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ammydreams
Apr. 9, 2011, 04:08 PM
Wow. Am I the only one who found this article to be quite whiny? I rarely disagree with Chronicle articles, but a few points really rubbed me the wrong way in Ms. Teague's forum.

1. Running horse show IS a business. Why should we feel badly for show managers if they need to network to find sponsors for their classes? Isn't that actually good for horse world - "real world" relations?

2. Yes, in the "good old days," amateurs didn't receive prize money. But it was a completely different world then anyway. Professionals weren't eligible to compete in the Olympics, there was a much smaller show circuit, shows were less expensive in general, etc. Can we really just apply the prize money rules then to the show world today?

3. The bottom line is that a show doesn't have to offer prize money to exist. If her shows are as excellent as they sound (no sarcasm - the facilities and atmosphere sound top notch) then they will attract exhibitors anyway.

4. She writes, "Really what's the sense of making a few bucks ($25 to $125) when the show costs you $500 to $1500 per horse?" My question is, if we are really considering such a small amount of money, who cares if an amateur wins it?

I do not question Ms. Teague's expertise, but as a young (perhaps naive) amateur, I found this article to be full of self-pity more than concrete solutions.

Other thoughts? Not trying to start a train wreck...

Dinah-do
Apr. 9, 2011, 04:27 PM
I have not read the article yet but am following the various tales of woe regarding horse shows being too $$$ , jumps being too low and now amateurs being singled out as having different money issues than pros with a great deal of interest. Something is going to have to give or the show circuit as it is now will go down the toilet. Incredible ammount of $. The horse world defies a lot of logical and ethical rules that most other businesses run by. And now discontent ??? Gee whiz.

jr
Apr. 9, 2011, 05:00 PM
I also found it a little narcissistic. And as someone who showed in the good ole days, there was often prize money. Not as much as at some shows today, but then my entries didn't run as much either. I guess were all supposed to be money machines. I for one greatly appreciate that classic check defeating hundreds of dollars of entries.

hillary again
Apr. 9, 2011, 07:08 PM
Honestly...
I thought I was going to have to call 911 when I read the title.

Are you kidding? Prize money is the root of all evil?

I remember showing in the 1970s in a very remote area of hunter-jumper land. The junior hunter division, the most popular at that time in that area, was four classes: "regular", handy, U/S, and stake.

The stake was add-back, 50% of the entry fees. Hello, I don't remember the evil at all.

At the state fair in 1973, my horse had his finest hour, and I won enough money in three classes to pay for the entries, a new pair of Dehner boots, and what was at that time a novelty: a calculator :).

Uh, I do not remember any evil due to the presence of prize money.

To say that this is so corrupting is absurd. Especially when the author argues that point accumulation is a better reward - YOU ARE KIDDING, RIGHT?

Any time I've witnessed anything inhumane treatment of show horses, it has been directly related to the point chasing (year end awards) and qualification processes for top shows.

I must be missing something in the conversation here. If we can't attract the sponsors to the big events, that is a problem, but stopping the $ at lower levels is not the answer to that problem.

I am so stupified by this op-ed piece that I am seriously considering writing a letter to the editor of the COTH. I've been a reader and subscriber for more than 30 years and have never had this urge.

copper1
Apr. 10, 2011, 07:31 AM
With money so tight for everyone these days and many owners really making sacrifices in other parts of their life to be able to show, prize money is a big incentive! Nice to know you have a shot at winning back at least some of your expenses. I love trophies, ribbons, and stuff as much as anyone else but sure like a nice check once in a while! I woould like to know how best to attract sponsors though.

dags
Apr. 10, 2011, 09:18 AM
Read that last night and knew it was going to cause a stir.

There were valid points, but the editors really failed on this one. Maybe they're printed as-is. Anyway, it was just way too personal to present a convincing argument, and did borderline on a certain 'woe is me' feel.

To answer her question as to why qualifying for Indoors is no longer a driving goal, well, with shows running every weekend all year long now, it really has become a matter of who can afford to go to the most horse shows.

I think this sudden focus on prize money is distracting us from other issues, and I think that is disruptive. I think some of the new purses are ridiculous, and also an effort by show managers to cover up a fatal flaw they don't particularly want us rooting around in (shows are too big, too long, too expensive and the circuit is turning horses over like a puppy mill. No human athlete would try to keep up with such a schedule).

I don't think add-backs or token jr/am prize money are the root of all evil, but I can also see how one particularly successful manager jacking up prize money to seriously stupendous amounts further strangles the ability of other shows to compete. There is limited sponsorship in our sport, would be nice to see it spread around a bit more.... thoughtfully.

jody jaffe
Apr. 10, 2011, 09:37 AM
Could you please provide a link to Teague's column. I couldn't find it.

