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  1. #1
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    Oct. 6, 2003
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    Default WWYD-SPONSORS?

    My trainer has been in Florida this winter trying to find a sponsor to help her with a PSG or higher level horse suitable for the Pan Am games. She has a spot on a team but the horse she is riding/showing, although getting fabulous scores will not be at the level she needs to compete. How do riders find sponsored horses? She is a wonderful rider, consistently receiving high 60%'s and 70%'s with 10's in her tests but because she is not a BNT, cannot get the visability she needs. It could also be the economy but I still think those opportunites are out there for the right person at the right time. Any suggestions? Feel free to PM me as well.



  2. #2
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    Jun. 26, 2004
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    Default

    she needs A HORSE AND THE ABILITY to score over %75 at a CDI to be a contender



  3. #3
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    Default

    I believe she has, several times but that still does not answer how she would be able to make the proper contacts. Do people run up to riders after they have scored well and offer them a horse to ride? I am not being smart, just curious if that is what they are looking for. She is a very humble individual and I opted to ask on her behalf

    Since I am an Ammie, I certainly wouldn't know how to make the right connections, just curious if others on COTH would have suggestions. I know that in this economy it is tough to get sponsors, not just have someone hand you a horse to compete in another country. How do the younger riders in this country start to make a name for themselves? Yes, winning with fabulous scores help but someone has to also promote them.



  4. #4
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    Default

    you cannot "have a spot on a team" if you do not already have a very good small tour (PSG/I1) horse under you and scoring over 68% so unfortunately, unless your trainer is a candidate to ride for another country (latin or south american) he/she does not have a spot without having the track record and the horse

    No one runs up to a rider with a good score to offer a horse- the people who go to the PanAms, Olympics, World Cup, WEG have been riding many horses at this level for years, both their own horses and sponsored horses. They work really hard starting and training horses, and show show show with consistent results. As they grow in the profession they have more offers and better horses but it takes time.



  5. #5
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    Default

    In addition, in the US you do not have a spot on the team unitl Gladstone trials are done- and you get to Gladstone by qualifying at shows.



  6. #6
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    Nov. 23, 1999
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    Default

    And you understand that sponsorship is about ROI for the sponsor, not what the sponsor can do for the person they are sponsoring. Winning with fabulous scores does not '"help," it is the requirement. It is not just part of the puzzle, it is the main component. There have been many detailed threads regarding sponsorship on this forum; have a search and you will find plenty of ideas, but an unknown is not going to get a Pan Am horse to ride just because.
    EDDIE WOULD GO



  7. #7
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    Default

    Remember to that the scores need to be in CDI's which are supposed to be much much harder. Has your friend been riding in CDI's.

    Also Heather Blitz with Paragon and Steffen Peter's with Weltino's Magic both scored 76% in their last PSG!


    Heather Blitz owns Paragon herself and is, per Robert Dover's web site, looking for a sponsor.



  8. #8
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    Default Before you reply, please read this-thank you

    I repeat, she has met these qualifications and DOES have a spot on a team, although part of the US, it is not the US team. My point was not to get into a discussion about how to qualify, it was how to find people who WANT the ROI on having someone ride their horse that has qualified.

    I am always amazed at how this bulletin board brings out the "neigh-sayers" to dispute an issue instead of offering assistance. I am not comparing her to Steffan by any stretch, just looking for ways to help her.

    Again, I am an Ammie that has no idea how to give her guidance, she is a wonderful YOUNGER rider with a great future ahead of her and I would like to see her get the recognition that she deserves-most of us would LOVE to have achieved what she has and since I know I cannot, I would be happy to see her get there and am trying to find ways to help her.



  9. #9
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    Jan. 14, 2008
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    Default

    http://www.dressagedaily.com/index.p...010&Itemid=437

    Looks like she is on the Puerto Rico team but no longer has a horse



  10. #10
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    Nov. 23, 1999
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    Default

    Then do a search and you'll find many threads on this forum that address exactly what you are looking for.
    EDDIE WOULD GO



  11. #11
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    Default

    Looks like she no longer has a horse

    Which is why I asked, how do riders find horses that people want to be shown.
    Also, thanks for being so subtle. If you had pm'd me I would have gladly shared but did not feel it was a detail that needed to be aired for the entire COTH world. Happy to count on you guys for useful, NICE assistance. Why was that the important part to you? No wonder so many people now lurk and never post.
    Many thanks



  12. #12
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    Default

    I have no idea how to help her get a horse for the upcoming competition season, but perhaps a good long term approach would be to try to get in with a breeder that stands their own stallions that they may want shown? By building a reputation with a breeder, and helping to bring along their young horses, she may build a deeper pool of quality horses for the future.



