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View Full Version : What Kinds of Things Make a Local (Non-Rated) Show Special?



monalisa
May. 19, 2010, 02:03 PM
Am interested in hearing ideas about how to make a local show series "special" and to differentiate a show from other non-rated shows in the same area. I have some ideas but would like to hear some other ideas, within reason - can't spend money that we don't have but what are some touches that we might add.

Many thanks!

dab
May. 19, 2010, 02:19 PM
-Supports a good cause
-Good judges, courses, and footing
-Fun classes like hunt teams
-Experienced staff (gate people, show secretary, jump crew, etc)
-Vendors ... especially good food
-Realistic 'not before' times
-Prizes
-Other entertainment ... the biggest unrated show near me has a carnival and antique car show
-Make it part of a series of shows with series champion prizes

naters
May. 19, 2010, 02:23 PM
1. Nice ribbons. I don't win a lot of ribbons, but when I do I want them to be pretty (as in just not ugly please). There is one show here that I just don't go to because I hate the ribbons (I know that sounds bad, but its true!)

2. Don't run hours behind schedule.

3. Concessions available (and that stay available throughout the show)


The show I no longer attend violates #1, 2, and 3.

Lucassb
May. 19, 2010, 02:24 PM
Rated or local, there are some inexpensive things that can add a nice touch to a show, I think.

I love the places that have baskets of carrots or peppermints in the office or at the ingate for the horses. A water cooler with some paper cups at the ingate/schooling area(s) for riders who are dying as they ride around in those chokers and wool coats is *always* thoughtful (and may prevent heatstroke, LOL.)

I went to one show last year that gave little gifts along with their first place ribbons - IIRC, it was a box of chocolates from a local specialty store that sponsored some classes. Probably cost very little if anything but people LOVED them.

If you can afford them, get ribbons that are nicer than the usual little 6" rosette. There is a local series not too far from here that does the whole nine yards - neck ribbons, ribbons with big streamers, etc. They get a LOT of entries from the rated crowd because everyone wants those fancy ribbons!

Plus all the usual stuff applies: Good footing, adequate schooling areas, decent trailer parking, enough hoses/washrack areas and knowledgeable officials go a long way in attracting repeat exhibitors.

naters
May. 19, 2010, 02:25 PM
Where are you located, and where will the new show series be located??

mypaintwattie
May. 19, 2010, 02:27 PM
What dab said along with:

-Reasonable entry and other fees along with a generous late entry or cancellation policy
-Clean bathrooms that are close to rings and stables
-good food is a must!
-nice prizes and ribbons
-a friendly staff that is helpful and efficient
-easy access trailer parking

vxf111
May. 19, 2010, 02:33 PM
HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHER! Even better, one people like ;)

monalisa
May. 19, 2010, 02:33 PM
Located in VA. Not new shows, but looking at ways to improve. Good ideas. Keep them coming...............

dab
May. 19, 2010, 02:34 PM
If you can afford them, get ribbons that are nicer than the usual little 6" rosette. There is a local series not too far from here that does the whole nine yards - neck ribbons, ribbons with big streamers, etc. They get a LOT of entries from the rated crowd because everyone wants those fancy ribbons! There's a local fair that hosts a horse show -- They bill it as the 'smallest show with the biggest ribbons' -- It's a bunch of crossrail divisions, and I think it tops out at 2'6" -- The ribbons are 2' long with huge rosettes -- Every kid loves their ribbon at that show --

JBCool
May. 19, 2010, 02:35 PM
#1. Good rings, footing, parking and judging

#2. Be friendly and easy to deal with, particularly whoever's taking entries.

#3.Tie: Good food and KEEP MOVING

Specialty classes like a division classic that count for extra points at the end of a series are fun. We have a few shows that have like a children's/adult, green, and working classics at shows in the latter part of the year. It's a good bonus kind of like series end awards, but doesn't require going to all of them if someone can't afford it.