I can't comment on what she said, but I can comment on what I think makes for a great showing experience. I've been going to hunter shows on and off since 1970. And it's not much of a contest on which show has made me feel the most welcome, where I've had the best time, where I can't wait for the next one.

The Thoroughbred Celebration show that the Virginia Horse Center throws three times a year wins by a mile. And I don't think they even give prize money. They do, however, give lots and lots of prizes. You get a hat for just signing up. Every ribbon winner walks away with something useful. A saddle pad, a gift certificates for grain, a subscription to the new Chron magazine, etc.

But it's not just the loot. There's always something to eat in the show office: evening meals, morning donuts, a big basket of carrots for the horses (or health nuts).

But what makes this show the best is how friendly and welcoming everyone is; the show staff, the competitors, the trainers. I've never seen so many smiles at a horse show in 40 years. This is not the atmosphere I've experienced at the big AA shows.

So prize money is nice, but this show gets what a great boss understands: a raise is important, but just as important are the other ways to show appreciation.

Cookiewoo
Apr. 10, 2011, 09:58 AM
I attended the USHJA conveniton this past December. The ongoing mantra was "level the playing field". Apparently the playing field is to be leveled by squashing flat all the lower levels of competition. After spending thousands of hard-earned dollars competing my horse at the 3' level without so much as a penny in return, my trainer and I have discovered a series of horse shows that pay a little back in the 3 foot division. Guess which shows we choose to attend?
I read this article with some interest, thinking this person is just not in the 21st century. Yes, we used to get silver trophies as prizes, and a lady in a hat, gloves and high heels would present it to us. Now there are more horses than ever were in the days when horses were used as transportation, just as there are 6 billion people on the planet. The times they are a 'changin', and the horse show managers that change with the times will be successful. What's wrong with earning a few dollars in the 3' division? As for losing one's amateur status, the prize is awarded on the horse's ability, not the rider. On the whole, an interesting take on running a horse show, but hardly relevant.

Give and Take
Apr. 10, 2011, 01:19 PM
There were add-back jumper classes both at local h/j shows and the fair 30 years ago in the midwest.

Shows were shorter and more fun. There wasn't an extra fee for showing over 3'6" in the jumpers.

I could see how show business costs have risen dramatically since then but maybe if show managers keep complaining and making money on the backs of amateurs, we can migrate to a system more like Europe has. Shows on the weekends, fun, friendly atmosphere.

OkLurchers
Apr. 11, 2011, 11:29 PM
I don't know which shows Teague showed in, but the AA shows I competed in, in the '80's had prize $$ in A/O hunters and jumpers. In fact, I figured a show was 'worth it' if the entry fees were 10% of division prize $$. I didn't always win all my entry fees back, but could put a pretty good dent in them. In the mid to late 70's there was always a stake class in each division, too.
I get the feeling she has a really selective memory...

Prime Time Rider
Apr. 12, 2011, 12:11 AM
I found it interesting (to say the least) to read Teague's Op Ed article in this week's COTH. Interesting, because her article supports the editor's opinion (as well USEF President O'Conner's position) that amateurs shouldn't receive prize money at recognized horse shows. What I found most annoying about Teague's article was her complaining about having to find sponsors to contribute prize money. The first thought that came to my mind was why isn't she charging enough entry fees to cover costs, including prize money? Typically at the large recognized shows in the US, only the "big money" classes such as the Grand Prix and hunter derbies are sponsored. Those classes, with the big money prizes (and sponsors) tend to be the classes with more professional riders. So, how is the problem that Teague is encountering in finding sponsors for her horse show classes going to be solved by eliminating prize money for amateur divisions?

As long as amateurs dominate the exhibtors at rated shows, amateurs are generating the revenues to pay for the horse shows, including the prize money. How willing would horse show managers be to reduce the entry fees for amateur divisions in exchange for eliminating prize money? I doubt there would be many horse show managres who would be willing to do so, because the amatuer divisions are the cash cows. Instead of charging the typical $175 per division in entry fees for the adult hunter division and awarding $500 total in prize money (at which 3 entries is break even), would show managers be willing to reduce the entry fees to $75 per division in exchange for awarding no prize money? I think the majority of amatuers would be willing to accept no prize money in exchange for significantly reduced entry fees, however, none of the proponents of eliminating prize money for amatuer divisions has also advocated reducing the entry fees accordingly. Basically, those advocating eliminating prize money for amatuers are, in my opinion, being dishonest in their arguments. Horse show managers know that the amatuer exhibitors are contributing the majority of the horse show revenues; those advocating the elimination of awarding prize money to amateur divisions are advocating the redistribution of horse show prize money to the "elite" higher level professional divisions at the expense of the amatuer exhibitor. As they say in Arkansas "a pig in lipstick is still a pig".

foursocks
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:37 AM
When I was a junior in the mid to late 80s a basic goal with my horses was to win back our show costs (all of them, if possible) in the green and junior divisions. I have no idea why this would be considered a bad thing!

mroades
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:47 AM
yep, back in the 80's you could win back your whole weekend (stalls,entries..etc) if you were champion in a rated division. Now you are lucky to pay for the division if you win every class....

