Well here I was, thinking the New Year would start nice and dry and we could crack on!!! I'm sitting here with the rain pouring down and wind blowing a hoolie! But thank goodness we had a dry spell over Christmas, I was amazed how quickly the ground at Thoresby was dry. Before Christmas I was beginning to get really down but with a few dry days I could drive everywhere and we got a huge amount done. All the tracks through the woods are now cleared and ready for horses and spectators, fences cut and new gates put in and the 2nd and penultimate fences built. It was quite exciting to suddenly see it all come together.
The 'monkey puzzle' mound in the middle of the course has now been completely cleared and ready for posts to be driven and rails slung!
Mark Phillips was on site last week and we got all the courses planned and fences sited which was a huge step forward. We can confidently say we now have courses!
I am even now into negotiations with the estate on sites for new jumps for 2021! A bit ahead of myself but as I have been walking the course we have been thinking of what we can do to add ideas in 2021. Thoresby Estate has been so good and helpful in getting this up and running, virtually all our requests have been approved and they are so good about providing help where needed. It makes such a difference after 15 years walking on egg shells with the National Trust, there was so much red tape, and the standard answer was NO, it was then a battle to get through the mire to be able to make alterations and improvements. How great it is to be working with a team who are as enthusiastic about the event as we are and are working hard to make it all happen.
The office team are madly getting all the contractors and officials booked for all the events, trying to ensure that every box is ticked now so everyone knows when and what is happening. Sponsorship is ever changing we are constantly looking at new ideas and ways to engage and interact with them to ensure we are able to offer vibrant packages.
The horrific fires in Australia have been in my thoughts for week, how great it was to see Paul Tapner, Stephi Hoy and others pull together the EFRA support here in the UK. We are heading out to Australia this week and cannot imagine the scenes that we will witness, the scale of this devastation is unbelievable.
Please support this in anyway you can, there are lots of fund raising plans afoot, please visit the web site www.equestrianfirerelief.com.au to see how you can donate or support.
Hope that all your plans for the 2020 season are coming together, good luck with the preparation.