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View Full Version : Someone talk to me About Show Fees



Atypical
Apr. 15, 2009, 11:51 PM
Okay, I don't get it. I'm used to paying to show, have for a long time. And I know the general spiel, office fees, entry fees, stall fees, all pay for management, judging etc etc etc. But.... a question.

How is it that our fees are sooo high ( and come on, they are ) and yet prize money is virtually non existent. I talk to friend of mine that rodeo and western show fairly heavily, and they're pretty shocked when I talk about the cost of English showing. Rodeos, barrel races, reining, all somehow manage to be cheaper, and pay back competitors more money. Am I missing something? And being totally serious here.

Horseymama
Apr. 16, 2009, 12:23 AM
Well, I think it costs a little more to run a nice hunter/jumper show than a barrel race, but I do agree it is time to take a look at why we pay sooo much more. I think prize money mostly comes from sponsorship, and that is hard to get in our sport. The demographic that show jumps is seen as wealthy and exclusive by the general public. Case and point: I was in NYC a couple weeks ago and walked down 5th Ave. and the Juicy Couture window had an "equestrian" themed display going on complete with mannequins in cute little boots and breeches numbers. The rodeo crowd is seen as more down-to-earth, average-Joe, middle-class, accessible to all. More people to market to. Not many in the rodeo crowd that wear Juicy Couture. ;)

But hey, if they want to sponsor me, I'd be willing to wear one of those outfits on my horse! :D

Atypical
Apr. 16, 2009, 12:40 AM
Okay realize that there is a point in a higher cost for hunter jumper shows. And rodeo is kind of a whole other ballgame. At least national level rodeo, lots of sponsors etc. But even local rodeo manages to pay out far, far better than we do. And then there's reining, not traditional rodeo, but still managing at least good payouts.

gottagrey
Apr. 16, 2009, 12:46 AM
Horseymamma I think you might have the western gig all wrong. T

I agree w/ Atypical. H/J shows if you win a grand champion - you get a cooler, Western shows you win champion - sometimes you get a Truck, trailer (w/ living quarters!), saddle etc... So i'm thinking the Western world is doing something...

Pirateer
Apr. 16, 2009, 01:03 AM
Horseymamma I think you might have the western gig all wrong. T

I agree w/ Atypical. H/J shows if you win a grand champion - you get a cooler, Western shows you win champion - sometimes you get a Truck, trailer (w/ living quarters!), saddle etc... So i'm thinking the Western world is doing something...

This is why when I buy my first big $$$ horse I'm buying an AQHA Hunter and winning myself some sweet trailer action.

THEN i'll buy a nice REAL hunter :)

Kiara
Apr. 16, 2009, 01:18 AM
This is why when I buy my first big $$$ horse I'm buying an AQHA Hunter and winning myself some sweet trailer action.

THEN i'll buy a nice REAL hunter :)

Now we're thinking ;)

Horseymama
Apr. 16, 2009, 02:11 AM
I don't know, it's a good question. Is it that there are more participants in western and rodeo, so therefore more sponsors? I remember a few years back we went to the 4th of July rodeo in a neighboring small town and the prize money for the barrel race was $15K! And there were 8 riders in it! I might be wiser to train my jumpers to run fast around some barrels!

mrsbradbury
Apr. 16, 2009, 08:59 AM
The other world does seem to pay out better; but I think the big payout is excluded to one class at their usually one day event. (with the exception of the world show and congress).

I am in no way justifying the escalating costs of H/J competition, but I think if you spread out all of the prize money offered throughout the week, or series for each division, including any Grand Prix or Classics, you'll find that our world may very well pay better. (Not sure, haven't done the math!)

But.. I'll join you in that AQHA hunter class and give you a run for the money over the trailer!!:lol:

Jumphigh83
Apr. 16, 2009, 10:04 AM
Please don't tell David Conners (Four Winds Farm) that his QHs are not "real" hunters. They win in both rings. Until the H/J crowd loses the elitist image there will never be the kind of support you see at rodeos and racetracks(cars)....they appeal to the emotions of the "common man", those who like to see the "good" guy win and the "bad" guy lose...our riders never interact with the "fans" much less have promotional meet and greets...H/J needs a serious makeover to generate a "gate" and therefor the largess of sponsorships..after all, what is in it for the sponsors to give 50K to a GP when there will be NO ONE there to see their banners and ads except the choir to which they preach?