Summit Springs Farm
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:13 AM
Frankly we are totally motivated by prize money.
We attended WEF this year and if not for having to ship so far is cost less than Atlanta .
WEF show bill was around $300 after prize money.
Atlanta Classic CO was $500 after prize money and we won 4 out of five classes! Could not even win back the class fees if won all five classes.
Seriously, we decided not to do the warm up and do the classic, because the warm up was $40 and the classic was $50 and paid $500 in prize money, we won $150 in that class.
This was all in the pregreens BTW.
If prize money does not INCREASE in the hunters we are going to show alot less!
Now I shop around prize lists to see what the costs are and the prize money.
Oh, also in Atlanta we brought our baby green his bill was $650 with no options of course to win any money, but that's alot of money for one week to bring along a baby.

mvp
Apr. 12, 2011, 11:24 AM
It seems to me that the big ol' elephant in the room is the HITS franchise and other large, for-profit horse shows.

Those guys will, by God, make a profit. That goes unmentioned in these other more superficial discussions about how money is generated and distributed.

Do I have this wrong? It seems to me that things were different when large shows-- Devon, Menlo Charity and others were dedicated to raising money for a cause.

It seems to me that knowingly or unknowingly the USEF and BNTs who populate committees have gotten in bed with the show managers. While it's not wrong to deny anyone a right to make a buck in principle, the advent of a show industry that wants a lot of money to go to managers does drive up the cost. Trainers who can induce clients to spend at these venues are doing ok. They'll continue to do ok and so will show managers so long as clients keep showing where they are told to. But it was always the client making up the difference. I suspect that trainers who can't get their clients to ship to the big, expensive shows don't have a large voice in this. I don't know where the rest of us, the paying John Q. Public have anything more than an indirect vote which we cast with our feet and wallet.

Midge
Apr. 12, 2011, 01:05 PM
I think things did not change so linearly as the above posts would have us believe. It used to be the horse shows were almost all charity events. They were put on by the Shriners and the Sertoma Club and used volunteers. The concession stand was a Shriner with his grill and a cooler and no health inspection in sight.

The rings were dirt, or were roped off fields. There was no dragging, no footing, no watering of the rings. There was no professional horse show manager or technical coordinator, no professional jump crew, no professional announcers, no course designers. We didn't jump jumps made out of flower boxes and panels and fancy standards. We jumped jumps with poles made out of saplings and straw bales and plain wing standards.

Things gradually got more and more technical because when you went to a show with the good footing and the fast jump crew and smart announcers, you could tell the difference. Instead of doing the work themselves, charities began hiring the managers to do it, who in turn hired the people to fill in the gaps. Let's face it. when was the last time you waited for the jump crew to finish in one ring before coming to the other? Naturally, all these people working would like to get paid.

The show manager has no intention of working for free, nor should he. They do, however, want to cut costs and maximize profits, like any good business. That comes out of the wallets of the exhibitors. I would think horse show profits are pretty good, considering you can see a manager put on a horse show year after year at the same location on the same date and draw maybe 100 horses.

None of this was too much of an issue when the economy was good. Now, however, every little bit matters so the costs of showing and where the money goes is now put under a microscope.

2bayboys
Apr. 12, 2011, 01:32 PM
Begrudging the amateurs a paltry amount of payback in prize money is certainly biting the hand that feeds you, show managers. Nobody denies the fact that professionally managed and well run shows deserve to make money, but we all know that funding horse showing rides largely on the back of the adult amateur and children's hunter divisions (or their "modified" counterparts at 2'6"). To deny those cash cow divisions at least the fantasy of being considered worthy of a check at the end of the weekend is a poor marketing strategy at best.

vxf111
Apr. 12, 2011, 01:41 PM
I did find the POV a little odd. Running shows are her BUSINESS. If business is tough, well, that's a shame (especially because it sounds like the facility ROCKS) but perhaps this business model doesn't make sense for her. Perhaps she'd be happier running schooling/non-USEF shows and not being constrained by those rules? I dunno... I had a little trouble understanding the POV of the writer, no one's FORCING her to hold rated shows.

smurabito
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:40 PM
The article did come across as "O woe is me" and I am probably going to get beat down for this, but if you are showing on the basis of hopefully winning back all/part of your entry fees are you really showing because you enjoy the sport? Or are you just putting the mileage on a horse to hopefully sell in the future? Yes the prize money is nice, but I enjoy looking at that ribbon and remembering how I kicked butt that day on my grade horse.

