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View Full Version : What's the point of online entries when you still have to mail the forms in?!



jenm
Jul. 18, 2012, 12:53 PM
I don't get it. :confused: I used the USEA's Xentry program for an upcoming event, and after going through the system and hitting submit, I get this message:

This event does not yet support electronic exchange of entry data, so please remember to mail your Entry,Stabling and Coggins forms to the event

Everything still has to be snail mailed before the event close date, so there really is no convenience to this other than the ability to print the pre-populated forms the system creates.

I will say the H/J people have the Eventing people beat when it comes to entering a show online.

I was so excited to have a painless way to enter an event, only to find out I have to go through the same darn process as if I didn't enter online...ugh. :no:

Are there actually events that do support the electronic exchange of entry data?

ADM7040
Jul. 18, 2012, 12:58 PM
I have found that all of the events that I enter accept the electronic entry forms. I use EventEntries.com and love the way it saves all my information including elecronic signature forms and coggins. I have not used the system that you mentioned, so I cannot comment on that one.

slp2
Jul. 18, 2012, 01:33 PM
Well, for the events that fill up fast, or if you are a procrastinator and enter on closing day, the online entry gets you registered for the event. So it "holds" a spot for you provided that you send in your paperwork ASAP. I use evententries.com and love it! So quick and easy because all my information is saved in there and I only have to check a few boxes online and it produces the form. Then I just print off the confirmation page (or entry form), the signature page, and put my coggins and a check in the mail. I believe evententries also has a function that allows you to download your Coggins too--so that can be sent with the entry.

I still think it's way easier to register online (using evententries.com) than the old school way of filling out the forms line-by-line, making sure you got your envelope postmarked by the "opening" day, etc.

RAyers
Jul. 18, 2012, 01:43 PM
Having used both recently, Evententries.com is MUCH easier and convenient as compared to x-entry. I agree, to have to still send forms with x-entry is a bit pointless. It would be simpler to pay with Pay-Pal or such and still fill out the needed forms to mail.

I prefer Evententries for the aforementioned reasons. All the information is stored and all you need to do is to pick the events and pay the bill. No mailing needed. I guess, if organizers are willing, you could do x-entry and then email .pdfs of the necessary forms.

JWB
Jul. 18, 2012, 02:49 PM
Having used both recently, Evententries.com is MUCH easier and convenient as compared to x-entry. I agree, to have to still send forms with x-entry is a bit pointless. It would be simpler to pay with Pay-Pal or such and still fill out the needed forms to mail.

I prefer Evententries for the aforementioned reasons. All the information is stored and all you need to do is to pick the events and pay the bill. No mailing needed. I guess, if organizers are willing, you could do x-entry and then email .pdfs of the necessary forms.



X-Entries is NOT worth anything right now. I have used EventEntries.com for the last year and LOVED it but last weekend I was riding a new horse and EventEntries was having trouble looking him up by his USEA horse ID#.

I didn't feel like making a whole new profile for him so I decided to give X-Entries a whirl. It found him in the system right away and seemed easy at first... I hit the button, paid, gave myself a pat on the back and went on with my life.

Issue #1 - Not long later I got the "receipt" from X-Entries. I read it on my iPhone so I couldn't see the whole thing. Glanced at it - it said something along the lines of "this is your receipt for entry into ......." About 4 days AFTER closing I'm still looking for my entry to show up on the farm site and I go back and re-check my receipt, scroll down to the bottom and see the bit about needing to mail the entry in. :o
Fortunately they accepted my entry anyhow and I emailed the .pdf entry form that X-Entries generated, but it could have been really ugly for me.

Issue #2 - they are SO SLOW to pay the event. I "entered" (electronically) on closing day. I showed up to collect my packet at the event and was told I still owed $445 in entry and stabling fees..... Yowza! Again, the organizers were very cool and said they'd track me down if they didn't get my fees from X-Entry soon.

Needless to say I will not be using that any more. I will stick with EventEntries.com which has worked GREAT for me in the past.

deltawave
Jul. 18, 2012, 05:36 PM
1. It is a work in progress. The option didn't even exist 10 years ago. Take the long view.

