event due to health reasons.
Amy ran the first event at Park Farm in April 2005 when she was eight-months pregnant with her first child, Leah.
Since it began, the event has grown hugely and now welcomes around 800 combinations at each of its two events a year.
Amy told H&H the thing she is going to miss most is the “family” of volunteers.
“They are incredible in their skill set and what they bring to the event,” she said.
“We have a great time.”
It was after a run of being balloted from events when she was competing that Amy had the idea of setting up her own event.
The late Colin Furness, who was BE regional director at the time, said to her that they needed more events and if she didn’t like being balloted that she should run one.
They looked at two venues and decided Park Farm in Weston Road, Stafford.
“He has literally put everything into it,” said Amy of the land owner Richard Williams.
She added she is “so glad” to have put effort into grassroots eventing and spoke highly of the role 80cm events have in introducing people to the sport.
Amy, who also works in property, said she “absolutely cannot wait” to spend more time with her two daughters Leah and Poppy.
She added her girls are upset at the loss of the events and wanted her to give up “every other bit of work” apart from this.
The pair both help their mum with the running of the competitions, Leah by pole picking and Poppy by selling “horse pick ‘n’ mix”, such as chopped carrots to competitors.
Amy said she is going to keep them both involved in eventing and there are a number of nearby competitions they plan to volunteer at.
Equipment from Stafford Horse Trials, including cross-country fences, will now be sold via tender.
“The best thing that can come out of this now is other events can benefit from buying second-hand equipment,” said Amy.
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