Does anyone know whether the cost to rent facilities--and maybe the insurance and jump rental fees...and labor--has increased? Someone else mentioned the high cost of stalls, even though they are cheaper at the same facility for a different type of show. I think we had a discussion before about the bottom line for show managers. I had the impression from that discussion that stalls were one of the more profitable aspects of shows. Is that true? Grounds fees sure are, right? I'm asking because I'm wondering if h-j shows are going to start absorbing some of the increasing costs to keep exhibitors on board or whether prices (well, fees, actually) will increase, too. Entry fees at events have skyrocketed in recent years. From what little I've had out doing the h-j's, the class and division fees themselves don't seem to have increased, but the other fees seem a lot more numerous and the stalls have gone up somewhat. Your impressions?
I must say, I've found everyone's thoughts and suggestions on economizing interesting and informative. I'm in NY, smack dab in the middle of the "middle class". And I have to say, the economy and its effects on the horse show industry here look pretty grim! So I thought I'd share yet another perspective with y'all. And that's all this is, another perspective, nothing more or less.
Around here, there are less than a dozen clients from all trainers combined who venture to Florida. Only 2-3 are unaffected by the economy and still have the means to make the trip south. A couple weeks at Saugerties is a big deal for most of us, and that's been too pricey for many this year.
The "circuit" here is small A and B shows, the kind I imagine some people were thinking of when they said the smaller shows might see a resurgence as owners and riders try to economize. But with shows on the schedule at least 3 weekends out of 4, and with many of us having to cut back to 1 or 2, the shows are struggling. In fact, with attendance below 50, some of them are losing money just to keep their dates and hope next year is better.
When we do show, we drive back and forth each day if it's less than 2 hours, because gas at $4.00/gallon is still cheaper than the hotel rooms or the campers. Unless you don't mind sleeping in the back of your pick-up, that is! And we braid our own horses, or show them un-braided.
Most of my friends have always started their own babies to save money, usually racetrack refugees - and one of the few exciting things about the financial woes of others is that for some of us, nice horses are finally being priced so that we can reach them! We keep our horses at home, in back yard barns without indoor rings, because when board topped $450 it was more efficient to put up a run-in and fence in the back yard than to board.
I know many people who aren't showing at all, who are just hunkered down and trying to hang onto their kid's horse, knowing that even if they have to sell, there are so many people in the same boat that they may not be able to.
So, for those of you taking just 2 of your 3 horses on the circuit this winter - enjoy the warmer weather and the horses you have And I mean that seriously. You give us something to dream about and wish for. We love reading the results, hearing those "big names" and wondering what it must be like.
And like many have said, it always does get better. Maybe it's not exactly the same again, but historically we do recover.
I don't know what happened with things this summer finacially. Somehow or other, I ended up spending about 20K in 4 months on stuff that has to be bought for the farm and services and supplies.
In looking at the books for this summer, there isn't really anything out of the ordinary as far as purchases go. I only have 4 horses at home, so why the 20K in 4 months? This has definately impacted my training/lessons, my horse showing and any additional horse purchases.
Everything seems to be about 2 or 3 times more expensive this year. Last year I did something like 3 clinics and 13 shows. This year, no clinics and just 4 AA shows with one horse instead of 2, and a few little shows with the baby.
Wonder if this will bring entry fees down some or if shows will just start charging the people who do enter more to make up the difference...
it seems like shows are charging more and more for the people that do show. they are sneaky little fees. like a schooling charge plus a secretary fee, plus plus plus. it used to be that you read how much the class cost and paid a drug fee. well now you have to read on for all the little fees to calculate what it really cost per show.
Someone mentioned Pebble Beach earlier- although the economy has certainly affected sales of horses (a friend of mine who runs a sales barn has 45 for sale!!!), Pebble Beach was, as always sold out. With a waiting list. So was Menlo. I think the trend to go to Bend has been brought on by several factors outside the economy, mainly that Pebble Beach is cold, somewhat dirty, and not the best organized show out there. Bend has been gaining popularity due to its exhibitor friendly environment. And I am sure that fuel costs of getting to Bend were high (and not likely to be money-savers when compared to hotel costs in Monterey/Carmel)- diesel has gone through the roof here in CA lately.