Family Comes First For Harriet

Family Comes First For Harriet

A rather important change of guard has quietly happened behind the scenes of the Kihikihi International Horse Trial.
Long time volunteer Harriet Lamb has stepped back after 11 years helping in all sorts of ways – she’s been the secretary, FEI liaison person, international rider hostess, grant application writer and more recently publicity coordinator.
Anyone involved with the event though knows she done that and so much more.
Harriet has been the go-to person for many – but this busy mum of two has taken it all in her stride.
She’s now passed the reins to Katherine Davies. But Harriet is the first to admit she’ll still be side line at the 2016 event . . . just to watch.
She first became involved with Kihikihi when she and her family moved from the Waitemata to the Waikato. She and husband Mike had been involved with the Waitemata eventing and showjumping groups and word had spread there was someone new to the area who would be worth seconding to the committee.
But the sidelines are not the only place Harriet has been seen – she competed at the very first Kihikihi event and even won a class, however a back injury saw her give up eventing for dressage not long after.
However, Mike has competed at Kihikihi many times and after Harriet stopped eventing she became his on-the-ground support person.
“Once we figured out how to combine our skills we make a pretty good team,” she says.
But she will miss the other side of Kihikihi.
“It is a great feeling pulling together a big project as a team . . . there is nothing quite like it but it is a huge effort from a small group of people.”
When it comes to rolling out the actual event, there are around 250 volunteers who step up – that’s about one for each rider.
“The best thing about Kihikihi is the amazing committee,” says Harriet. “I have been involved with many excellent committees but Kihikihi stands alone because of its unique culture, brilliant people, generous spirit and lots of laughs.”
When she started, she worked alongside Bevan Houlbrooke in publicity, moving to the role of minutes secretary which she says was a great job for understanding how the event all hangs together. From there it was the FEI liaison role, ensuring the event was FEI compliant.
“In 2011 Kihikihi held the trans Tasman teams’ competition and I worked with Pete Jenkins and John Nicholson – the best team mates you could ever imagine – to keep that multi-faceted event on the road.”
That was the year ESNZ told them to just put on the same great event they always did.
“They made it sound so easy when of course the reality is rather different. There were some serious man hours behind that one and we were all pretty happy with the end result.”
But juggling a busy family and full-on job has meant she has had to call time.
“My job as a freelance medical writer seems to get busier and more demanding each year,” she says. “Our two kids are now 11 and 13 and I am keen to follow their interests rather than my own. I am still doing voluntary things but it is around their interests rather than mine.”
The big winner is the local Pony Club who has just acquired a very experienced publicity and funding support person!”
And she recommends all event riders be involved with their local group.


ends



Date Added: Sunday, 3rd January 2016


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