Offset
May. 19, 2010, 02:43 PM
Some of these you already know about and do <wink>, but I think dressing up the jumps like a 'real' show (lots of brush, etc), shows that someone has gone the extra mile and it doesn't cost anything. Similarly, coffee in the mornings and complimentary pizzas doesn't really cost much and are nice touches.

Lastly, and this should be a no brainer, knowledgeable judges. I was at an Associate show a few months ago where one of the judges asked a class of three, one child on a pony and another person on a dead green horse, to counter canter in an eq. class.

Lucassb
May. 19, 2010, 02:47 PM
Some of these you already know about and do <wink>, but I think dressing up the jumps like a 'real' show (lots of brush, etc), shows that someone has gone the extra mile and it doesn't cost anything. Similarly, coffee in the mornings and complimentary pizzas doesn't really cost much and are nice touches.

Lastly, and this should be a no brainer, knowledgeable judges. I was at an Associate show a few months ago where one of the judges asked a class of three, one child on a pony and another person on a dead green horse, to counter canter in an eq. class.

I agree with dressing up the ring a bit BUT *if* the show is aimed at those looking for schooling rounds, don't go crazy with the flower boxes, decorations etc... or you might wind up making the jumps a bit intimidating.

I am curious though what the problem was asking for counter canter in an eq class. That's a pretty standard request around here ... was it a beginner eq or something?

lesyl
May. 19, 2010, 02:51 PM
Having someone help with parking if that is a bit tight. Or having signs posted about where to park (i.e. Trucks/Trailers, vs Passenger Cars vs Motorcycles)

I tend to direct any not so horsey people who come to watch to an area away from the trucks and trailers. Not that I don't want them around, but it helps keep them out of harm's way. ;)

Offset
May. 19, 2010, 02:51 PM
Didn't mean it was a "problem", just unnecessary to judge the class in question and way over the heads of those in the class. A group of fairly competent teenage eq kids? No problem.

JumpWithPanache
May. 19, 2010, 03:32 PM
There's likely a parent in your barn who has a DSLR camera and can learn to take photos for your shows. If they can download those regularly to a laptop and have them available for viewing you can probably get people to buy th epictures. Keep the prices reasonable, $10/each for a 5x7 definitely turns a good profit for the show (RiteAid and CVS are under $2/each for same day). You can take their address and have the photo(s) printed for them at their local store or you since you're a series you can print them at your nearest store and the photos are available for pickup at the next show.

norcalammie
May. 19, 2010, 03:32 PM
If it is a schooling series and you get a cooperative judge, have a time after a group of classes where the judge can give a short summary of the classes seen and maybe even share the scorecard. I know I once had a judge share comments on the class as a whole and then gave each of us something to work on. Was a great way to understand what a judge sees. Good for people starting out if it is a schooling series with lots of greener horses and riders.

Sakura Hill Farm
May. 19, 2010, 03:43 PM
The Ocala Jumper Classic held at Sharn Wordley's this year was one of the nicest shows we have attended for a long time and, yes, it was unrated!
Beautiful surroundings and courses, superb footing, no classes below 3'6", the pros in attendance with their young horses and future stars, free beer, tents to sit under for shade and a leisurely European pace. Oh, for more like this!

LShipley
May. 19, 2010, 03:57 PM
I only do the local shows. I second friendly organizers, gate masters (hmm, that doesn't sounds right, but I think you know who I mean) - for me, this can totally make the atmosphere at a show. I would LOVE to hear some constructive comments from a judge.

If the show is around a holiday (specifically Halloween) costumes are always fun. Usually the costumes are restricted to flat classes and a prize is given out for the best costume.

MyGiantPony
May. 19, 2010, 03:59 PM
I'm at my wit's end, I can tell you...we're offering a $250 Hunter Derby at 3 of our shows this year. Got r or R judges for all the shows. The lines are set correctly. Jumps are decorated beautifully. Can't fill anything but the cross rails classes.

Did I mention, the Derby is set at all of 2'6?

Yes, it was cold at the Spring show...but not freezing.

I don't know what to do to draw in riders...hoping the summer show will have more show up...

vxf111
May. 19, 2010, 04:11 PM
MGP- Where are you please, and when are your shows?

