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  1. #1
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    Default Trends in Dressage: Anyone seen the article?

    Some interesting analyses by Centerlinescores.
    (disclaimer: I have no relation to CLS)

    http://blog.centerlinescores.com/201...e-trends-pt-1/



  2. #2
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    Saw it. The most interesting facet I took away was how much the Wellington show season effects the business/sport.



  3. #3
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    Some nice snippets of info there.

    *Star*
    "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
    - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    Saw it. The most interesting facet I took away was how much the Wellington show season effects the business/sport.
    Yes, and that makes me wonder if, in fact, the low level AA's that many say carry this sport is really true.

    This will be the first time in 30 years that I will not renew my USDF/USEF membership. Showing has become too rich for my blood and that of the horses I can afford to buy.


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  5. #5
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    Default

    I haven't had a membership in either since 2007. There is so much 'stuff' available in this area of NJ, neither is necessary unless you REALLY want to compete.

    Oh yeah, and unless you can afford to compete.


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  6. #6
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    what is interesting is that schooling shows have really taken off here. the local ones to me are usually full with a waiting list. we get L judges and sometimes r's and the cost cant be beat $20/class usually.

    i think many folks are just heading over to the low rent shows... and why not? same experience for the horse at a much lower cost!

    (it would be cool if schooling shows could wrangle a data base of scores....)


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    what is interesting is that schooling shows have really taken off here. the local ones to me are usually full with a waiting list. we get L judges and sometimes r's and the cost cant be beat $20/class usually.

    i think many folks are just heading over to the low rent shows... and why not? same experience for the horse at a much lower cost!

    (it would be cool if schooling shows could wrangle a data base of scores....)
    Absolutely! We get "r" and "R" judges for our shows, and usually an "S" for our championships. Schooling shows are a great value.
    Quote Originally Posted by Linny View Post
    Those martingales were so taut, you could play Ode to Joy on them with a comb


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  8. #8
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    Default

    I am curious to see how much the horse industry is affected when we go off the fiscal cliff. Most of the folks supporting the recognized horse show circuits - esp. those who go to Florida for the winter - are in the upper middle to high income brackets. Horse related expenditures WILL be affected if their federal income taxes increase from the projected $3500 (average increase for those in the $65K - $108K per year income range) to $14,000 or more (average increase for those in the $108K to $500K income range). I know someone who said her and her husband's anticipated tax increase is $50,000! They are in a pretty high income bracket (he is a physician, she is an attorney), and she said there will be no Florida show circuit this year for her or her two horses, and probably no recognized competitions at all for the foreseeable future.


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  9. #9
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    Interesting observations regarding schooling shows. I was not aware of the growth in that area.

    Anyone know if the USDF/USEF are tracking this? Basically, what the stats show is that they are losing "market share". And based on the anecdotal stories posted her the "customer base" is migrating to schooling shows.



  10. #10
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    I think we'll continue to see a decline with Florida as notable exception. The other factor to be considered is the general "aging out" of riders with not enough young talent in the wings to make up the difference. I would also guess that these older riders have more discretionary income than their younger counterparts and that is what allows them to pay the ever-increasing show fees.

    I applaud Centerline Scores for doing such an in-depth job in providing trends based on information that is collected by our "governing bodies" (who obviously are unable to do do so!).
    Siegi Belz
    www.stalleuropa.com
    2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
    Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


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  11. #11
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    from the blog/article: If we look at just Region 3, we see the same continued 3% annual growth continuing unabated. It would seem that Dressage riders in the Southeast – and presumably mostly centered in West Palm & Wellington, Florida – appear to be impervious to the economic downturn impacting the rest of the country
    I don't know that I agree with the author's assumption that Region 3 is driven by West Palm and Wellington, as the entire Florida show scene is very active. There are also numerous multi-ring recognized shows year-round at popular facilities like Clarcona (Orlando), Canterbury (Gainesville area), Fox Lea (Venice), Ocala, and Jacksonville, as well as smaller (but still recognized and often multi-ring) shows at places like Rocking Horse (Altoona), Silver Sands (New Smyrna Beach), and in the panhandle.

    I think it's safe to say Florida drives Region 3, but I don't know if West Palm and Wellington alone drive Region 3.