The AQHA has a HUGE national membership and a HUGE grassroots faction, to which they ACTUALLY cater, and therein lies it's popularity...Anyone who thinks they are going to saddle up Prince and go win a truck and trailer has a very rude awakening...the competition is tough. But, they also write checks to the breeders and owners for points won and they have the ROM program which recognizes the accomplishments of ALL QH owners who succeed at ANY level. It is a very good business model that our Federation would do well to emulate.

LivviesMom
Apr. 16, 2009, 11:56 AM
This is why when I buy my first big $$$ horse I'm buying an AQHA Hunter and winning myself some sweet trailer action.

THEN i'll buy a nice REAL hunter :)


I don't know, it's a good question. Is it that there are more participants in western and rodeo, so therefore more sponsors? I remember a few years back we went to the 4th of July rodeo in a neighboring small town and the prize money for the barrel race was $15K! And there were 8 riders in it! I might be wiser to train my jumpers to run fast around some barrels!

I think your both onto something lol.. I have friends that barrel race and I'm always amazed at the paybacks..
My mare can turn on a dime and they always told me I should consider barrels with her. I said there was no way I wanted to teach her to be able to run circles that fast! Now I think is should really consider it!

WorthTheWait95
Apr. 16, 2009, 12:04 PM
Please don't tell David Conners (Four Winds Farm) that his QHs are not "real" hunters. They win in both rings. Until the H/J crowd loses the elitist image there will never be the kind of support you see at rodeos and racetracks(cars)....they appeal to the emotions of the "common man", those who like to see the "good" guy win and the "bad" guy lose...our riders never interact with the "fans" much less have promotional meet and greets...H/J needs a serious makeover to generate a "gate" and therefor the largess of sponsorships..after all, what is in it for the sponsors to give 50K to a GP when there will be NO ONE there to see their banners and ads except the choir to which they preach?

The AQHA has a HUGE national membership and a HUGE grassroots faction, to which they ACTUALLY cater, and therein lies it's popularity...Anyone who thinks they are going to saddle up Prince and go win a truck and trailer has a very rude awakening...the competition is tough. But, they also write checks to the breeders and owners for points won and they have the ROM program which recognizes the accomplishments of ALL QH owners who succeed at ANY level. It is a very good business model that our Federation would do well to emulate.

Great post.

I've been to a few reining shows and got my feet wet in the show ring for a year at the AQHA shows. The stands are PACKED for the high light classes. The energy is amazing and it's just as much fun for the spectators as the participants. I remember everyone saying how nice it was that most of the stands were full in Syracuse this last year for the grand prix and such but the reality is that that needs to be EVERY show not just a rare event.

ImJumpin
Apr. 16, 2009, 01:10 PM
Please don't tell David Conners (Four Winds Farm) that his QHs are not "real" hunters. They win in both rings. Until the H/J crowd loses the elitist image there will never be the kind of support you see at rodeos and racetracks(cars)....they appeal to the emotions of the "common man", those who like to see the "good" guy win and the "bad" guy lose...our riders never interact with the "fans" much less have promotional meet and greets...H/J needs a serious makeover to generate a "gate" and therefor the largess of sponsorships..after all, what is in it for the sponsors to give 50K to a GP when there will be NO ONE there to see their banners and ads except the choir to which they preach?

The AQHA has a HUGE national membership and a HUGE grassroots faction, to which they ACTUALLY cater, and therein lies it's popularity...Anyone who thinks they are going to saddle up Prince and go win a truck and trailer has a very rude awakening...the competition is tough. But, they also write checks to the breeders and owners for points won and they have the ROM program which recognizes the accomplishments of ALL QH owners who succeed at ANY level. It is a very good business model that our Federation would do well to emulate.


:yes:

zahena
Apr. 16, 2009, 02:11 PM
Back in "the day" I used to ride on the buckskin circuit for a trainer of mine and when I won a class, I won something nice. Something usually in the crystal and silver family. At year end, we won HUGE crystal and silver somethings.