YankeeLawyer
Apr. 12, 2011, 04:45 PM
Wow. Am I the only one who found this article to be quite whiny? I rarely disagree with Chronicle articles, but a few points really rubbed me the wrong way in Ms. Teague's forum.

1. Running horse show IS a business. Why should we feel badly for show managers if they need to network to find sponsors for their classes? Isn't that actually good for horse world - "real world" relations?

2. Yes, in the "good old days," amateurs didn't receive prize money. But it was a completely different world then anyway. Professionals weren't eligible to compete in the Olympics, there was a much smaller show circuit, shows were less expensive in general, etc. Can we really just apply the prize money rules then to the show world today?

.

The author's statements regarding the availability of prize money in the late 80s is factually incorrect. I had horses competing on the A circuit during the same time frame in the green conformation hunters (like Teague) as well as the Regular Conformation and Junior Hunter divisions and the prize money was very significant (top placings in a division would bring several thousand dollars). The entry fees were also very significant for these shows, which helped fund the prize money. The reason amateurs could accept prize money is that the awards are deemed attributable to the horse's performance, not that of the rider.

danceronice
Apr. 12, 2011, 04:52 PM
The article did come across as "O woe is me" and I am probably going to get beat down for this, but if you are showing on the basis of hopefully winning back all/part of your entry fees are you really showing because you enjoy the sport? Or are you just putting the mileage on a horse to hopefully sell in the future? Yes the prize money is nice, but I enjoy looking at that ribbon and remembering how I kicked butt that day on my grade horse.

Whose business is it why you're showing? Almost every sport has dumped the amateur rule (no monetary reward allowed of any kind) precisely because it's nosy and elitist, and forces people out or into the professional ranks. I don't think anyone really expects to win back their entries, just enough to make it feel worthwhile, if it's a good day. That doesn't mean they're out there punching a clock.

meupatdoes
Apr. 12, 2011, 07:23 PM
I guess from the perspective of someone who "lived on the road following the eastern A-rated circuit, from the Winter Equestrian Festival to Vermont and all the shows in between," and apparently did not need to *earn* any money to pay for this, prize money is the root of all evil.

Heck, if she wants to give back to the sport without offering prize money, she is more than welcome to sponsor me and my string and I'll gladly teach lessons for free and ride for free and follow the circuit all up and down the coast full time for free.

Until then, if prize money makes showing even marginally more affordable, I will take it. $125 may be a paltry sum to her but for the proletariat over here that's a lesson and gas to get there.

Smiles
Apr. 12, 2011, 08:07 PM
So should all amateurs feel ashamed that we may get some "prize money" (heaven forbid) to pay back some of our entry fees or should we be upset that she can't go out in the real world and drum up some sponsors for her "elitest shows" she's putting on. Arrogances comes to mind when I hear this ladies point of view. I showed back in the 80s and did the whole circuit without getting any prize money. Oh and I didn't take any of the prizes if I won them because that just wouldn't be right. Oh stick a sox in it.:rolleyes: Even if I do really well in my a/o classes I still own the show. Between office/stall/shavings/usef fees how does one pay off their entries in the amateur classes? And even if the shows lower the divisions fees for amateur class do you think the other fees are going to go down as well??? This author needs to come to the 21 century and figure out that if you bit the hand that feeds you those people are not going to come to your show. Prize money does make a factor in most amateurs decision to show at a show. Every little bit helps because most of todays amateurs are working adults that watch were their money is being spent.

toomanyponies
Apr. 12, 2011, 08:51 PM
Honestly...
I thought I was going to have to call 911 when I read the title.

Are you kidding? Prize money is the root of all evil?

I remember showing in the 1970s in a very remote area of hunter-jumper land. The junior hunter division, the most popular at that time in that area, was four classes: "regular", handy, U/S, and stake.

The stake was add-back, 50% of the entry fees. Hello, I don't remember the evil at all.

At the state fair in 1973, my horse had his finest hour, and I won enough money in three classes to pay for the entries, a new pair of Dehner boots, and what was at that time a novelty: a calculator :).

Uh, I do not remember any evil due to the presence of prize money.

To say that this is so corrupting is absurd. Especially when the author argues that point accumulation is a better reward - YOU ARE KIDDING, RIGHT?

Any time I've witnessed anything inhumane treatment of show horses, it has been directly related to the point chasing (year end awards) and qualification processes for top shows.