    Even here in Florida, where recognized dressage shows are plentiful and (apparently) the show business is booming, schooling shows also flourish. I regularly judge at one facility which typically runs three rings of dressage at their schooling shows. (Three rings, at a schooling show!) One thing I notice though, there doesn't seem to be much overlap between the schooling show competitors and the recognized show competitors. In other words, I don't think schooling shows are competing with recognized shows for entries, and vice versa.

    Either way though, interesting blog article.
    Last edited by RiverOaksFarm; Dec. 9, 2012 at 08:55 AM. Reason: clarify - quote is from blog
    River Oaks Farm - home of the Elite Book Friesian Sporthorse Grand Prix dressage stallion Lexington - sire of four consecutive FSA National Inspection Champions. Endorsing the FSA.


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  12. #12
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    I think it's a combination of reasons. Of course money, but also the "big fish in a small pond" mentality. The horse that wins the class in the schooling show may not get a ribbon in a recognized show. If the scores were not posted and ribbons awarded would anyone even bother to show? It's about the training, remember.

    Also the disappointment in the direction "D"ressage is taking and the simple discovery of life with horses beyond the sandbox. That there are more fun, less costly and just as satisfying events out there.

    Look at the rise in Arabs and Morgans as stated. You can get a flashy, collectible, "dressage" (meaning the look that gets pinned) horse in a small affordable package

    I know, I sound like sour grapes but I'm not really. I've never been very competitive and spent a large part of my life at horse shows. I've see the better horse get left behind many times and the best horse win. It just all seems so much about training for the tests these days. JMHO



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownYonder View Post
    I am curious to see how much the horse industry is affected when we go off the fiscal cliff. Most of the folks supporting the recognized horse show circuits - esp. those who go to Florida for the winter - are in the upper middle to high income brackets. Horse related expenditures WILL be affected if their federal income taxes increase from the projected $3500 (average increase for those in the $65K - $108K per year income range) to $14,000 or more (average increase for those in the $108K to $500K income range). I know someone who said her and her husband's anticipated tax increase is $50,000! They are in a pretty high income bracket (he is a physician, she is an attorney), and she said there will be no Florida show circuit this year for her or her two horses, and probably no recognized competitions at all for the foreseeable future.
    As someone who works REALLY hard, saves, saves, saves, works as much OT as I can get, just to show in a few shows in my region, I cannot feel bad for someone who is unable to go to Florida for the winter. We are in a tax bracket that will be affected by the changes, but I am not opposed to them-will just tighten the belts a bit more. I am sure there are other things they could give up if she really wants to go to recognized shows-designer clothing, purses, vacations, etc. Priorities...and what you want to spend your $$$ on.


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  14. #14
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    And yet, despite the "decline", shows here in Region 7 (specially southern CA) has been well supported. Our championship show at LAEC was the largest one yet...go figure.



  15. #15
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    fwiw, i do think that schooling shows are pulling riders away from recognized ... before we got the number of schooling shows we have, folks would show recognized - now many many of those folks don't spend the extra $$ and instead just use schooling shows to help train the horse. Perhaps these folks might head over to recognized at some point, but many just don't have a need for them.....

    and really at $20/class it makes is really affordable.....

    as for the fiscal cliff - i think that those folks who make gobs of money will be able to come up with more loop holes and deductions to help defray the extra taxes - just wait and see.....


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  16. #16
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    I only do schooling shows-- The recognized shows are held outside in a place that turns into a mud fest at the first hint of rain, or else dry as a desert.

    The schooling shows are held at many locations, have good judges, nice stalls, better footing, and I don't have to braid or pay lots of office/drug fees. The horse doesn't know what kind of show it is. The comments I have received have been fair and I would assume very on par to recognize, though its hard to tell how the % would hold up. There is so much variability even in recognized judging that it doesn't bother me.


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  17. #17
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    I have only done recognized shows here in my new home, but I have changed my level of preparation before going to shows now that a) I have to pay for my own shows instead of my very helpful and supportive parents, and b) the price of showing has gone way up. I want to guarantee (so much as you can in a sport where you're relying on another mammal with its own brain and, occasionally, contrary opinions) that I'll get my qualifying scores for the regional champs within one or two shows... which tracks pretty well with the national data. I _am_ the all-American dressage enthusiast!