When you win year-end awards here you get a big ass ribbon for hunter/jumpers. Or a trophy. Wahoo. Something to collect a butt load of dust!!!

I agree with the reasons why the AQHA has better awards. The sponsorship is huge. Wrangler, Dodge, etc. In fact, my neighbor used to be sponsored by Dodge and you'd see him rolling around in two different duallies to his events!

mvp
Apr. 16, 2009, 03:01 PM
the Western World praised outside for doing something right.

I do wonder how the western world-- from dinky to Congres, gaming shows put on cheaply to local team penning (with cattle) and big rodeos with all kinds of rough stock still manage the pay-outs that they do.

In terms of encouraging sponsors, losing the elitist image, creating incentives for everyone to join, I think the H/J and Dressage parts of the USEF could learn something from the AQHA. Nice to not be the only one who thinks so! Thanks for posting.

Perhaps when enough money has been bled out of the English side of things while people take their weekends and dollars to the QH world, show managers will change. I think "business as usual" can't work anymore, try as they might.

ccoronios
Apr. 16, 2009, 05:55 PM
Rodeo costs less to produce than h/j shows????

Let me see:
H/J: one arena with technical accoutrements; jumps; posies; judge; announcer; gatekeeper; paddock master; steward; EMT

Rodeo: one arena with technical accoutrements; judge; announcer; chutekeeper; EMT; bullfighters/rodeo clowns; chutes; barrels & poles; (so far, close to even) - oh - and then there's the cattle (various sizes for different events from calf-roping to cutting to steer-wrestling/bulldogging) and the rough stock (bareback horses, broncs & bulls).

I'm thinking that rodeo expenses FAR outweigh h/j.

Carol

phoenix mom
Apr. 16, 2009, 07:17 PM
I have a friend on the Paint Horse circuit. She won THREE trailers in one year and traded them in for one big one with living quarters. Her show fees are usually smaller than ours and she comes home with a LOT of prize money. The junior program is very strong and keeps getting people involved. The different year end competitions for Jrs.,amateurs and even seniors are big draws. And I didn't get my daughter into that why? Now I remember, we needed 10 coolers with different show names on them.

jr
Apr. 16, 2009, 09:49 PM
rental of venue or purchase/upkeep of owned facility; liability insurance; salaries for office, ground staff, starters, course designers, judges, stewards, stabling personnel, etc.; jump rental; landscaping; Tent set-up/teardown; EMT/emergency support; office hardware; show management software; scoreboard rental/purchase; PA system rental/purchase; show amenities like coffee, food, water; port-o-johns; prizes (ribbons, coolers, trophies); etc........

Running a competition is not a bargain-basement endeavor and they deserve a reasonable rate of return. Some clearly take advantage, but the costs do add up!

mroades
Apr. 16, 2009, 10:46 PM
Rodeo costs less to produce than h/j shows????

Let me see:
H/J: one arena with technical accoutrements; jumps; posies; judge; announcer; gatekeeper; paddock master; steward; EMT

Rodeo: one arena with technical accoutrements; judge; announcer; chutekeeper; EMT; bullfighters/rodeo clowns; chutes; barrels & poles; (so far, close to even) - oh - and then there's the cattle (various sizes for different events from calf-roping to cutting to steer-wrestling/bulldogging) and the rough stock (bareback horses, broncs & bulls).

I'm thinking that rodeo expenses FAR outweigh h/j.

Carol

Ummm, times 3-8 for the H/J at rated shows.....

Parker_Rider
Apr. 16, 2009, 11:02 PM
Ummm, times 3-8 for the H/J at rated shows.....

That's what I was going to say... Ocala has, what? 9 rings going during the winter circuit?
Colorado's summer circuit, which isn't that big, has 2 jumper rings and 3 or 4 hunter rings....

I'd definitely say it's the accessibility issue. Rodeo's are more "spectator friendly" in advertising a fun, festive, affordable atmosphere. Hunters and jumpers seem more elitist and less accepting... I love A and AA shows, but if I were a spectator, I'd be a little intimidated by them.

fourmares
Apr. 17, 2009, 02:16 AM
Big QH and Paint shows have multiple rings too...

