I like the stuff you picked from SmartPak with one condition - let the winner choose (which is also the beauty of a gift certificate). I would imagine that people could end up with multiples of something and end up not using them. I have a few saddle pads now and since I use an Equipedic I rarely use them. Not to be ungrateful, but it reduces the benefit of the award.
I got a 2 lb box of the best local chocolates once - I really enjoyed that, as did everyone who was with me!
Maybe a gift certificate for a massage (human or equine), a voucher to a popular clinician, voucher for a stall at a future show, gift certificate for a braider, Starbuck's card if you've got them locally (or other coffee place), chiro gift certificate, or the always popular gas card!
I got a gift certificate for a horse massage for high point this past year. It's lovely....except that I am well out of the massage therapist's service area and I already have a therapist that I like for my horse. So, I will probably not use it at all.
Honestly, I won high point award two years before at the same show with a different horse and I really love the silver plate that I won and display on my mantle. I know that a lot of people don't want the dust collectors but I really like them.
I always turned the ribbons, glasses, plates, etc back in at the end of the show. I know a lot of people love that stuff, but to me it's just junk. Gift certificates for businesses that are online instead of just local is my preference. The stall plates look nice, one year I got a bucket filled with fun horsey treats and little gifts, it was cute.
Our GMO has done the range--halters, coolers, frames, saddle pads, etc. Since I have been running our year end awards the prizes included wooden tack boxes with an engraved plaque, boot bags, etc, and the last 2 years they were jackets (champion), vests (reserve), and last year a fleece throw for 3rd/this year a canvas tote bag (a la LL Bean) for 3rd. Requires leg work getting sizes once the awards are set for the year, but our members LOVE them!
I think next year it might be a light stable sheet (champ), halter (reserve), and maybe a leather key fob/shank/grooming apron? I have 9 months to think about it...
From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.
I would avoid anything fitted for general hp awards-- halters, jackets, coolers (but I love coolers!). Also, I don't need anything else to stuff in my kitchen cabinet, so mugs and glasses are not ideal. If you want to do something horse supply or tack related, you probably would be better off to stick with a gift certificate so the recipient can pick what best suits his/her taste and NEEDS.
I love getting useful things though. I really do not need anymore trophies to take up valuable space at home unless they can also be used as a fruit bowl. Saddle pads are always great, maybe a schooling saddle pad with bling or a unique design? How about embroidering one of those pop up laundry baskets? That way my horse can have his own laundry basket instead of sharing mine Or an embroidered Back on Track mini-blanket would be a useful prize.
Most odd prize I've ever received-- I got a coat rack (that screws to the wall) with a plaque on it once at a hunter show several years ago. Surprisingly, I really like it and use it.
I like the bags that you have on there from smartpak, and I know I would love to get a cooler, but those can get kind of pricey. But what about a quarter sheet? The barn I was at years ago gave these to the boarders for Christmas with the horse's show name embroidered on them and they were lovely- it seemed like one of those things everyone wanted but being in the south, no one actually had one. They were well appreciated
Sigh. Many years ago, it was always my dream to show at the Grand National Horse Show at the Cow Palace. (Hunter or Jumper) My first two horses (an Appendix QH and a TB) just weren't that quality. Not only did I want to show there, but I TRULY wanted to win one of their (kinda ugly) coolers that were emblazoned with "Grand National Horse Show Champion" in ORANGE on BROWN. LOL!!!! Well, I finally made it - on an Appaloosa in 1980. Our first year our best placing was 4th in an Ammy class. The next year a couple of 2nds and 3rds, and then in 1982 we WON two classes: Only to find that they were only giving the coolers too the Western Pleasure champion, so I came home with two smallish mantle clocks. Ah well. The ribbons were pretty (and BIG!)
I always liked the gifts that I could keep and remember the event by. I have lots of engraved glasswear, mugs, a platter, blankets (horse and human), saddle covers, jacket bags, hat bags, a decorative pillow, a decorative furniture throw, brush sets, etc. from local shows for high point awards. Gift certificates are also nice.
One thing you can consider, OP, is collecting a bunch of stuff that people in multiple disciplines might like (gift certs, bridle bags, brush sets, coolers, decorative horses (i.e. painted ponies, wall mounts, or I once won a hand-painted wooden rocking horse), etc) and have the winners pick their own item. You can bundle items to equalize the value of the prizes. You can have all of the winners draw a number to see who gets to choose first. This way, people can choose what they want/need. You can always save leftover "loot" for the next show, which could be perfect for the next high point winners.