    Well, maybe not.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    fwiw, i do think that schooling shows are pulling riders away from recognized ... before we got the number of schooling shows we have, folks would show recognized - now many many of those folks don't spend the extra $$ and instead just use schooling shows to help train the horse. Perhaps these folks might head over to recognized at some point, but many just don't have a need for them.....

    and really at $20/class it makes is really affordable.....

    as for the fiscal cliff - i think that those folks who make gobs of money will be able to come up with more loop holes and deductions to help defray the extra taxes - just wait and see.....
    I think this comment comes a little bit more from your own experience rather than reality. The majority of the people I know showing rarely bother with schooling shows unless they attend for a very specific purpose (young horse just starting, show is on-site, prepping for the next level). Of the people I know actively showing, they target recognized shows. During the height of show season there are sometimes multiple recognized shows on the same weekend that are well attended.


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  19. #19
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    Also, I do think the "rise of the Arabians" is interesting. My half-Arabian pony has more raw talent for dressage than many WB "dressage horses" that would cost 3-4x the price as a 3 year old. And she's tough as nails, well put together, eats almost nothing, and feels big when you are on her. You also have the option of attending breed shows as well as USDF shows. I think it really shows that there IS movement towards smaller, cheaper and often easier (physically) to ride and typically more sound horses.


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  20. #20
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    There is so much driving the trends. I do think the economy is part of it, and a big part of it. The fact that Wellington is still going strong - and the big CDIs in Cali are still going strong too (the smaller shows and entry level CDIs are cutting back) - is indicative that the ultra-wealthy are fairly insulated from financial strain. That is nothing new.

    One place where I saw the economy take a big toll -here in Cali, we have "Junior Championships" and that has gone from being a 4 or 5 ring show, all the way down to 2 rings in recent years. Many of the kids that show are regular, middle income kids on regular horses. A handful of fancy schoolmasters and kids at FEI levels, but the vast majority are regular kids showing lower levels on a wide variety of horses (mostly non-Warmbloods). I think that is a direct effect of the economy - families can't/won't afford that annual cost for their kids.

    But I think there is more then just economy hitting dressage. I think the advent of the BIG MOVER has discouraged a lot of adult ammies and less advanced trainers/riders. I also think this is driving the Arab/Morgan trend - smaller, easier to ride horses with smaller price tags. Back when dressage was trending up - you could still do well on a regular horse with regular movement, as long as you were a decent rider and your horse had 3 pure gaits and decent training.

    That was part of the lure of dressage for the "regular" rider - they could do OK without spending a ton of money. Even better because our outfits and equipement never changed - you could buy a black jacket, white breeches, and a black saddle and be set for life (unlike the hunter and pleasure world where a new outfit was required at every show or every season). So we could focus our $ on some lessons, an ocassional clinic, and actually come away with an ocassional ribbon for our hard work.

    Now - without an uber fancy horse ($$$) you don't stand a chance. And to add to it all, many classes combine ammies, pros, and juniors (what other discipline does this?), so you aren't even showing against your peers. Sure, we all say it is all about the score and the comments, who cares about the ribbon - but reality - we all want an ocassional ribbon, don't we?

    In Cali, our GMO has started an annual Regional Adult Amateur Competition that runs kind of like a Championship show (although it is NOT a championship show as the GMO will be quick to tell you). It is for AAs ONLY, and is further divided into a division for those who have shown at Championships and those who have not (Elite and Novice). It is offered in 3 different locations to help offset travel costs, and those 3 locations rotate within the region to further help with travel costs. In spite of a badly faltering economy in Cali, that show has grown every year. I think it is indicative of regular riders wanting a show venue that is competitive without competing against Totilas and Valegro

    The RAAC competitors ride a vast array of types of horses - unlike the regular rated Dressage shows which are primarily WBs with a good sprinkling of Baroques, and not a whole let else, RAAC attracts the "real" regular life horses, the kind a normal, middle-income person can afford to buy and is able to ride.

    I do see the schooling shows well attended - and think many of the newer dressage riders are less excited about moving on to rated shows because of the cost. So I think mbm and Perfect Pony are both right - I do think the die hard rated show riders are going to keep showing rated - but I also think the rated shows may be losing the "next generation".

    Great article from C-line Scores, and it should generate a lot of discussion. As we all know, numbers tell us part of the story - and we can interpret that story many ways by filling in the blanks. At least they got us talking!


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