While we say thank you to all of our volunteers who work so hard to make this incredible event happen, we want to say thank you to all of you, too! By helping us celebrate the dedicated men and women who give up so much of their time to help organize, coordinate, and run the iconic Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, you’re helping us give them the recognition they very much deserve! The Kentucky Three-Day Event volunteers are a group of passionate individuals, some of whom have been with us for decades, pouring their hearts into making this the Best Weekend All Year!
Join us in our fourth installment as we celebrate a few more of our stewards and volunteer chiefs!
Meet the Kentucky Three-Day Event Volunteers!
Nanette Eichell – Head of Public Information
Nanette has been with the Kentucky Three-Day Event since 1977, when she started volunteering by answering the phone and making copies. During her years, she stayed in the office/ house answering the phone. In 2010, Nanette ramped up her expertise and came on as our Head of Public Information. She has a ton of fantastic memories to share, and it’s no wonder – she’s had the chance to see some incredible things!
- What are the responsibilities of the Head of Public Information and volunteers? – We help with 2 areas: helping our spectators with information ranging from where the ATM is to where the start is to when the 1st horse inspection is and where. We’re also responsible for producing current times and results copies for officials, riders. Press, and public
- How many hours on average do you volunteer for the event? – About 60
- How many volunteers are in your group? – 15 to 20 depending on how we are trying to reach the public. We’ve tried many variations!
- What is your favorite memory from volunteering? – Joe Saito going down centerline when a thunderclap hit; Poltroon, first owned by first CEO Edith Conyers, ridden by Torrance Watkins, Floating! Cathy Wiescchhoff winning Prelim when I was her beleaguered groom ( thank you for letting me crash on the floor of the trailer!). Walking the winning horse back to the stables was amazing! Let’s see. Prince Phillip dropping into the tent in ’78 for a quick question. Sharon White winning 3rd and Tink and I in the Awards ceremony? Tink coming into the tent in’78– his company, Rockwell International were sponsors, and he, not a horse person, came in after the first DRESSAGE day and said, “This is awesome! Can we go to the next Championships?” Getting on the plane to go back to Boston and having Bruce Davidson Sr. With his broken ribs on his way to Badminton; Denny Emerson missing the last fence (He did that for us amateurs). Sunday afternoon wine picnic on the hillside with Cathy Collins (asst sect) and her husband Gary. General Burton? Nigel Casserly? Minna Renz? Sorry but after 45 years there are many memories I would never have had without the staff and EEI Committee and all their hard work.
- Why do you volunteer with K3DE? – It’s an excellent partnership between horse and talented athletic riders. And seeing all of our spectators seeing their friends from across the globe. Whatever very small part I contribute is satisfying and FUN!
- Who is your favorite Vendor at the event? – The Canadian person who sold embroidered shirts. Wise Choice? The people who made GREAT crepes? Mr. Back fudge?
- What do you do when you’re not volunteering with K3DE? – I’m a retired public reference librarian.
- Do you, or have you shown? – Of course. I evented up to the novice level. Almost made training!. But much involvement in eventing–area I calendar schedule; secretary in area I; scoring in area 8; young rider co-coordinator area 8. Fairy godmother to many successful area 8 riders/trainers.
Norma Northern – Chief Dressage Steward
In 1980, the Kentucky Three-Day Event gained another avid and passionate volunteer when Norma Northern, our Chief Dressage Steward, signed on as a Fence Judge. In 1985 she switched roles and started volunteering with the Dressage portion of the event. She oversees a large team of dedicated volunteers, and they have the impressive task of assisting with the Dressage ring!
- What are the responsibilities of the Chief Dressage Steward and volunteers? – Our job is to run the two days of dressage and make sure the horses and riders enter the competition arena on time. I oversee a volunteer Staff of approximately 50 people. Their duties include overseeing the two final warm-up rings, advising riders and trainers of how much time is left before they go to the competition ring, overseeing other warm-up rings, ensuring safe crossing to Nina Bonnie avenue to the two final warm-up rings, monitoring the chute to the competition rings to ensure safe passage of riders coming and going, making sure the coming and going entourages remain safe, provide scribes for the judges as well as electronic scribes, provide video scribes as needed, competition ring corner maintenance, gate openers, score collection, crowd control in multiple areas, breakdown of all rings, letters, and decorations. Previous to 2021, we set the competition ring, and the two final warm-up rings the Saturday before the competition.