I must be missing something in the conversation here. If we can't attract the sponsors to the big events, that is a problem, but stopping the $ at lower levels is not the answer to that problem.

I am so stupified by this op-ed piece that I am seriously considering writing a letter to the editor of the COTH. I've been a reader and subscriber for more than 30 years and have never had this urge.


You go girl!!! I agree with you 100%. That article was a bunch of snivelling drivel.

showidaho
Apr. 12, 2011, 08:52 PM
I'm sure some will look down their noses at this post, but I thought it would be good food for thought. My husband team ropes. He has done it for years. He ropes under the auspices of the USTRC, which is a governing body that ranks ropers, etc. They pay to practice the same way we do - pay for lessons and clinics. They also pay to compete...The difference? They win prizes and MONEY. Interestingly, their association and sport is growing exponentially, much the same as reining (which also offers some great prize money to their ammys). They compete to win back money. On a good weekend they can more than cover their entries, travel and other expenses. And the companies that put on these events? They make money too.

Hubby isn't making a living with his winnings, but he does a whole lot better than I do and his association is growing and growing...as is reining. Everyone knows that the average horse owner is going to give out a whole lot more in expenses than we will ever bring in, but if we open our eyes and look at models that work (I'm not saying that these other associations and events are perfect, but they are doing well), we may just learn something useful...something we can apply to our events. I don't think that offering money to ammy divisions is harmful, in fact, it may just bring an added incentive and new blood to the sport!

Roisin
Apr. 12, 2011, 11:09 PM
Hysterical article...I could not get past the fiction about no prize money back in the day in the Jrs/AOs. And I guess I must be imagining that box of cups, bowls, coasters and plates from the 70s in the basement.

Loved shows where you did well and offset some entry fees!

War Admiral
Apr. 12, 2011, 11:55 PM
Hysterical article...I could not get past the fiction about no prize money back in the day in the Jrs/AOs. And I guess I must be imagining that box of cups, bowls, coasters and plates from the 70s in the basement.

Same. And as a gen-yoo-wine old timer, I gotta tell ya, what *I* miss the most is Stake classes. There was no such thing as an "add back" class, at that time. I'm still a bit offended that for-profit show managers think it's the exhibitors' job to help them offset the cost of the prize money! :lol: That should be factored in as part of their cost of doing business, same as it always was, and if they can't afford it they can darn well hit the phones and get some sponsors.

RugBug
Apr. 13, 2011, 12:23 AM
also an effort by show managers to cover up a fatal flaw they don't particularly want us rooting around in (shows are too big, too long, too expensive and the circuit is turning horses over like a puppy mill. No human athlete would try to keep up with such a schedule).

This is how I feel. It's not the ammie or the prize money that's the problem, it's the whole business of showing and the giant circuses we have now.


Nobody denies the fact that professionally managed and well run shows deserve to make money, but we all know that funding horse showing rides largely on the back of the adult amateur and children's hunter divisions (or their "modified" counterparts at 2'6"). To deny those cash cow divisions at least the fantasy of being considered worthy of a check at the end of the weekend is a poor marketing strategy at best.

Yep, but....


Perhaps she'd be happier running schooling/non-USEF shows and not being constrained by those rules? I dunno... I had a little trouble understanding the POV of the writer, no one's FORCING her to hold rated shows.

why is the only option to for having a rated show is the ability to offer prize money? What happened to the nice one day shows that WERE rated? Those of us that can't afford everythign that goes along with 3-5 days of travel/showing would love to have a quality place to go that is more than just a "schooling" show.


I'm still a bit offended that for-profit show managers think it's the exhibitors' job to help them offset the cost of the prize money! :lol: That should be factored in as part of their cost of doing business, .

I don't understand your comment. No matter how you slice it, exhibitors DO offset the cost of the business of showing, which prize money is just a small portion. By very definition, making a profit means exhibitors are offsetting expenses (unless all profits are can be attributed to sponsors).

vxf111
Apr. 13, 2011, 09:13 AM
why is the only option to for having a rated show is the ability to offer prize money? What happened to the nice one day shows that WERE rated? Those of us that can't afford everythign that goes along with 3-5 days of travel/showing would love to have a quality place to go that is more than just a "schooling" show.

I don't disagree with you. I think there SHOULD be rated shows that are one-day affairs. And there are. I think they can't be A-rated (I don't run any rated shows so I am not entirely up on the USEF requirements) but around my neck of the woods there are plenty of B and C rated USEF shows that are a single day. They are nice. They're held at the same facilities as A/AA rated shows and have a lot in common.

