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Every member is expected to help at a minimum of two rides a year – more if possible – and there are also whole-Club events such as the annual Championships that require armies of helpers. Helping is a great way of learning more about endurance and how it works. It can also be very sociable! If you’re not sure what’s involved in helping, here’s a quick guide to the likeliest jobs on offer.\u003c/strong\u003e \u003cbr\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eCheck out the videos below which explain more about what you can expect to do as part of that role.\u0026nbsp; The Helper handbook is also a good source of information about each role - click on the link below to download.\u003c/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHow to sign up to help\u003c/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003eFor most rides, you can sign up using Clubhouse - see link below and look for the \"Helper Sign Up\" in the Events Calendar, or you can contact your Branch helpers coordinator.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003eIf you have entered a ride that you subsequently have to withdraw from at the last minute – eg, your horse has gone lame – please don’t assume that all the helper jobs will have been filled. Nearly all rides function better with a couple of surplus helpers who can lend a hand in admin or sit at a gate. You will be much appreciated!\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eVet writer\u003c/em\u003e\u003c/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003eEvery ride operates vet checks at start and finish for all riders. At Pleasure-only events, these are likely to be conducted by experienced endurance riders (called ‘competent person’); every event with a competitive class will have at least one vet too. Both vet and competent person need an assistant who writes down on the vet sheet the results of their examination of the horse. You need absolutely no endurance experience to do this job, but you will learn heaps! Longer distance classes (50kms and over) also have interim vet checks which are sometimes away from the venue so you would travel there with ‘your’ vet. \u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eCompetent person\u003c/em\u003e\u003c/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003eAs mentioned above, rides that are Pleasure-only will have their vettings carried out by an experienced endurance rider equipped with a stethoscope and a sense of humour. The competent person takes horses’ heart rates and watches them trot up at the start and finish of the ride. The competent person must be prepared to eliminate a lame horse if there is no vet present.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eAdmin\u003c/em\u003e\u003c/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003eThe hub of every event is the admin caravan or trailer where all the paperwork is held and the results are computed. At the start of the day the admin team collect riders’ cards and hand out bibs, answer queries, make sure all helpers are where they’re supposed to be, update timekeeping and checkpoint staff on withdrawals and eliminations, and act as the base for responding to any emergencies. At the finish they work out the results. No one is expected to do admin on their own, and wherever possible someone new to the job is paired with an experienced hand.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eStarter/timekeeper\u003c/em\u003e\u003c/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003eThis is usually a team of two, positioned at the ride start/finish, equipped with synchronised clocks, who dispatch riders out onto the route at regular intervals. At the finish they hand out the cards which show riders the time by which they must have vetted.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eGate opener\u003c/em\u003e\u003c/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003eHumble but essential! Gate openers make the route a pleasure for riders and act as a reassurance for farmers and landowners that stock is not going to escape. Usually they can sit in their car at the gate but the occasional gate is inaccessible by vehicle and the gate opener has to walk there.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eRoad crossing marshall\u003c/em\u003e\u003c/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003eSome routes have to cross busy roads and the road crossing marshall is an essential safety aid. They act as a visual hazard warning to traffic, and sometimes have to be firm with riders in a hurry.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eCheckpoint steward\u003c/em\u003e\u003c/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003eAnother safety feature, the checkpoint steward is usually positioned at a point where routes diverge, or after a long remote section where riders might get lost. The steward will check riders off a list as they pass and notify admin if anyone is missing. They also act as liaison in an emergency. Many Branches use Raynet, the volunteer emergency communications network, rather than SERC members for this role.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eRunner\u003c/em\u003e\u003c/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003eMost venues are fairly spread out so that the vetting and start areas are a distance way from the admin caravan. Runners (they don’t have to run!) take vet sheets and finish cards from one area to another as required.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eLunches\u003c/em\u003e\u003c/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003eA surprisingly key role! Often, volunteering to do lunches means you can ride as well. The Branch helpers coordinator will advise how many lunches are needed, and they generally consist of a roll/sandwich, piece of fruit, crisps, chocolate bar or similar, and a cold drink. Rides that feature longer distances will require helpers to be around for longer and the lunch should be increased accordingly. 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