- How many hours on average do you volunteer for the event? – 70 to 80 hours
- How many volunteers are in your group? – Approximately 50 people – about 35 or more work two full days and the others usually work one day.
- What is your favorite memory about volunteering? – EVERY Kentucky Three Day is a one-of-a-kind memory!
- Why do you volunteer with K3DE? – To give back to the sport I love and to help make sure that events of this kind continue in the future.
- Who is your favorite Vendor at the event? – Horse related and jewelry vendors, and the Crab Cake vendor.
- What do you do when you’re not volunteering with K3DE? – My career was in higher education finance but I’ve retired about a year ago.
- Do you, or have you shown? – I’ve evented at the lower levels when I was younger. I fox hunted for a couple of years, More recently, I’ve owned a warmblood that excelled at dressage and I had a trainer show him until he was recently sold.
- Is there anything else you’d like to share? – I can’t emphasize enough how important and vital the volunteers are to any event. Most of my crew have been with me for 20 to 30 years. I am so blessed to have such smart, hard-working, and competent people returning year after year. Plus we have great fun every year!
Paula Moore – Co-Chief of Starters & Timers
Keeping all of the horse and rider teams well organized and on schedule is obviously a monumental task in itself! Paula Moore may have started as a Dressage volunteer in 1979, but in 1985 she put on the Co-Chief of Starters & Timers hat and we couldn’t be more grateful.
- What are the responsibilities of the Co-Chief of Starters & Timers and volunteers? – Recruiting sufficient volunteers for warmup and Start and Finish. Overseeing volunteers to ensure that timing is done properly and coordinating with the electronic timing. Ensuring that individual timers are available in the warmup to each rider, providing the rider with the correct time and how much time remains before their scheduled start.
- How many hours on average do you volunteer for the event? – About 30
- How many volunteers are in your group? – Now it is about 15 because of the short format used. It was formerly about 25 when the long format was used originally.
- What is your favorite memory from volunteering? – Whenever the weather cooperates is a good year!!
- Why do you volunteer with K3DE? – To give back to the sport (I was formerly a low-level eventer and dressage competitor). Horses have always been a big part of my life. I was first recruited by a close personal friend who also happened to be the Executive Director after the 1978 World Championships.
- What do you do when you’re not volunteering with K3DE? – Retired since 1999, I was formerly a policy and budget analyst in the Governor’s Office in KY state government.
- Do you, or have you shown? – I competed in both eventing and dressage at local shows years ago and was a TD (technical delegate) with the Mid-South Eventing and Dressage Association.
- Is there anything else you’d like to share? – Today my “passion” is my dogs, Shetland Sheepdogs. Since 1985 I’ve had a total of 8 (soon to be 9), who have all “participated” in the 3-Day Event by attending with me. They even made the program once years ago!
Gail Jackson – Co-Chief of Starters & Timers
Gail has been with the Kentucky Three-Day Event since 1993, when she started volunteering in the 10-minute box. Just this year, Gail has saddled up with Paula Moore as Co-Chief of Starters and Timers. As Gail knows, getting eventers on schedule and ready to start is a huge job, and no one’s happy if the correct times and finishes aren’t recorded and delivered!
- What are the responsibilities of the Co-Chief of Starters & Timers and volunteers? – The starters get the horses and riders to the start box on time alerting them to delays or holds on course. This group is also responsible for starting and recording the time of start and finish.
- How many hours on average do you volunteer for the event? – I am guessing it will be about 40 hours.
- How many volunteers are in your group? – There are approximately 15 people in the group who work on XC day.
- What is your favorite part of volunteering? – I love watching the grooms cheer on the first-time competitors as they come through the finish flags. There is no better accomplishment than watching their joy.
- Why do you volunteer with K3DE? – I think that it is important that we give back to the sport that we love. I always learn something from the experience and I get to spend some time with great people.
- Who is your favorite Vendor at the event? – Clever with Leather and Bourbon Chicken
- What do you do when you’re not volunteering with K3DE? – I teach GED classes at the Boyle County Detention Center.
- Do you, or have you shown? – I currently compete at the Training level in eventing and hope to move up a level in the spring
We want to say thanks again for our hard-working volunteers! This event simply couldn’t happen without their help and passion. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our first 3 installments, highlighting our incredible stewards and volunteers. Be sure to say thanks if you happen to see them!