Bitten by a bug (a summer to remember)
We're a family of four but only the three of us registered as volunteers:
Ingvar, the father: has very little experience with horses but thinks that they taste good.
Iris, the mom: has ridden, owned and trained Icelandic horses since she was about 10 years old.
Dagny, the 13 year old daughter: has a burning interest in all horses in general but the Icelandic horse is special to her. We were born in Iceland but moved to Denmark in 2007, where we live now.
Why did we volunteer?
Our daughter rides a mix-breed of english warm-blood and norwegian Fjordhorse at a local club and Iris, the mom, has ridden and trained Icelandic- horses growing up in Iceland and because of our interest in Icelandic- horses, we were at the WC 2015 in Herning, Denmark and saw the information booth for WC 2017. As we were leaving and the shops were closing, Ingvar, the husband, said that he had noticed that the Volunteers that we had met that day, appeared to be so happy and were so kind and helpful. It made him want to volunteer at the next WC as it looked to be so fun.
We ran as fast as we could back to the booth as the shops were closing. We were so lucky to meet the coordinator for the Volunteers WC 2017, Anja. She wrote down our names and information and when we walked back to our car in total silence, we couldn't help but think "what were we thinking? How will this work?".
It seemed impossible at the time to imagine that in two years time, we would be standing in Oirschot. But we did. And we are so glad we did.
Springtime 2017, we found out that Dagny has social anxiety and we weren't sure if we would be able to take part in WC 2017. It was a hard time for the family. Especially for our daughter. She knew what was at stake. We took the chance knowing that if it would be too much for Dagny, we would always be able to drive back home.
We got there a few days before the championship formally started, so Dagny could get used to the surroundings and the people before the sight became too crowded.
It was impressive how the group-leaders worked and it was obvious that they had the experience and knowledge to make everything work out as good as possible. Dagnys group-leader was a teacher by trade and it was reassuring for us, the parents, to see that our daughters anxiety was not a problem and it was important for them that our daughter had a good experience as a volunteer. We will always be grateful for that.
Our experience was so uplifting, reassuring and adventurous that Ingvar volunteered again for the WC 2019 in Berlin without even checking with Iris and Dagny. Keep in mind, that Ingvar is not a rider and has no interest in horses! It was the experience as a volunteer in Oirschot 2017 that resulted in him registering as a volunteer again. And, of course, so will we.
Would we recommend being a volunteer?
Hands down, without any hesitation.
Make it happen!
We've made memories and friends for life. It's weird thinking about, that in just 12 days we felt strong bonds with these new friends and we felt at home. Saying goodbye was hard. There were tears. But as we drove home we couldn't help but get totally excitet for WC 2019. We can't wait!
But we must warn you.... Once you're bitten by the volteer-bug, there's no return.
We hope that we will be seeing you at the WC in Icelandic horses 2019, and 2021 and 2023 and 2025....
Iris Dröfn Jónsdóttir
Dagny Fjóla Ingvarsdóttir