Trixie
May. 19, 2010, 04:36 PM
Yes, I want to know too - but give me a 3' or 3'6" option.

I make a point to patronize any local show that offers a 3'6" option that I can (Sorry, LockeMeadows, we ARE coming to your horse shows one of these days) as well as any show where there are interesting options - say, a hunter derby, a real handy hunter course, etc. An outside course would be the best, but one of our local show series's ran it and in the end, I was "welcome to compete against myself if I wanted to" because no one else would. Sigh.

It makes me fussy that a lot of the higher quality local shows keep stepping DOWN the quality and offering fourteen 2'6" options but nothing higher. I get that you have to cater to the majority but it always makes me happy to see people step it up and offer something new. Many of the horses and riders that show locally in my area are of high quality and could easily step it up if it were offered.

I don't particularly care about the ribbons but would like to see a photographer.

RugBug
May. 19, 2010, 04:50 PM
I'm at my wit's end, I can tell you...we're offering a $250 Hunter Derby at 3 of our shows this year. Got r or R judges for all the shows. The lines are set correctly. Jumps are decorated beautifully. Can't fill anything but the cross rails classes.

Did I mention, the Derby is set at all of 2'6?


I've been having that problem for years. my W/T and W/T/C classes are HUGE (for us and our ring). Fourteen in the W/T where it is green horses or green riders. Ack. But the 2'9" had 2. I changed all classes over 2'9" to schooling rounds for a reduced fee ($5/round). A few years ago it was the opposite. I was cancelling the W/T and we had a ton of 2'9".

I want to offer higher classes, but no one comes for them. Right now, I have 3', 3'3" and 3'6" schooling rounds for $5 each. You dont' get judged, and you dont' get a ribbon, but you can get some mileage over higher jumps that are decorated (fairly nicely for a schooling show). And at least if you come for those rounds, you already know you won't be competing instead of hearing "you're welcome to ride the round anyway but we are cancelling the class." Until those people come, I can't justify the cost of running the classes.

lintesia
May. 19, 2010, 08:54 PM
If you can swing it, allow add/drops with NO penalty. You'll make a lot (but maybe not "Alot") of people very happy!

BeeHoney
May. 19, 2010, 09:39 PM
Wow, I love the idea of the mini hunter derby!! A special class or two that offers some money, sounds great!

For me, in addition to what others have mentioned, I really love it if a local show is spectator friendly. You know, a place for the husband or a friend to get a cup of coffee and a pleasant spot for them to sit and watch, a place for kids to play. I just love it when I can go to a little schooling show and it is a pleasant experience for everyone involved.

Oh, and I really love it if I can plan to be there either for the morning or afternoon only, not all day. So I love it when the timing of classes is a little bit structured--ie the first afternoon class "will not start before x:00."

AND, I love it when shows offer schooling in the ring the day prior, and I don't care at all if a fee is charged for that. The morning prior...oh, too early!!!

Oh, and I hate parking fiascos...

PonyPenny
May. 19, 2010, 09:55 PM
The problem I have noticed with local shows not filling the classes with jumps higher than 2'6" are the trainers. They do not want to go to a local show as is does not offer the prestige of a rated show. Where I live, there are many local shows that have show quality jumps, good footing, good judging, but only a few trainers attend with their studends. The trainers that do attend only have beginner type students. In this economy, my daughter can't attend many rated shows. We attend the local shows, but most of the classes at 2'6" and over do not fill. She wants practice in a show environment with jumps at least 3'. These local shows go all out with ribbons and prizes along with great year end awards. Why more trainers do not utilize these shows is a mystery to me.

Fun Size
May. 19, 2010, 10:54 PM
Hmmm....well my favorite show series right now is rated, but it is a local show and I love it. http://www.camelotevents.com

Heck, at the end of they year they award golf carts, bikes, and a bunch of other cool stuff. You don't have to go that far, but year end awards are nice.