Teague seemed to be upset that she had to go dig up a bunch of sponsors so she had prize money. The reason she needs prize money is that there are a bunch of requirements you need to have to host an A/AA rated show. One of them is some specific amount of prize money.

My point is that if Teague is so discouraged by the effort to find prize money, she can still host shows-- just not A/AA rated shows. It's not as though the prize money dilemma is preventing her from hosting shows AT ALL, it's just preventing her from hosting the level of USEF shows she wants to host. But if she doesn't like that, she can host B/C rated shows or totally unrated shows.

I have to say, there are some unrated shows that are very nice. If you ask folks around here, probably one of their FAVORITE shows is a local non-rated shows. Everyone braids. Huge, huge turnout. Nice facility. They have a fair, shopping, three rings-- it runs not unlike a rated show. Everyone goes and has a terrific time-- and it's not USEF rated and I don't think anyone cares. It's probably a lot of people's favorite show. So you CAN have a terrific show even without having a USEF rating. Maybe that's the direction Teague should go?

RugBug
Apr. 13, 2011, 12:40 PM
I don't disagree with you. I think there SHOULD be rated shows that are one-day affairs. And there are. I think they can't be A-rated (I don't run any rated shows so I am not entirely up on the USEF requirements) but around my neck of the woods there are plenty of B and C rated USEF shows that are a single day. They are nice. They're held at the same facilities as A/AA rated shows and have a lot in common.

That's great for you. There is one C-rated show within 100 miles of me, but it is run over 3 days. There are 4 one day, B-rated options for the year and the closest one is 160 miles and the next is 180 miles...too far to back and forth it in one day. There are two one day, C-Rated options for the year with the same or longer travel distance.

I've been toying with the idea of establishing some one day, local or c-rated shows around here. After looking at the requirements, it it doubtful it will happen. The requirements necessary for a C-rated show don't necessarily make sense when you are talking about a one day situation. They are geared to the multi-day behemoths we have now. The important items, (footing, safe rings, safe jumps/courses, quality judges hardly even factor into the application process.



Teague seemed to be upset that she had to go dig up a bunch of sponsors so she had prize money. The reason she needs prize money is that there are a bunch of requirements you need to have to host an A/AA rated show. One of them is some specific amount of prize money.


My point is that if Teague is so discouraged by the effort to find prize money, she can still host shows-- just not A/AA rated shows. It's not as though the prize money dilemma is preventing her from hosting shows AT ALL, it's just preventing her from hosting the level of USEF shows she wants to host. But if she doesn't like that, she can host B/C rated shows or totally unrated shows.

I have to say, there are some unrated shows that are very nice. If you ask folks around here, probably one of their FAVORITE shows is a local non-rated shows. Everyone braids. Huge, huge turnout. Nice facility. They have a fair, shopping, three rings-- it runs not unlike a rated show. Everyone goes and has a terrific time-- and it's not USEF rated and I don't think anyone cares. It's probably a lot of people's favorite show. So you CAN have a terrific show even without having a USEF rating. Maybe that's the direction Teague should go?

I know why she needs the prize money and I understand what her point was. And I do think it's is a bit ridiculous of her to blame prize money for the way showing has evolved. BUT, just running lower rated shows or local affiliate shows or even shows that aren't affiliated with USEF at all, while solving her gripe, is not a great trade off.

Having been on this board long enough, I can tell you that anything not "A" rated is considered to be 'less than' by a strong margin. The smaller shows may be great, the competition the same, the courses, jumps, facilities the same, and people pay A LOT of lip service to those shows, but the recognition just isn't there. We need to quit looking down our noses at the little shows for the managers to want to run those as viable alternatives. I would've thought that this economy would've moved us back to the "smaller, more affordable" options, but it really hasn't all that much. Instead you get managers saying "don't braid!" or some nonsense.

Showing has become big business and the big guys will never let it go back to what it once was...no matter if it's better for the people AND the horses.

vxf111
Apr. 13, 2011, 01:16 PM
It sounds like there just aren't enough show options in your area RugBug, not that the USEF requirements/prize money rules need to change?!

I don't know that people "look down" on non A rated shows so much as people who are trying to get points just don't have the time/effort/money for shows that DON'T have the maximum point payoff-- so they can't be bothered with non A shows. My area has a THRIVING local circuit. There are people who can afford to do the A's but would rather show all year at the local circuit shows for a year end award. Heck, some of those shows have MORE amenities than the As.