ImJumpin
Apr. 17, 2009, 08:37 AM
And we aren't talking about just rodeos. Your typical paint show does not draw HUGE crowds.

Geez, even from back in my saddleseat days (and you want to tell me those are a big draw for crowds??) I can remember prize money for just about every class, no matter how local the show. While the prizes were not as grand as the western shows, you still did win a lot of *stuff* as well. And don't tell me it is because saddleseat shows are cheaper to run-- yes, you don't have the jumps, but you find a nicely built judge's area in the middle of the ring, footing that's drug just about after every class, and usually shavings put down added to the footing and the all that has to come back out at the end of the show. There also used to be an organ player at most shows, playing for each class-- but I am not sure that part still happens.

Jumphigh83
Apr. 17, 2009, 09:20 AM
I really think City League is trying....they do things with spectator appeal...I hope it takes off...At least they have the right idea!

eby
Apr. 17, 2009, 09:37 AM
Bottom line - People choose what discipline they want to participate in. Some people choose the Rodeos and Quarter horse circuits others choose the level of competion they prefer in the hunter/jumper world. When they make that choice they take into consideration all of the pros and cons. I am sure cost of the venue is always a factor.

Hunter Mom
Apr. 17, 2009, 11:16 AM
And we aren't talking about just rodeos. Your typical paint show does not draw HUGE crowds.

Geez, even from back in my saddleseat days (and you want to tell me those are a big draw for crowds??) I can remember prize money for just about every class, no matter how local the show. While the prizes were not as grand as the western shows, you still did win a lot of *stuff* as well. And don't tell me it is because saddleseat shows are cheaper to run-- yes, you don't have the jumps, but you find a nicely built judge's area in the middle of the ring, footing that's drug just about after every class, and usually shavings put down added to the footing and the all that has to come back out at the end of the show. There also used to be an organ player at most shows, playing for each class-- but I am not sure that part still happens.

AAHHH. Good times.:D

I know as a junior showing ASB and Arabs, I frequently came home with a check big enough to cover a lot of the show expenses I'd had.

We have two local circuits in our area. One has a hunter classic each show that has payback, the other has an equitation challenge class that has payback at the end of the year. The jumpers have jackpot classes - those can be nice!

Atypical
Apr. 17, 2009, 11:19 AM
Lots of horse shows and western events are done in the same venues around where I live, and yet somehow I pay twice as much for stalling. And I don't think it's appropriate to say 'choose your level of competition', seeing as the QH world is in fact, very competitive. We as hunter/jumper people just seem to gloss over the fact that our fees are substantially higher than other disciplines, without any really good reasons as to why AND despite these costs, we still don't get a reasonable pay back. It's frustrating, especially since as much as I love h/j i have to scrape to get to one or two shows a year.

grandprixjump
Apr. 17, 2009, 12:22 PM
Turn out they used to have.. Since the PBR (bull riding) has spun off into it's own events. That is probably the main reason everyone went to rodeo's THE CRASH FACTOR. The odds of someone getting hurt jumping just isn't there like in Bull Riding..
And yes people are correct, Jumping has always been an elitists sport, meaning the rich ride or at least own the horses, and can afford to be TAKEN TO THE CLEANERS, without too much fuss, so to speak. Thus people getting used to making lots of money running shows, and not backing down to get MORE people to the shows.
I have been to City League shows, I do think it's a step in the right direction, trying to bring the average person, back to watch the horses.

ccoronios
Apr. 17, 2009, 03:59 PM
I'm aware that the larger shows have multiple rings. That's why I very specifically compared apples to apples as closely as possible. I intended, but didn't make clear, that I was comparing costs at the same facility for 1 ring. In my mind, I was picturing Syracuse (state fairgrounds) coliseum. I would imagine that there is a set charge per day for renting the facility. Naturally, multi-ring shows or rodeos cannot fairly be compared to one-ring events.

My point was that h/j shows don't have to pay for the stock, which is extremely expensive, as competitors don't want to work the same stock time after time after time. Cutting requires (I think - or perhaps just strongly suggests) 3 cows for each cutter in each 'pen'; and couple/several 'herds' are required per day. Ditto for timed evens and rough stock. Running the same stock in for event after event would be almost as popular as setting up a course of fences consisting of a set of standards and two poles. On crappy footing.