They also have a nice range of stuff for me, ranging from 2' to 2'6", and for the other riders at my barn that do between 3' and 3'9"

Love it!

I would LOVE a mini derby at 2'6"!!! We had hedges on loan at my barn for the "big kids" to school over in prep for the big 3'9" - 4' derby that is coming up, and one of them was 2'6" so I got to play too :D

Joyrider
May. 19, 2010, 11:02 PM
1. Candy at the ingate and LOTS of it. Our shows are more of a winter circuit so we can get away with chocolate (mini snickers, milky ways, hershey's kisses) nerds, smarties, carmels. This candy is breakfast, lunch and dinner to kids competing all day and to trainers working all day. Summer shows - hmmmm , you could at least have starbrights and smarties. Definately cold water and plenty of cups and trash cans for summer shows.

2. Course maps - I design all the courses for the various classes on power point and then print them all off on 1 sheet (front and back - I am able to get 12 courses per sheet = 6 per side). Then I make 60 or so copies of that and put them out on a table at the in gate so all competitors and trainers can take one and review their upcoming courses at any time. All the riders fold them up and put them into their pockets and can whip them out while they are walking their horse around or standing around waiting. Of course we have full size courses posted on our bulletin board too right near the ingate. The judge also gets a copy of a full size packet and a "mini" version with all of them on the one sheet. More often than not, the judge uses the mini version - especially with back to back trips. A quick glance is all they need to know which course.

3. Two lead line classes instead of one. It takes a village to get a little tyke all dressed up and on a mount so make it worth while to have the parents and trainers bring the littles. Also give out a prize to each kid. We pin them 1-6th but they all get a prize.

4. Huge honkin' trophies for your day end champs. Even seasoned pro's got a kick out of winning the trophies this past season. They do add up $$$ wise though so get some class or division sponsors. Every $10 helps!

5. Free Raffle - all competitors get a free raffle ticket and we raffle off stuff each hour or say 3 times during the day or at lunch break... whatever. Doesn't have to be huge expensive stuff either. We gave out SmartPak towels, a few baseball caps with our farm name on it, a couple of leadropes and some other odds and ends that were left overs from previous shows. Lots of fun.

6. Afternoon Cookie Break - I send the kids around to EVERYONE around 3 p.m. with buckets of Big Y cookies (Big Y = our local grocery store) . Everyone gets a cookie - the people on horses, parents, the judge and show staff, the truck drivers out in the parking lots, the vendors, and if I am lucky - ME! This is a HUGE pick me up and keeps spirits up with everyone. Yes, we have a good food vendor but who can't help but smile when offered a big, delicious free cookie?

7. Free pizza - only if our show is huge (and we can spare the $$) and is running late. The two go hand in hand. Our food guy usually packs up around 5 p.m. If the show looks to run much longer than that (yes...it does happen) we have 2 or 3 party size pizzas delivered and everyone gets a slice (including the judge and show staff!).

Good luck!

chunky munky
May. 19, 2010, 11:21 PM
Some of these you already know about and do <wink>, but I think dressing up the jumps like a 'real' show (lots of brush, etc), shows that someone has gone the extra mile and it doesn't cost anything. Similarly, coffee in the mornings and complimentary pizzas doesn't really cost much and are nice touches.

Lastly, and this should be a no brainer, knowledgeable judges. I was at an Associate show a few months ago where one of the judges asked a class of three, one child on a pony and another person on a dead green horse, to counter canter in an eq. class.

Au contrair, I would like to address the brush issue. You say it doesn't cost anything. Well maybe if you own the Ponderosa and have a staff of 20 something. The average cost of obtaining brush enough to make a beautiful hunter ring for a two ring horse show is about $800 if you hire someone to get it and cut it for you.
I am assuming that you are a Virginian by the way you use the word "Associate". Associate horse shows can hire any person off the street to judge their shows. There are zero requirements for judges at theses shows. It is also my experience that most exhibitors at these shows never even know who judged them upon questioning and rarely look at the list of judges. Sad but true. I think that it is odd that you are paying for someone's opinion, that most do not seem to care who's opinion they are paying for. They just want points....
Lastly, when there are over 40 classes in a day and usually at least two schooling breaks, there is not a lot of time for clinic giving from the judges. It is a very long day and management wants the judges to keep pushing it along.
That is all I have to say about that! :-)