  13. #13
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    Jan. 14, 2008
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    Default

    Look - she had an article put on Dressage Daily basically advertising that she is looking for a horse since the other one was sold. There is no subtlety needed - it is public knowledge that she is looking for a sponsored horse. No one is fixated on her having lost her ride. It just was confusing that you didn't state up front that she was riding for PR - so everyone got sidetracked on thinking she was riding for USA which didn't make sense. So posting the link from Dressage Daily was a way to clarify her situation and nationality.

    Finding a sponsor for international competition is usually YEARS in the making and lining up wealthy people who like you and want to buy you horses to show.
    I would suggest she network with her former mentors (like Jim Koford) to help her in her quest. I wish her lots of luck and hope she makes it. It is a tough road. It takes years and tons of networking and a lot of times it ends up being a chicken and egg situation - you have to have good horses to get good horses.



  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by patch work farm View Post
    I repeat, she has met these qualifications and DOES have a spot on a team, although part of the US, it is not the US team. My point was not to get into a discussion about how to qualify, it was how to find people who WANT the ROI on having someone ride their horse that has qualified.

    I am always amazed at how this bulletin board brings out the "neigh-sayers" to dispute an issue instead of offering assistance. I am not comparing her to Steffan by any stretch, just looking for ways to help her.

    Again, I am an Ammie that has no idea how to give her guidance, she is a wonderful YOUNGER rider with a great future ahead of her and I would like to see her get the recognition that she deserves-most of us would LOVE to have achieved what she has and since I know I cannot, I would be happy to see her get there and am trying to find ways to help her.
    Okay, here's it simplified, based on film production classes (where you're trying to figure out how to get money to make a film.)

    She is a 'product' sitting on a shelf with a bunch of other products that do fairly similar jobs. She needs to sit down and figure out what it is that makes HER unique and special that she can use to market herself to potential sponsors. Off the top of my head, some possibles:

    1. Is she relatively attractive? (It's shallow, yes, but most sponsors who are selling a product are going to hope to get some nice photos they can use in ads, and so someone who photographs well is probably going to have a better shot than someone who doesn't, other things being equal between the two.)

    2. Has she ridden with anyone interesting? Trained with so-and-so and so-and-so might make a difference to horse owners looking for riders. (Side note - is she prepared for horse owners to potentially come to her place and watch her ride when not in competition? If I had a horse at that level, I probably wouldn't want to just send it off without evaluating the person's training approach at home, too.)

    3. Is there anything interesting or unique about her that might make a good piece in a magazine or local equestrian paper? First, it'll help get her name out there, second, once she has sponsors, that's more free ad time for her sponsors, since they'll probably be mentioned. ("Rider Y, currently sponsored by HorseNibbles and HoofMiracle, riding Dobbin owned by Lady M, grew up in an area where horseback riding was the last thing anyone would imagine she'd do...")

    It really is all about marketing. She needs to think about these things, and have ideas and answers ready that she's confident about. And she probably needs to be willing to go up to potential sponsors and make first contact and 'pitch' herself.

    (A 'pitch' in this context is a short one to two sentences that tell enough to get the listener interested in hearing more. For her purposes, she should probably think of a few different ones to use depending on the person and the approach - a horse owner isn't necessarily going to be as interested by a pitch targeted at a corporate sponsor. The goal of the pitch is not to get your whole story out there, it's to get the person to want to have a conversation with you so you can tell them the rest of the story. Same basic principle.)



  15. #15
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    Default Thank you!

    Now we are going somewhere! I didn't mean to come off as a jerk but in my opinion, the "how" was more important than the "who"- I do see where I could have thrown this in another direction (but when writing it, sometimes tunnel vision takes over). You are correct, it is no secret, but again was just trying to get ideas on if there was a way to help her. I appreciate the thoughts put forth and will see where we can go, great idea on using her looks-luckily she is adorable (and one of the most geniunely nice people I have ever met!).

    I have always said that I am a great "idea thief" but not necessarily a creative idea person. Going out to others and getting suggestions is a super idea to look outside of the box.