I think things just might be different in your area in that there aren't people willing to run anything between fancy multi-day As and low low level schooling shows. But I don't think that requires as USEF rule change or even changes to prize money. It just requires someone with a good facility who runs nice shows to step up to the plate and host some to provide different options.

vxf111
Apr. 13, 2011, 01:17 PM
You also happen to live in a pretty b-i-g state, which I think is a little different ;)

vxf111
Apr. 13, 2011, 01:25 PM
P.S.- The big facility in my area that has all the dates for As? I'd rather go to a schooling show anyday. They're nice people but the ring is TINY. Warmup area is LIMITED. 99% of the time there's no photographer and when there is, he's the worst one in the area. Prizes/ribbons are just average. Anytime that's up against a schooling show... I go to the schooling show.

chunky munky
Apr. 13, 2011, 01:37 PM
Those of you that think sponsor money is easy to come by for our sport are living in dream land. A show cannot count on sponsor money to offset expenses of prize money and operation costs. Few of the sponsors you see listed give more than product or host a party. The $100k Grand Prix may have a title sponsor, but rarely does the title sponsor supply all that cash. The only shows that I know that are getting any cash to speak of are the shows that run at least 10 shows per year and can get a contract for all those shows. If a show cannot cover their base cost of operation and prize money awards from entry fees and stalls alone they will most likely cease to exist. There are a few shows that are run by a volunteer group of people that do not care if they make money. You cannot compare the average rated show with those. Salaries of judges, stewards, ( and air or travel fare)staff hotel fees, emt's, gate staff, garbage crew, stall rental, insurance, electricians, plumbers, manure removal, jump rental, tent rental, out houses, roll offs, security, electricity, plants, decoration, all has to be paid. That is before the 25K of prize money. The average exhibitor would be shocked to see what it costs to put on a AA rated show. Not all show managers are bad guys out to steal the money of the poor little amateur, but for sure they are not going to sponsor you to show at their show. You all need to get a little realistic. Flame suit zipped.

vxf111
Apr. 13, 2011, 01:58 PM
The question is not IF A shows need to offer prize money but who they offer it to. So I am not sure how it's relevant how hard it is to get-- if a show is going to get an A rating, a certain amount has to be offered.

MHM
Apr. 13, 2011, 02:22 PM
You also happen to live in a pretty b-i-g state, which I think is a little different ;)

There is one area of my state that has tons of one day B/C/local USEF shows. The closest one is about 4 hours from me.

In the rest of the state, there are A/AA shows and unrated shows, with nothing in between. Which is kind of a shame, although some of the unrated shows are very nice, with managers who make the effort to have important amenities like good footing, good courses, good judges, etc.

I can remember when there were lots of B shows at different farms all over the place, but I think as it got more expensive and complicated to meet the USEF requirements, many people either stopped having those shows, or stopped worrying about having the USEF involved.

chunky munky
Apr. 13, 2011, 02:26 PM
There are USEF rules of where the money has to be offered with restriction on how much is the minimum in a rated divisions. The divisions that get the glut of the prize money pay significantly mor in entries than in the C rated divisions, or those that do not require prize money. This year the USEF kicked in three more open divisions which need to get prize $. So the odds of more going to the C rated divisions just took it on the chin again.
The remark about sponsors was in response to previous posts about the "lazy" managers that should get sponsors to pay out money to divisions that they are not required to pay out to.

vxf111
Apr. 13, 2011, 03:00 PM
Geographic disparity is a HUGE problem. I blame the mileage rule for that, though, not prize money payouts.

When I lived in GA, I couldn't throw a stick without hitting a schooling show (rinky-dink all the way up to nice-as-a-rated) but going to an A rated required planning and being willing to drive some.

Now I am in PA/NJ and I feel like most weekends I have an option in every category-- either an A rated or very nice B/C, a very nice local schooling circuit show, or a rinky-dinky show of some type. Some weekends the As are a bit remote, but there are still plenty close enough to make sense.

When I lived in Pittsburgh? ::cricket sounds:::

mvp
Apr. 13, 2011, 06:56 PM
I'm sure some will look down their noses at this post, but I thought it would be good food for thought. My husband team ropes. He has done it for years. He ropes under the auspices of the USTRC, which is a governing body that ranks ropers, etc. They pay to practice the same way we do - pay for lessons and clinics. They also pay to compete...The difference? They win prizes and MONEY. Interestingly, their association and sport is growing exponentially, much the same as reining (which also offers some great prize money to their ammys). They compete to win back money. On a good weekend they can more than cover their entries, travel and other expenses. And the companies that put on these events? They make money too.


How do they do it? I have admired this aspect of Western World for a long time and wondered. I saw people winning big buckles, trophy saddles and horse trailers for godsake!




Teague seemed to be upset that she had to go dig up a bunch of sponsors so she had prize money. The reason she needs prize money is that there are a bunch of requirements you need to have to host an A/AA rated show. One of them is some specific amount of prize money.

