Eventing volunteer’s legacy to help fence judges get to far-flung events

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A small number of the 750 volunteers it takes to run the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.
A small number of the 750 volunteers it takes to run the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, pictured in 2013. © Mike Bain

Dedicated British eventing volunteers have the chance to dip into a new fund to help with travel expenses to Olympic or World Equestrian Games hosted outside of Europe.

Gooden, a BE Volunteer and Professional Adviser, died in 2016. He dedicated a sum from his estate to British Eventing to set up a fund to assist fence judges with their overseas travel to events. BE only recently learned of the legacy.

The very well dressed Fence Judge Jane Knight tries to rake the water?
Burghley 2014 fence judge Jane Knight in action. © Mike Bain

The Derek Gooden Fund has been launched by British Eventing in memory of one of the sport’s most dedicated and experienced volunteers.

The recipient of the BE Award, Gooden was a vital part of the sport for many years and best known for his expertise as a Health and Safety officer and was an adviser in Health and Safety for many events, as well as a cross-country steward and fence judge.

“All of us at British Eventing were very touched by the news and cannot think of a better way to honour Derek’s memory than through this fabulous fund,” BE CEO Jude Matthews said.

“Our sport could not run without the tireless dedication of volunteers, and to be able to help them travel to these incredible overseas events will provide some of our fence judges, who otherwise may not have been able to attend, with some fantastic opportunities and experiences.”

Matthews said that volunteers who had applied to work at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games would soon find out if they have been successful in securing a place. “We hope that through these bursaries we can support some of our volunteers with their travel to Tokyo this year.”

Sue Clayton, Derek Gooden’s executor, will be part of the awarding group along with a representative from British Eventing. A maximum of £1000 will be offered in any one award year.

» Volunteer bursary application form for Tokyo 2020

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