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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,367

    Default Are you freaking kidding me??? Horse show entry fee rant....

    I just want to take a moment to blow off some steam about what it costs to enter a horse show these days. I'll preface this by saying that I obviously choose to support these shows, I just wish that the fees were a little less....er.....numerous

    I expect things like hay and grain and shavings to get more expensive over time, and really, I'm not surprised that shows have had to raise their costs so much over the last 5 or so years. But I was blown away when I did my entries for my next show and they came out to $1600 for two horses showing in two divisions each (one in the big jumper ring, one in the little jumper ring)....especially since I opted to post enter the grand prix when I get there (or not enter it if we're having a rail-ful week), so that's $375 less than they would have been if I'd entered everything up front. That means that for four divisions and the grand prix my total entries will be $1975. No wonder I can't seem to put any money in my savings account (can it even be called a "savings account" when the dollar value is lower than $50?)

    Anyhow, the things that really get me?
    --The "mandatory" $30 schooling fee per horse despite the fact that I won't school either of my horses (or even ride them on the grounds on schooling day)
    --the fact that classes that offer no prize money are $35-$45 apiece and in many cases are the same price as classes that DO offer prize money
    --the "Jumper Nominating Fee"....okay, I've been paying this for several years without complaining out loud. But REALLY? A JUMPER NOMINATING FEE...how many other ways can you say "we need more money and we're going to get it from any way we can" (it's probably worth mentioning that I support the idea of the people with big jumpers paying more than people with little jumpers and therefore much less attainable prize money, but still...)
    --the fact that you have to bring your own shavings (yes, I know this is fairly standard these days, but it chaps my hide every time I see it after decades of having shavings provided by the show)
    --the $200/horse stalls that don't include shavings or shavings disposal (it's insane to think about how expensive the stalls are if you factor in the rest.....I could board my horse for a month somewhere else for that amount!)
    --the $25-35 charge for a shavings disposal fee (oh, back to the days where this was included in the cost of the $75 stall!)
    --and, of course, all of the stupid association fees (the fact that I now have to belong to three annual membership organizations just seems silly, even if it isn't a huge amount of money in the grand scheme of things)

    I guess I just feel like I'm being nickle and dimed to death (or to broke-ness at least). Again, I understand that everything's getting more expensive, and that the horse shows still have to make money, but WOW have costs gone up! I think it's safe to say that my husband will be seeing NONE of the bills for this horse show season. He'd never let me out the door with my horses again!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2008
    Posts
    93

    Default

    I couldn't agree with you more. This sport is becoming only accessible to the super-rich. Even with all the fees you listed, you still have to consider your fuel money and hotel and meal expenses which always seem to be jacked up when a horse show is in town. I too am tired of all these ridiculous fees. I showed last weekend where the prize list stated "no schooling". When it came time to pay my bill, I was charged with a $20 schooling fee. I argued and said I had not schooled and according to your prize list there was no schooling allowed. She kind of got an attitude with me and then said "well I was told to charge everyone with a schooling fee" WHAT???? On top of that there was a $20 grounds fee. This was just a one day show and if you are running a show don't people have to park their trailers on your grounds in order to show at your show? Then of course there were the drug fees and secretary fees and WOW before you even enter your first class you're out $52 just to have the privelige of driving onto the horse show grounds. Why don't they just raise the class fees and stop all these little hidden charges that add up quickly and piss people off!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2006
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,524

    Default

    Not providing shavings to purchase? Shavings disposal fee? Wow. And I though it sucked out here lately...
    Quote Originally Posted by tidy rabbit View Post
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2003
    Location
    Up the creek from bar.ka
    Posts
    10,029

    Default

    I showed for 2 days at KY last week, and I'm going back this Thursday. It cost me $832.52 FOR TWO DAYS with one horse. NOW that is rediculous. That does not include my 200 worth of shavings or my trainers bills or my hotel. So this will be my last show for a couple months. It makes one think about going to the hunter ring and doing the big classes there for 135 bucks or whatever they pay per division.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2008
    Posts
    93

    Default

    Hey Tidy Rabbit - the hunter ring is NO BARGAIN! Unless it's a really big show the prize money, if any, won't even buy you lunch at those expensive horse show concessions stand I always thought more people were moving to the jumper ring because the prize money is better and there is no "political judging" just the rails and the clock. I guess it just goes to show that all the disciplines are feeling their wallets getting lighter



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 20, 2007
    Posts
    165

    Default

    I'm not currently showing. What used to amaze me was that one week-end the stalls for an A show would be $200; then the next weekend for a C show the exact same stall would be $75. (I know it's probably more now, but you get the idea.)



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2003
    Location
    Up the creek from bar.ka
    Posts
    10,029

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by happyhorse3 View Post
    Hey Tidy Rabbit - the hunter ring is NO BARGAIN! Unless it's a really big show the prize money, if any, won't even buy you lunch at those expensive horse show concessions stand I always thought more people were moving to the jumper ring because the prize money is better and there is no "political judging" just the rails and the clock. I guess it just goes to show that all the disciplines are feeling their wallets getting lighter
    It's just that you can avoid the 275 dollar nominating fee if you go to the hunter ring, but I supposed you'd get close to that charge with the braiding.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2005
    Location
    Where the prairie ends and the mountains begin
    Posts
    2,455

    Default

    OP - all those reasons and costs you listed are the exact reason I quit showing. It costs so much to just LIVE these days that I can't justify spending that kind of money on shows. Come next year, I might hit some local schooling shows, but that would be it.