C

ccoronios
Apr. 17, 2009, 04:01 PM
ImJumpin - "There also used to be an organ player at most shows, playing for each class-- but I am not sure that part still happens."

It does.

AND (at least at the shows we video) the schedules are quite human. UPHA (next week) starts at 10 and goes to about 3, then starts again at 7 and goes to about 9:30 or 10 (except for Saturday (championship) night.

C

mvp
Apr. 17, 2009, 11:07 PM
The point of this thread may not to EXPLAIN how or why the H/J showing costs got so high or stay there. The worthwhile point may be that the "It has always been so, therefore will continue to be" or "You knew what you were getting into; if you don't like it, there's the door" attitudes are not undermining showing elsewhere. So people ARE choosing different disciplines, or picking up western rather than english when they start riding. The H/J world can watch, or it can change.

acoustic
Apr. 18, 2009, 12:42 AM
I'm a barrel racer for the most part. I'm switching back to jumping even though my horse has terrible style over fences because I love the rush of a good course.

It is amazing how well rodeos and jackpot barrel races pay out and its one of the main reasons I haven't made the commitment to changing discplines completely yet. Most have a 4D format, which pays out [generally] the first 4-5 riders in each division. The divisions are as follows: 1D--Fastest time of the day, no matter how many horses there are (At the local shows, there's anywhere from 70-100 riders a race). 2D--1/2 second off the 1D time. 3D--Full second off the 1D time. 4D--2 full seconds of the 1D time.

I have a 4D horse right now. We do it for fun, but even as a 4d horse, which is the SLOWEST of the divisions, my horse has WON me over $600 in the past 7 months of racing. These types of shows cost $25 to enter. Sometimes money is added by a sponser, somtimes not. EITHER WAY they pay out. Just had a race two weeks ago, ran the 2nd 4D time and made $120. MADE IT, didn't SPEND it.

They're so cheap to enter that I don't care if I when money or not, but that is a killer perk.

I would imagine that the reason hunter/jumpers don't pay out much, if at all, is due to a higher grounds fee, jump rental, paying judges, etc.

At a rodeo, there are no stalls until you're on at least a state level. The horses stay tied to the trailer. The arena is cheaper to rent because it doesn't have much of anything save for an arena, water, and some holding pens.

STILL, for what people pay to ride at a hunter/jumper show, there should be some payout, even just enough to win back your entry fees. Every class should offer that if there are enough riders. Our local H/J circuit just started adding money to even baby jumper classes to draw more of a crowd. It's headed in the right direction.:)

AliCat
Apr. 18, 2009, 10:43 AM
Well, I think it costs a little more to run a nice hunter/jumper show than a barrel race, but I do agree it is time to take a look at why we pay sooo much more. I think prize money mostly comes from sponsorship, and that is hard to get in our sport. The demographic that show jumps is seen as wealthy and exclusive by the general public. Case and point: I was in NYC a couple weeks ago and walked down 5th Ave. and the Juicy Couture window had an "equestrian" themed display going on complete with mannequins in cute little boots and breeches numbers. The rodeo crowd is seen as more down-to-earth, average-Joe, middle-class, accessible to all. More people to market to. Not many in the rodeo crowd that wear Juicy Couture. ;)

But hey, if they want to sponsor me, I'd be willing to wear one of those outfits on my horse! :D
It's funny you say that. Last year I was the after party for a PBR event that was held at Madison Square Garden. Everyone in attendance was invited to this party in a different part of the arena (a lounge type place) to mingle with the competitors. The GF's and wives of the riders looked like they went on a couture OD while in NYC. Decked out in every designer that was trendy at the moment, and latched onto their men.

Anyway, what I am getting at is that they included EVERYONE. It was not an elitest gala that required $$$$$ for entry. There was a lot of advertising done for it, they had a great crowd, and a top of the line country singer performed as well. Yet the elite National Horse Show could no longer sustain itself in the same venue :confused: It isn't like NYC is the prime market for the PBR, so obviously they are doing something right.