2. There are a good number of shows that do allow online entries that are paperless altogether.

3. If you want to grab your place in line on opening day and don't have access to your Coggins, a printer, or time to go to the Post Office, this method is a godsend.

4. There is ALWAYS the option of doing it the old-fashioned way if one is not happy with the newer method. :)

I've used both, but constantly manually inputting event results, etc. in to EventEntries is a pain in the butt. It also crashes way more than Xentry does, IME. Xentry also gives you printable forms that are properly formatted and easy to just pop in an envelope.

Both are fine, and will no doubt improve with time. :yes:

curlykarot
Jul. 19, 2012, 08:38 AM
I just finished doing entries for 2 back to back shows. From my point of view - Xentry is not worth it at the moment. It takes extra work for the person doing entries and honestly - I don't have the time for that extra work. Our horse trials uses Horse Event Organizer for entries and to schedule our shows. It is so easy to just push a button and have all of the entries from Event Entries just download into the system. Xentry is not at this point yet. Many competitors do not know to print out and send in their paperwork from Xentry. When a report from Xentry comes, and I see names that have 'entered' but I don't have any paperwork for, I have to go hunt that down. If Xentry can work with Event Entries and I can just push a button to download all the entries, then I would be all for it. Until then....

Just for the record - Event Entries isn't perfect either. It still allows a competitor to enter a show without paying, without a signature page or coggins. Why it is so hard to enter a show completely (entry form, coggins, signature page and payment) I'll never know. Every show requires the same basic paperwork, so I don't really understand why it is so hard. But anywho, I'll step off my soapbox now.

IronwoodFarm
Jul. 19, 2012, 08:49 AM
I believe there is a fee that is charged to each HT for using the electronic entry format. Some HTs try to save money by just accepting the mailed in entries. I may be wrong about this, but I recall that our show secretary said that even if you input your paper entry into Event Entries, she can still get the data file. That was huge to her because the results submission form has many fields AND it requires significant data entry. So I use EE for both electronic and paper entries.

I have not used X-Entry and really wonder why USEA didn't see is they could partner with EE instead. It reminds me of how eBay created BidPay to compete with PayPal......it took some time, but eBay finally figured out that they were better off buying PayPal and got rid of BidPay.

deltawave
Jul. 19, 2012, 08:50 AM
I suspect that at one point the two will merge into one entity, and that both will continue to evolve.

tabula rashah
Jul. 19, 2012, 08:56 AM
I do entries, A LOT of entries, as part of my job and while they are dressage shows not events, we are having the same problem with our online forms of entry. I actually find it takes longer and is way more complicated than doing it the old fashioned way. I can see it eventually getting to the point of working well but for now I'll just stick with the paper entries.

Hilary
Jul. 19, 2012, 09:13 AM
I think organizers love evententries because they no longer have to read my handwriting!!

I haven't used x-entry but really like evententries. I haven't ever used the full electronic entry but like that the form is populated for me.

Highflyer
Jul. 19, 2012, 09:27 AM
I think organizers love evententries because they no longer have to read my handwriting!!

I haven't used x-entry but really like evententries. I haven't ever used the full electronic entry but like that the form is populated for me.

As someone who has been a secretary for a starter HT, THIS! You would not believe the handwriting, the number of people who spell their horse's name differently on the entry form vs Coggins (and no, it mostly seems to be the rider who spells the name wrong, NOT the vet!)... the people who, under "Experience" write, Intermediate and turn out never to have completed an event... the people who spell their own names wrong?! At least if they fill the forms out electronically you eliminate the handwriting and you have a way to say, Go back and look at what you sent me!

GreyGelding
Jul. 19, 2012, 09:38 PM
As a secretary of a HT, I have been extraordinarily displeased with Xentries for many of the reasons mentioned here, especially the fact that riders can enter, I get a list of the entered riders, but have no paperwork from them! Not even an emailed copy.

I have been working with equestrianentries.com and they have a great system for the organizers, although I recognize they charge a service fee for CC payment online. But, this is a way our show can accept CC payment.