I don't think the USEF (when it was the AHSA?) created this rule to reward the big for-profit franchises. But it certainly does now. Those shows have to get bigger and bigger to handle all the people and make money.

For the little show that would like to get a USEF rating? It sounds like it takes a whole lot of capital to get started or to break through to that A rating.

IMO, the people who "look down their noses" at anything less than an A show are suckers. They are insuring that the cost of having a good time for a few days will keep rising until they too are priced out.

chunky munky
Apr. 13, 2011, 07:10 PM
I think a lot of the sponsors that ropers and reiners get comes from their association with the AQHA which is a much larger group of members than the hunter/jumper portion of the USEF/USHJA.

RugBug
Apr. 13, 2011, 08:03 PM
It sounds like there just aren't enough show options in your area RugBug, not that the USEF requirements/prize money rules need to change?!

I only indirectly think the prize money rules needs to change...and that's only because I think the whole rating structure should change and be more accessible to the smaller, non-HITS type of managers.



I don't know that people "look down" on non A rated shows so much as people who are trying to get points just don't have the time/effort/money for shows that DON'T have the maximum point payoff-- so they can't be bothered with non A shows.

If you show local affiliates, your experience is considered "less than." People don't stop to ask the quality of the local affiliate circuit you are doing...they just assume that since it isn't rated, well, it's not as good. That may or may not be true dependin on the shows.

Certainly you're usually not going for points if you're riding B/C or doing locals, but that doesn't always mean you can't ride to that level (if you could afford too).



I can remember when there were lots of B shows at different farms all over the place, but I think as it got more expensive and complicated to meet the USEF requirements, many people either stopped having those shows, or stopped worrying about having the USEF involved.

Yes. And I think it's sad. The requirements (and not just the prize money one) are a bit over the top, IMO, and push out the small guy and open the door for the giants.

Prize money is just one small issue. People will vote with their feet if shows were allowed to make a choice regarding prize money. If $ was super important to them, they'd pick shows that offered it. If not, they might go elsewhere. Why make it a requirement that may or may not push a nice facility/manager out of the market? I think prize money is a great idea...just not one that should necessarily be mandated.

vxf111
Apr. 13, 2011, 10:49 PM
I don't think folks in my area "look down" on non-rated shows. Because they are fun and nice with quality rings, jumps, and judging. So I think the whole "if it's not rated, it's not worth it" attitude must vary from place to place. I, for one, will go where I like the rings, judge, jumps, and amenities best-- not so much where the rating is.

War Admiral
Apr. 13, 2011, 10:58 PM
I don't understand your comment. No matter how you slice it, exhibitors DO offset the cost of the business of showing, which prize money is just a small portion. By very definition, making a profit means exhibitors are offsetting expenses (unless all profits are can be attributed to sponsors).

:lol::lol::lol::lol: Yeah, sorry, I did NOT word that well. I tend to not get on COTH unless I'm bleary-eyed tired. Sorry.

What I was trying to say was that the big shows need to cut back a LOT on the addbacks, nomination fees and whatnot at the lower levels. If they want to pay prize money fine, but making the exhibitors pony up extra for it is lame.

And yes, USEF really screwed the pooch when they made show/division ratings contingent on money offered. They pretty much got us into this mess; it might be time for them to take steps to get us out.

Personally I think the whole character of horse showing is going to change dramatically in the next few years as the economy remodels. The "A" circuit will be for well-to-do people on dumbbloods jumping 2'6 for days on end; High Performance Hunters will ONLY be seen at Wellington and indoors and maybe one big regional show in each zone every year; and THAT, ladies and gentlemen, will be your USEF show circuit. The "A" show near me last weekend ran the Jrs. and A/Os combined and *still* only had 3 entries. Basically *nothing* filled except the pony divisions and the 2'6". IMO it's going to get a lot more interesting as time goes by.

Peggy
Apr. 14, 2011, 12:08 AM
^^^^The desirable shows still fill, at least in Southern California. There were 20 first-years at the Oaks (http://www.horseshowtime.com/showclasscount.asp?Show=3691) last weekend (the second week of a three-week deal). Ten in each of the junior hunters (except the older smalls that had only 5). Total of 17 A/O hunters. Lots of jumpers. Large and medium ponies were combined, but had 12-13. There were 10-12 small ponies. 30 in one of the 3'6" medals. There were, admittedly, also decent numbers in the 2'6"-ish stuff. Quality of horses was excellent. Given the cost of said horseflesh and the cost to show, it seems to me that we have a two-class system. There is a group, and definitely a smaller group that in years past, that can afford to do the A shows. Many of this people are not going to be affected by the same economic factors that afflict the rest of us. IMHO, aside from some changes in numbers, the bigger changes in showing are going to come at the regional/local level.