chunky munky
May. 19, 2010, 11:25 PM
Oh! I knew there was something else I forgot! FOOD! It is very difficult to find food vendors for local shows. Well, frankly even for recognized shows. I often see that at the local shows barns bring picnics and drink filled ice coolers. Yes, I get that, but when that is going on, a vendor can't make any money, hence they don't want to service the shows. And giving free pizza, etc.? Well then you will never get a vendor to come for a local show. Jus' sayin.

LexInVA
May. 19, 2010, 11:30 PM
Most food vendors really aren't all that special let alone offer anything worth paying for. I've been charged five dollars for food that is on par with what I had in the HS cafeteria (same meat too) and it's robbery. If you want to get food vendors, get specialty food vendors that sell specialty things like smoothies, funnel cakes, or whatever. If you want to, you can just provide cold bottled water for free if it's a negligible expense and leave it at that.

MHM
May. 19, 2010, 11:58 PM
I think the idea of a local Derby is great, especially with all the interest these days in the USHJA Derbies. Lots of people might enjoy that class over a smaller course that has some different jumps and options.

I judged one a couple of years ago where they ran it as the last class of the day, so they could open up two adjacent rings, and they could really set a fun course. They had sponsors for the class, so they gave good prizes and prize money to all ribbon winners. I think the winner got a cooler, and the rest got nice garment bags or something like that.

You might also offer a few classes that are not the run-of-the-mill things you see every week. Maybe a pairs class or hunt teams over jumps- something the kids can get together and do with their friends. If you offer them and they don't fill- no harm done.

If you have enough time, it's nice to have a couple of schooling breaks during the day, so people don't have to school early in the morning, then wait all day to show.

I also really appreciate it whenever a show has signs out at the nearby intersections, so you know where to turn if you don't know your way there!

llsc
May. 20, 2010, 09:11 AM
Au contrair, I would like to address the brush issue. You say it doesn't cost anything. Well maybe if you own the Ponderosa and have a staff of 20 something. The average cost of obtaining brush enough to make a beautiful hunter ring for a two ring horse show is about $800 if you hire someone to get it and cut it for you.
! :-)

Unless you are like me and constantly find old artifical Christmas trees alongside the road marked "FREE". I have more brush than the Sherwood Forest. :)

Trixie
May. 20, 2010, 09:27 AM
I am assuming that you are a Virginian by the way you use the word "Associate". Associate horse shows can hire any person off the street to judge their shows. There are zero requirements for judges at theses shows. It is also my experience that most exhibitors at these shows never even know who judged them upon questioning and rarely look at the list of judges. Sad but true. I think that it is odd that you are paying for someone's opinion, that most do not seem to care who's opinion they are paying for. They just want points....

I think that you're incorrect. We've shown at a lot of associate shows, and yes, we read the prize list and we know who is judging. We've actually made a point to patronize shows with known, quality judges who also judge at A shows, as opposed to the ones that are just "any person off the street."

No point in wasting money seeking out points when the judging is going to be strange, unless you're on the wire with your points. We started actually looking at who is judging and running the shows after the time we were placed last because a horse that looked like mine didn't finish the course and the judge had them confused.

MyGiantPony
May. 20, 2010, 10:23 AM
MGP- Where are you please, and when are your shows?

Harrisburg - see the link in my siggy.