Part of the reason paper entries and hardcopies of the electronic entries are a necessity is b/c of the mandates for data/entry archives that each show is required to maintain, the health paperwork that a state may require for traveling equines, etc.

Old War Horse
Jul. 20, 2012, 04:38 PM
As the person who receives the entries in the mail, before giving them to the event secretary, I can't stress enough how important it is to include all paperwork when mailing your entry. Even if you have paid by credit card, you still have to mail Coggins at least. If you choose to send a check, you must include some kind of information about the entry. There are 1500 - 1800 competitors showing here every year; I can't possibly remember every one. If you just bung a check into an envelope and send it, how do you expect it to be credited to the right rider/horse/competition? Sometimes there are two events accepting entries at the same time. Would you put a check in an envelope for your telephone bill and mail it without any identifying information? NO! Then don't expect us to be mind readers! Just today I received an envelope from a BNR with 6 checks in it. No information. At least the horses' names were on the checks. And sometimes I don't have access to a current EventEntries.com file to look you up.
People: just follow the directions, PLEASE!!

USEAWebmaster
Jul. 20, 2012, 05:37 PM
Issue #2 - they are SO SLOW to pay the event. I "entered" (electronically) on closing day. I showed up to collect my packet at the event and was told I still owed $445 in entry and stabling fees..... Yowza! Again, the organizers were very cool and said they'd track me down if they didn't get my fees from X-Entry soon.


Thanks for your comments. The reality is that EventEntries has been slow to post payments made by the USEA. I see this as just a coordination issue and EE has never denied an entry from the USEA. There are some organizational issues with Event Entries that seems to be in resolution and we are hoping all that improves over time. They are a great group and we hope we can work with them in making it all better for all in the future.

We are working towards a 100% electronic entry process with all software providers. As USEF has green lighted e-signatures, it will only be just a matter of time and we look forward to making it happen for all our partners.

If you do find you are having problems with your entry at all, please feel free to contact the USEA offices. We are always happy to help.

--Robert

MeghanDACVA
Jul. 20, 2012, 06:42 PM
I don't like either of the electronic entry methods, save one use.
Why? My life is the definition and then some of multi-tasking. I only wish I had the time it takes to do it on line, un-interrupted. But I don't. And in the process of starting/stopping, I get bumped off, etc.
I have ALL my stuff in EE. My cards, my coggins, my signitures. So in theory, it should be super easy. But it isn't.

I tried Xentrys once. DIASTER. Esp since you can't enter a horse you own that is being ridden by someone else (ie a trainer).

I have come up with my own system that works for my wacky world.
I use USEA's PDF form the fill out my horses' information on the entry form. Horse, owner, rider, trainer stuff. And if I have a "plan", I even do the show names and dates. And the finances. Then I print them in one sitting. Same with the stabling forms. If I don't have a "plan" yet (welcome to reality) what I really do is print the entry form with all the horse and rider info on it. Then I scan it (since you can't save it). I also scan copies of my coggins', my cards, and the signiture page with required signitures (the past couple of yrs I had one that had my trainers's signitures on it for the horse we had in training and one that was just my signitures for my horse). All completed, scanned pages are on my computer. When I go to enter a show, all I have to do print those pages.

I hate having to re-enter the horse, rider, owner, trainer info on the entry form every time so this makes it so much simpler. I just NEATLY print the show name and date, check the correct division (it really isn't rocket science; I dont' understand why people get so confused by it!!) and fill in the bottom--competition record section and the $$ part.

I have all the required pages in one place on my computer and print them all at the same time. Put them in an enevelope, WITH A CHECK (or checks), and mail it.

I am on the same page as the organizers/secretaries--why can people not send in complete entries? It isn't rocket science. EVERY show requires the SAME thing. It does NOT change from show to show. After your very first entry you know you need 1) entry form 2) signiture page (meaning it needs SIGNITURES) 3) stabling form 4) coggins 5) USEF cards if you are entering levels requiring those (and if you are, you have, by definition, filled out more than one entry form before). If you have forgotten one of those, you will get reminded and have to remedy it before you can get your packet. So the NEXT show you should be smart enough to remember what you need to do. If you can't, how are you remembering things like dressage tests and courses?