    I know this is a tough business and economy to get this kind of help. I know she did speak to one particular stallion owner but the horse wasn't in work and had not gone farther than first level so it wasn't a viable option, but there are many more out there.

    Thank you again, feel free to keep those ideas coming!



  16. #16
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by patch work farm View Post
    I appreciate the thoughts put forth and will see where we can go, great idea on using her looks-luckily she is adorable (and one of the most geniunely nice people I have ever met!).
    I should clarify that I wouldn't actually go and say 'hey, I'm cute!' - but she should definitely play that up in terms of making sure when she goes to talk to a potential sponsor that she's dressed in an appropriate but flattering way. So if one was coming out to the barn for a visit, I'd tidy up the barn, but then I'd also make sure her boots/half chaps/whatever she rides in are clean and look cared for, her breeches are likewise clean and flattering, her shirt is a color that suits her, etc.

    I mean, when you're talking about a really BN then it matters a lot less, because hey - it's Phillip Dutton (hello, ad on the right side of the page) and most of the market is going to know who he is no matter what he looks like. But she doesn't have that level of 'celebrity' so presenting a nice picture probably will make more of a difference. (Like I said, if you're a sponsor with something to sell, and you're looking at two people who ride about the same, but neither has much name recognition, and one would make for a really pretty ad if you wanted to put a full page ad in a magazine...)

    (Actually, if she does have any nice photos of herself from competitions, if people do come to the barn to discuss things, if she has an office or something it might not hurt to have a couple of the nice photos sort of strategically placed. You don't want it to be 'oh, look, I like to look at myself!' but, well, people aren't always that mentally creative. So a photo that looks good might help them start thinking 'hey, that'd look good in an ad!') (Bonus would be if the photos had good stories, so if someone asked about it she could say "oh, that's me riding Dobbin at XYZ; it was a great experience for him for such-and-such reason." - That also helps with 'why do you have photos of yourself on the wall' because it does kind of make sense psychologically to have photos up that remind you of successes or good experiences, so it moves it away from people thinking that you just like to look at yourself. )



  17. #17
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    Feb. 6, 2003
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    Default

    There are any number of riders who are just as talented and more so. Why does she deserve a free horse any more than any of them ? In face of other riders' greater experience, talent, drive, marketability, why would somebody give her a horse to train and compete ? THAT is what you have to convince a wealthy corporation/sponsor of, in order to be successful.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  18. #18
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    Nov. 23, 1999
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    Default

    Do a search of previous topics on the dressage form re sponsorships. Really. A lot of people took the time to put together fabulous ideas and suggestions, some several times, and it can be a useful resource. Because what Equibrit said is 100% spot on.
    EDDIE WOULD GO



  19. #19
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    Default

    I may be totally off base here but I think a great angle for her is that she can ride for PR and does not have to qualify for the US team. A person may have a really nice horse that they want to campaign and see in the large international arena like the PanAm games. They will have a much better chance getting their horse at those competitions with a rider competing for PR versus the US.

    Just a thought...I think contacting owners of some really nice up and coming stallions that need to be campaigned might be a perfect angle in conjunction with riding for PR. For example, say i owned a nice stallion and needed exposure I might have a really hard time getting a BNT to take on the task, let alone the expense. Now if I had your friend take the ride, qualify for the big shows, now as the stallion owner I can advertise that my stallion "qualified for the Pan Am games"...a great marketing angle.

    And yes, there are a lot of talented riders out there, but hey someone has to make in the big league. Why not this rider? If I listened to all the neigh-sayers out there I never would have applied to vet school that has a 10% acceptance rate, I never would have picked up and moved to NC to open my own practice, and I never would have taken on the task of starting my own farm from scratch as a single woman. If she is a hard worker, aggressive (in a good way), determined, and talented she has just as much a chance of making it as anyone.

    I wish I had a horse (and the money) to help your friend. I love helping an "underdog" achieve their goals.

    Best of luck to your friend!!



  20. #20
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    May. 4, 2003
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    Default

    Tone, people, tone. I've nothing to add, but since we have a family member who has been there trying to make the big O, you have my sympathies and best wishes that everything your trainer is aiming for will work out for her somehow.
    It is darned hard, and takes everything you have and more, plus the support of a huge group on your side. In looking for sponsorship, it is more "what can I do for you", than "what can you do for me", and a whole second discipline of thank-you's



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