Roomfor2
May. 20, 2010, 11:06 AM
Hey Now! About that food. Not all bad at local shows. Not all of these local shows can afford to pay for a vendor. Most of the time the parents need to kick in their time. If they are new to the show world they really don't understand about the importance of having food and drink available. My daughter has local shows out of her barn during the winter and summer. Her riders parents were pretty supportive in bringing drinks, donuts and soup but there was no coordination for setup or selling. Since I used to be a "show mom" and had been to plenty of these local shows, I decided I would take over this job for a while (not forever I told her). I brought the motor home to each show. I brought a huge tent and gave it to my daughter for future shows. I use the motor home, pull out the awning, set out my tables with pretty table cloths, condiments, hot chocolate, coffee and snacks for sale. I made pots and pots of homemade chili. I cooked hotdogs. I had chips, brownies/cookies (homemade) and drinks for sale. Not alot of different food but homemade. Sold everything. Proceeds back to the barn. By the end of the last summer show I had another mother bringing her chicken chili and she also sold smoothies at the last show. It was fun, we all had a good time and I think the participants, parents, and kids enjoyed the food.

MyGiantPony
May. 20, 2010, 11:16 AM
We have a full kitchen/food stand on the grounds, but had a hard time finding volunteers to man it. Now we let a charitable organization use it for a small fee. They serve a mix of home made stuff like soups and cookies, and the usual hamburgers and frenc fries. Not super special, but not heinous either.

DandyMatiz
May. 20, 2010, 11:16 AM
And, for food, my local show (one of them) has the local like H.S. run it, or 4-H or something like that. Lots of clubs like that will do it. (though RoomFor2's sounds better... i want chili now and it's 80 degrees out lol)

Hunter Mom
May. 20, 2010, 12:20 PM
Have a venue where weather isn't an issue. I love going to ones where the stalls and rings are all in the same building, but this isn't always an option I know.

Keep things moving along. Make sure that the pro who is in there clearly just to school doesn't get a 10-minute trip trying to get their not-so-green-but-naughty-client-owned horse over the fence. That is so annoying to those of us who are doing ti for fun.

Second on the vendors, concessions, photographer,etc. Also - make sure bathrooms aren't a huge hike from stalls or rings. I also like gifts for championships & reserves.

loshad
May. 20, 2010, 12:35 PM
Footing, food, and photography have alreadt been covered so I'll hit one of my personal favorites: the online timetable updated several times a day with estimated start times. I love them. I may even love them more than Daniel Craig. :winkgrin:

Having a gate person who keeps everything moving is fabulous. Having horses and ponies on different days is genius. It is incredibly nice to not have to wait until 2 or 3 to start the "big girl" classes.

To the OP -- since you said you were in VA, a couple you might want to look at that I have found to be both well run and to attract many high quality competitors are Summerplace and Fox Chase. Sandstone is also pretty good (love the ring there). I hear good things about the Locke Meadows show, but haven't made it over there.

There are things that will ensure I won't ever attend a show again: poor organization and bad footing are HIGH on that list.

seabreeze
May. 20, 2010, 01:02 PM
A few things come to mind:

Have a schooling class that runs as an open card throughout the day and let people enter that class at a time that is comfortable with them and convenient with your gatekeeper. Same can be done with your derby/ies.

Have a "critique" class. Competitor jumps a course, judge provides a brief critique/constructive criticism that could help with courses later in the day.

Offer stakes classes or paybacks for a couple of divisions. It doesn't have to be a huge payback. Some people would be happy to win the cost of entering the division. For example, one would have to be entered in all the classes in the division. The division champion would receive $25, and the reserve champion would receive $15...or something along those lines.

A gatekeeper is one of those little--often overlooked--things that makes a big difference to me. I hate having to dismount/remount or work the gate while mounted or have to call out and ask someone to get the gate for me. It's such a pleasantry to have someone there whose designated job is to open and close the gate. Sounds silly, I know, but you'd be surprised how many people would appreciate this.

At the entry booth, hand out a "welcome bag" to each competitor at the beginning of the day. Often, a local bank or insurance angency is a good one to solicit for this. It doesn't have to be fancy: a plastic bag (with the bank/agency logo is nice...good advertising) with a carrot or an apple, a granola bar, a flavored water packet (like the individual Crystal Light packets) a nicely written and photocopied note or letter (thank you for participating today, proceeds today benefit so-and-so, if you need anything ask for Mr./Ms. Steward), a ticket for a door prize, perhaps some novelties from the bank/agency (pens, sticky notes, keychains, etc.).