And how you "enter" and not send money? No money = no enter, does it not? Or did I grow up in a different world?

Speaking of merging EE and XE, is there a valid reason EE cannot access USEA's competition database so we dont' have to update our records each time? That is a real pain the butt. Now I have to have EE's screen open, USEA's "search rider" screen open, and USEA's "Rider Profile" screen open" to do this without paper (ie, all electronically). And I can't cut and paste the info. I have to go from the Rider Profile screen and EE screen--back and forth and back and forth. A real pain. (I just updated my horse. Added his last 3 shows. Took me 15 minutes!!)

And, there is one show around here that when I used Xentry told me would not consider my entry as "in" until Xentry had transferred the funds. Since they have quite a wait list for things like hooks and such, having to wait for a 3rd party to move money to have your entry considered complete even though your credit card has been charged is not cool while you hope and pray that you don't wind up on the wait list behind someone who did their entry the "old fashioned" way.

Argh!!

fine*and*dandy
Jul. 20, 2012, 06:51 PM
I used x-entry once and the organizer never received anything from them. I printed out the receipt and sent it with check and Coggins, and she told me I had to print out the entry as well because she never received it. She said she doesn't like x-entry at all and always has problems when people attempt to use it. I went back to using Event Entries and have never had a problem with them. It's too bad that the USEA can't get it together and make their program actually work properly.

deltawave
Jul. 20, 2012, 08:07 PM
and she told me I had to print out the entry as well because she never received it.

XENTRY REQUIRES THAT YOU PRINT THE FORM AND MAIL IT. ALL THE TIME. It is a means of claiming your spot at a show and paying on line. You are still required to get the paperwork to the secretary in a timely manner, including Coggins, signatures, etc. This is CLEARLY stated up front, and when you finish using the process. If the organizer never received the paperwork IT'S BECAUSE YOU NEED TO SEND IT IN.

Read the directions. :)

fine*and*dandy
Jul. 20, 2012, 10:46 PM
The organizer never received anything from x-entry. It didn't hold a spot because the organizer received absolutely nothing and had no idea I'd attempted to enter. I did follow the instructions and sent in what was stated, and when I spoke with the organizer after doing so, she informed me of the problems with x-entry.

eponacowgirl
Jul. 20, 2012, 11:10 PM
I think the point is so you can fill them out with a few clicks and typed words... because my handwriting is awful. So I know it's legible. And then I hit print. And then I mail it. Like I would have anyway.

deltawave
Jul. 21, 2012, 12:46 PM
I always get an email confirming my entry within a minute or two when I use Xentry. I guess if I didn't, I would start thinking something had gone wrong, but it is BEYOND clear that one still has to print and mail the forms and somehow get the funds to the organizer, either via credit card or check.

I like that I can enter on line (I've entered my last two events on my iphone will sitting in a car, and no I was not driving, LOL) and go back later when I have access to a printer and print the form without having to fill out anything--just sign and mail.

jenm
Jul. 21, 2012, 04:00 PM
The H/J world gets my vote for best online entry system. All you have to do is drag and drop information and then submit and you're done. It took me all of five minutes to complete my entry and then all I had to do was go to the show office with my check.

While I think Xentry is a great idea for place holding, I still think it's archaic to have to print and mail the forms in.

PINE TREE FARM SC
Jul. 21, 2012, 05:15 PM
The H/J world gets my vote for best online entry system. All you have to do is drag and drop information and then submit and you're done. It took me all of five minutes to complete my entry and then all I had to do was go to the show office with my check.

While I think Xentry is a great idea for place holding, I still think it's archaic to have to print and mail the forms in.

As a HJ show secretary I use horseshowing.com.
No fee to the exhibitor for access to the system.
And once you set up your horses, riders and owners in the system it is, as jenm said, all drag and drop. It really does take less than 5 minutes to do an entry.

One difference in the HJ world is many shows do not require any advance payment so you really don't need to do anything but appear at the secretary office to drop off a check the day of the show.
An exception would be if the stall payment is required in advance.