We’re just a few days out from the Best Weekend All Year! What better way to enter the final stretch than to wrap up our volunteer spotlight series with our last installment. We want to say thank you so much to all the people that spend so much of their time helping make the Kentucky Three-Day Event such a spectacular success each and every year. Thanks for coming back to learn more about some of the Kentucky Three-Day Event Volunteers!
Meet the Kentucky Three-Day Event Volunteers!
Mary Fike – Stable Manager
Mary signed on as Stable Manager back in 1984, and she’s been an integral part of making sure the behind the scene barn operations run smoothly. What a cool job! Coordinating and assisting riders, grooms, and the well-being of these incredible equine athletes makes our hearts warm and fuzzy.
- What are the responsibilities of the Stable Manager and volunteers? – Stall assignments, Stable Access, Managing the smooth operation of the stables and stable office, and helping facilitate riders, grooms, owners, etc., to have a positive experience ‘on the backside’ of the K3DE.
- How many hours on average do you volunteer for the event? – 108
- How many volunteers are in your group? – 6, including myself.
- What is your favorite memory from volunteering? – William Fox-Pitt relaxing in ‘The Chair” in the Stable Office 20 mins before he went to SJ and won.
- Why do you volunteer with K3DE? – It’s fun, and I want to help make the event a great experience for everyone.
- Who is your favorite Vendor at the event? – I rarely get to go to shopping, and if I had to choose, then the cream puff vendor.
- What do you do when you’re not volunteering with K3DE? – Own an eventing farm, coach, and manage other events.
- Do you, or have you shown? – Yes – a hundred years ago. Evented way “back in the day”.
- Is there anything else you’d like to share? – Despite the growth of the event into a huge destination event for riders, volunteers and spectators, I think it is important to note that the folks that put on the event are ‘regular’ folk who want to host a great competition and that there is a real sense of loyalty that has been built over the years. Each year it is great to see the same faces alongside newcomers. It keeps the event familiar without being stale.
Nancy Clinkinbeard – Chief Stadium Steward
Our Chief Stadium Steward Nancy Clinkinbeard joined the ranks of familiar faces way back in 1981. She began her volunteer work with the Kentucky Three-Day Event working in the control room, recording times and scores. In 1997 she took on the Chief Stadium Steward role, and she now works with an incredible team of volunteers during Sunday’s Show Jumping events!
- What are the responsibilities of the Chief Stadium Steward and volunteers? – Coordinating the stadium jumping crew along with two warmup areas and helping get ribbons on the winners. We also work with state police to facilitate spectator crossing by the ingate.
- How many hours on average do you volunteer for the event? – 20
- How many volunteers are in your group? – Approximately 30 – we only work on Sunday.
- What is your favorite memory about volunteering? – Some years ago I was on the EEI board and was in charge of official’s hospitality. We had a fun group of officials and my house guests and I took them to dinner in downtown Lexington, can’t remember the restaurant name, long gone. We had the best time with good food, good drinks, and good new friends. We laughed like mad over crazy stories. Those are the best memories – meeting interesting people from all over the world.
- Why do you volunteer with K3DE? – I was roped into helping by a friend back in the early 80s. I saw the sport first at the 1978 World Championship. I got hooked after volunteering and was low-level eventing by 1986. I loved the sport for years and still enjoy watching and helping, although I do miss the old long format.
- Who is your favorite Vendor at the event? – I’m not much of a shopper, but a friend, and I always like the IB Back Fudge and whichever vendor was selling funnel cakes!
- What do you do when you’re not volunteering with K3DE? – Happily retired. Before retiring, my family and I owned an animal health distribution company and had a small Thoroughbred breeding farm.
- Do you, or have you shown? – I evented for over 20 years. Now I just foxhunt.
Erin Ruedele – Chief Steward of Ribbons and Trophies
While each volunteer job is an integral part of the grand puzzle, Erin Ruedele has one of the more spectator-facing jobs! Erin is the Kentucky Three-Day Event Chief Steward of Ribbons ad Trophies. She and her team coordinate ribbons, trophies, and prizes for winners of the event all week. Erin began volunteering in 2000, where she dipped her toes in helping with horse inspections and helping out with the same job she has now.
- What are the responsibilities of the Chief Steward of Ribbons and Trophies and volunteers? – Manage volunteers needed to run the awards. We collect and organize all the prizes, ribbons, and trophies for both the awards ceremony and after-party. Coordinate the opening ceremonies. We also run the awards ceremony and keep the presenters and announcers on track. We coordinate the prize presentations at the after-party and we compile all the awards given out over the course of the weekend.
- How many hours on average do you volunteer for the event? – 80 hours
- How many volunteers are in your group? – We need around 40 volunteers on Sunday, in a variety of roles, from putting on ribbons to escorting the various trophies and presenters during the ceremonies. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, there are 6 of us collecting and prepping for Sunday with 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? – Taking my daughter to watch cross country when she was just 8 months old. I loved to watch her eyes as she saw the horses go galloping by. I look forward to including her in the event and making it a family outing.
- Who is your favorite Vendor at the event? – I don’t think I could pick. I just love exploring the trade fair and trying different food vendors.
- What do you do when you’re not volunteering with K3DE? – I am a Wholesale Sales Representative selling farm, equine, and pet supplies and a full-time mom to my 3-year-old daughter Isabelle.
- Do you, or have you shown? – I showed at local hunter shows during high school but went to college and started competing in dressage and horse trials. After college, I moved to Lexington and completed only a few times before I ended up helping with several different events and being the event organizer for the Paul Fraiser memorial combined test and dressage show.
Ellen Sadler – Co-Chief Steward of Horse Inspection & Trophies & Ribbons
Since 1995, Ellen Sadler has graced the Kentucky Three-Day Event with her drive, commitment, and passion. Her role began when she volunteered with crowd control at the Horse Inspection, and in 2013, Ellen ventured out, adding Co-Chief of Trophies and Ribbons to her existing tasks.
- What are the responsibilities of the Co-Chief of the Horse Inspection, and Trophies & Ribbons volunteers? – Coordinating volunteers for the Horse Inspections and sharing the same responsibilities with Co-Chief Erin Ruedele.
- How many hours on average do you volunteer for the event? – 15-20
- How many volunteers are in your group? – Approximately 16
- What is your favorite memory from volunteering? – Bruce Davidson and Little Tricky in the monsoon!
- Why do you volunteer with K3DE? – My best friend makes me!
- Who is your favorite Vendor at the event? – Any of the vendors with coffee or beer.
- What do you do when you’re not volunteering with K3DE? – Barn owner/trainer/stall cleaner.
- Do you, or have you shown? – Yes, local hunters as a junior.
We want to say thanks again for our hard-working volunteers! In just a few short days we’ll see all of you, and you’ll get to see all the hard work our volunteer teams have put into making 2022 the best event yet! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our entire series, highlighting our incredible stewards and volunteers. Be sure to say thanks if you happen to see them!