    With that said, I could probably afford to do larger shows and have a nicer horse if I sacrificed almost everything hubby and I have worked for since college. We could sell the house and live in a small apartment, sell the "nice" cars and drive beaters, never take vacations or eat out etc... but that wouldn't be any fun either.
    Dreaming in Color



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2001
    Location
    At the barn or at the office
    Posts
    1,072

    Default How to save $$

    Bring your own shavings, and braid your own horse. That will save hundreds of $$

    Yes, you have to do more work and get up a little earlier, but if you're already at the show, why not?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2005
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    423

    Default

    It is outrageous...and why I've decided to only do local schooling shows this year.

    On Saturday I'm doing a jumper derby for a grand total of $30, or I guess $70 if I factor in gas to get there and back...oh, and $73 if I factor in carrots.
    The more you stir the $hit, the more it stinks.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2008
    Posts
    491

    Default

    You can always get up an hour earlier and braid yourself, harder to get around that nominating fee.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2001
    Location
    Trailer Trash Ammy!
    Posts
    19,520

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LH View Post
    Bring your own shavings, and braid your own horse. That will save hundreds of $$
    In addition to this - never EVER book your hotel via the horse show "discount"!! It isn't a discount - the hotels actually *raise* their prices (at/around GIHP, some raise them as much as 25%) for the horse show block rooms.
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2006
    Posts
    7,344

    Default

    Whew I am glad that 'round here, there are very few rated shows and most barns just do the local circuits! You can easily show for a day at a very well attended local show for $100.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2004
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gotabuk View Post
    It is outrageous...and why I've decided to only do local schooling shows this year.

    On Saturday I'm doing a jumper derby for a grand total of $30, or I guess $70 if I factor in gas to get there and back...oh, and $73 if I factor in carrots.

    nice.
    NC seems like it has a good selection of schooling shows in reasonable distance. I am working on perhaps moving there on day.
    "Horses give us the wings we lack"



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 2008
    Posts
    1,410

    Default

    I dont even show on the A circuit(yet) and I cant afford it. I am 14 yrs old and I have to get a job to pay for my shows. I can only afford one local show once a month at most. I usually cant even do that because I also have to pay for my horse's upkeep. Looks like I wont be getting that new saddle for a while. But I love what I do, so even if I dont get to show that much, I enjoy myself when I do.
    Last edited by spmoonie; Jun. 22, 2008 at 04:21 PM.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2001
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    826

    Default

    I always thought more people were moving to the jumper ring because the prize money is better and there is no "political judging" just the rails and the clock. I guess it just goes to show that all the disciplines are feeling their wallets getting lighter
    Isn't that the truth. No prize money at HITS even in the high adult jumpers. Kind of hurts when even crap hay is $12/bale and a shoeing job (front steel only, no shoes behind on my non-showing horse) is $220. In Wellington you can pay for your entries even doing the low adult jumpers.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,950

    Default

    I was just complaining about these same things.
    I just did our entries for a rather large upcoming A show and I wanted to not only bring my "regulars" but a few of my lesson kids and kids who only show a couple times a year...
    Boy is it hard to convince people to do these shows when you are honest and actually list the costs up front! You should have seen the list! To the show - grounds fees, drug fees, "well, you get charged $50 if you don't pre-enter, but charged $25 if we have to scratch" (I always loved that one!), office fee, non-member fees or become a member for just a little bit more! Uhg...
    And then I get... Do we have to braid? Yes. Do we need to pay a groom? If I need to have 87 beginners here, yes. Why does trailering cost so much? Have you seen gas prices? And I feel bad. I WANT my kids to get to experience these things, but I also need to be able to pay my bills. I can't always cut my prices and take a loss so that my students can show. I just can't. But if that means less shows for them, it also means less $ for me in the long run... so it's an evil catch-22!!!
    ...for there are wings on these hooves, the speed and power of foam-capped waves...
    *~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*
    Proud member of the artists clique



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 1999
    Location
    Averill Park NY and Citra Fl
    Posts
    5,575

    Default

    The nominating fee was supposed to be for the office work of being able to declare (add scratch) on a daily basis...we all know it was to lower the prize money paid out since ENTRY fee had to equal last place prize money...higher nominating lower entry=lower prize money! But now with the genesis of "office fee" how do they justify the nominating fee? I personally like the "ship in fee" (some shows at $50 a DAY)...to park in their lot using no show resources but punishing you for wanting to come to their show! It is getting to the point where the polarization of the shows (no more middle class guy showing and all uber rich vs all local/4H/pony club type) will eventually hurt the big shows bottom line since we peons pay the freight for the 50K GPs and the 10K hunter derbys with our entries. Frustrating and discouraging but I guess that the way it is going to be.......
    The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2008
    Posts
    491

    Default

    When I was younger my trainer informed my mother that our horse had to be braided for the horse shows and told her the price. My mother instead offered to pay my trainer the cost of a braiding for her to teach me how to braid. (I didn't get a vote on the matter). I spent the next week braiding my horses main every day until my trainer finally said I was good enough to show in my braids. Braiding is an easily avoided expense. Paying for a groom? My non-horsey mother took the time to learn how to groom for shows. While I was getting last minute instructions she had my horse squeeky clean, polished, tacked and ready to go. If the parents want to cut down on expenses they can usually do so by getting more involved.

    At the time I rolled my eyes when Mom instead on a last minute wipe down of my boots and brushing my jacket before I went in the ring. Now, I'd love to have her around to help out.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2000
    Location
    Aiken, SC
    Posts
    2,363

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by War Admiral View Post
    In addition to this - never EVER book your hotel via the horse show "discount"!! It isn't a discount - the hotels actually *raise* their prices (at/around GIHP, some raise them as much as 25%) for the horse show block rooms.

    So true and then the hotels "kick back" to the show organizers!

    I always shop hotel rates on line or direct and it has been less expensive every time NOT to use the "Horse Show Discount".



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