Good luck!

Roomfor2
May. 20, 2010, 01:03 PM
DandyMatiz, not only regular chili but chili pie. Mmm does sound good. Oh, chili pie involves fritos, chili, cheese and sour cream on top. A big favorite with the parents.

NorthFaceFarm
May. 20, 2010, 01:32 PM
Offer something for different people. I can't STAND that most of the local shows around here are hunter or jumper ONLY and have 12 divisions at or below 2'6" and nothing over 3'. I'm a trainer and I would love to attend your well run show with nice footing and good judges, but I can't waste a day just to take the two short stirrup kids and have to leave my upper level hunter riders and ALL of my jumper riders at home. It sucks for me, and it sucks for them. You don't need to offer lead line through the green conformation hunters and puddle through level 7 jumpers, but throw us a bone!

I love shows with good announcers. Someone with a friendly, clear and pleasant voice is essential. One of my favorite parts of say, the Hampton Classic and WEF is that I get to hear familiar voices coming over the speakers.

A cooler w/cups or free bottled water at the in gate is very appreciated. Especially when I'm only able to bring the newbie kids to your show (because you don't offer any classes for others) and their parents aren't as experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to keeping kid, trainer and pony hydrated.

Small gifts for blue ribbons are nice. They don't have to be expensive or big, just something. Or at least have them for Ch/Res.

A food vendor that offers something beyond hot dogs and burgers. Light food, like a wrap or salad is MUCH appreciated when you're riding 4 different horses and its 90*. Extras like fruit/potato/pasta salads are great too, since I also don't want to sit around and eat chips.

Decorate an area outside of the ring, or put the show name on one of the jumps and make it available after a division for the photographer to snap quick 1st place or Ch/Res photos.

Love the raffle idea!

SonnysMom
May. 20, 2010, 01:42 PM
Some of our local shows have an award for the trainer with the most points.
I have been at shows where there is a horsemanship/sportsmanship award. It was for a show at the 4-H grounds. Any of the juniors that entered the class had to wear their number at all times and a colored armband. Anybody on the grounds could "report" somebody for good or bad horsemanship. It seemed to promote cheering for a good round, better care of the horses and less whiney kids being mean to their parent.
I heard of one child winning the best horsemanship award because she got a ribbon in a huge class that she knew was a mistake. She had gone off course. She went to the steward and told them there had to be a mistake. They repinned the class correctly but she go the horsemanship award for her honesty.
Maybe a best groomed/turnout award (I don't mean perfect braids). I mean cleanest horse with a healty coat and sparkly clean tack.

Along the lines of the gate person. Do not allow the ring to stand empty for long periods of times while catering to riders waiting on their trainers. This can be as simple as having the show decide which ring get priority and having the gate person be good about resolving conflicts before the ring sits empty.
It can be as simple as bumping a trainers block of kids to a different spot in the rotation. If the judge allows- running the o/f classes for a division all mixed together instead of all of class 5 pin, all of class 6 pin, all of class 7 pin then flat class 8.

tigrrlily04
May. 20, 2010, 01:58 PM
One of the things to consider when deciding what extras to offer is what you want the feel of the show to be. Some of us consider great local shows as ones that really mimic rated shows (quality horses come out to play, quality anouncing, professional staff, etc.), other people like local shows that offer more fun things that you don't see at the rated shows (horsemanship/turnout awards, fun classes, the jumps decorated with something other than brush/flowers, chatty announcers, etc.). I think you'll get a different crowd depending on how you spin the show. Personally, I tend to stick with the unrated shows that look/act like a rated show, and skip the ones that are more low key and have fun things for the kids. I think there is a way to meld both together, but you just don't want to get caught somewhere inbetween that doesn't really have the strong appeal to either side.

That being said, people brought up some awesome ideas that can be done for whatever crowd you're aiming for:

-water coolers
-candy at the registration
-cookie break! - love that one ;)
-nice ribbons
-prizes for ch/res
-pictures