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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up KUDOS to Chris Kappler (COTH Op-Ed 21 Jan 2013)

    "We Have to Re-Examine Show Jumping's Prize Money Structure" is Chris Kappler's new Op-Ed in the COTH, and I believe he is right on the mark!

    In Ireland, Amateurs do NOT get prize money - they get prizes for the top placings as well as their ribbons. And now that the Amateur divisions have been around a while, there are specific "Championship" Leagues and qualifications for Dublin Horse Show as well. Not to mention, entry fees are NOT at the US nosebleed levels (even at a show such as Dublin!)

    Otherwise, people ride at the fence heights the horses need and compete with the pros. Double clears are always rewarded, which is nice

    So, well said, Kris! What incentive does ANYONE have to learn and move up if the money is so high at the low levels??!! And that is true in the HUNTERS as well as the JUMPERS!

    Opinions?
    co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


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  2. #2
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    Didn't Bill Moroney do an article about how the high prize money stifles everyone except those at the tippy tippy top?

    I totally agree.

    Pin Oak did a 3'3" hunter stake or something with decent money and the entry fee was $850. (My monthly mortgage is $605.)

    Personally, I would rather go to Old Salem for no money for $250, since at Pin Oak Peter Pletcher will likely beat me and at Old Salem Scott Stewart probably will, but at least at Old Salem I won't be out more than a mortgage payment just to jump a horse around a suitable class and see if maybe I can have a banner day and come in 5th.


    15 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    ad to the fact that our system actually discourages improving our skills in order to keep a very profitable business model up and running .


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  4. #4
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    Is the article online anywhere? It sounds like an interesting read.
    I've heard there's more to life than an FEI tent and hotel rooms, so I'm trying it.



  5. #5
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    Personally, I think his idea sounds good in theory, BUT I honestly believe that if the prize money was taken out of the lower/amateur divisions, the cost for an amateur to show won't go down at all. Either the shows will reallocate all the money to the higher divisions and pass the bill on down to the low level competitors, or they will continue to charge similarly high rates and keep what money would be given back to competitors in the form of winnings as profit.
    Also, overall the prize money amounts generally are raised as the jumps are raised. Isn't that an incentive to move up the levels? Perhaps if there were prize money caps for certain heights/divisions (and the cap amounts would go up as the heights do) this would be a good compromise to solve the problem? That, or some guarantee that costs would go down for the lower level competitors if all their prize money was taken away... Just some thoughts.


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  6. #6
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    Money high at the low levels????? OMG Around here we're lucky if we win our class entry back for 1st place.....and that's jumpers, don't even get me started on hunters (I once won $5.......is that what he considers a high amount)?
    Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    Also, what stops me from moving up is not prize money but the fact I cannot afford the ridiculous pricing of sale horses. Want a 1.20m jumper/hunter........well I better have at least $80,000! I have to buy young and hope that it turns into the jumper I want. Add to that the ridiculous price to show and the fact the one place I can show hunters around here has crap rings (unless you're in the Grand Prix Rings).....and well, we just won't even go there!
    Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!



  8. #8
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    Hmmmmm Amateurs here jump 1.15m max, some of the prizes are pretty amazing and worth alot of money and the classes can be pure rat races with ex international horses competing against "true" amateur horses. Yes entry fees are not as large but there is no comparison between shows here in Ireland and shows in the USA! I guess the grass is always greener...



  9. #9
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    I see it as just another way to keep middle class ammies out of the A ring. When I was a working student/junior I used to pay for my entry fees by doing OK in the Marshall and Sterling Classics, and for my stall by working my tail off. If I did well, I got to go to more shows. If not, my show season was cut short. Now the pros want to take that away too?

    I won't even begin to describe the craziness of paying a thousand dollars a week to jump around the Level 4s in a clear round class where you get a string ribbon at best. I quit showing when that became my only option.

    I will believe entry fees will go down as a result when I see it. They haven't gone down when they took the piddling prize money away from the smaller Open classes -- to the contrary, they've gone up, up, up. And added more nomination fees.


    10 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
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    hard for me to say this, but i don't agree with Kappler, either. the problem is the vertically integrated behemoth corporate mindset a la struzzieri.


    12 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    Didn't Bill Moroney do an article about how the high prize money stifles everyone except those at the tippy tippy top?

    I totally agree.

    Pin Oak did a 3'3" hunter stake or something with decent money and the entry fee was $850. (My monthly mortgage is $605.)

    Personally, I would rather go to Old Salem for no money for $250, since at Pin Oak Peter Pletcher will likely beat me and at Old Salem Scott Stewart probably will, but at least at Old Salem I won't be out more than a mortgage payment just to jump a horse around a suitable class and see if maybe I can have a banner day and come in 5th.

    I find that extremely disturbing re: more than your monthly mortgage...

    When I moved to KY, my show expenses went down by about a third from what I was paying in zone 4 for showing on the A circuit. I also had the luxury of B and C shows, which was truly fine by me since I was just putzing about in the A/A's when I had time. When I moved back home, I was appalled at the costs. Once upon a time as a junior, I could work off my expenses and get enough prize money in the junior hunters to make ends meet, but no longer. Even if I had the horse (at the moment I am on whatever is available), I don't know how I'd be able to justify the entry fees, since even if I won a piece of something I'd still have an inordinate amount of expenses to cover.


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  12. #12
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    Hello all, excellent discussion here. I have posted Chris Kappler's Between Rounds forum on the topic on the Chronicle's main website, www.chronofhorse.com.

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...oney-structure

    We post articles that appear in the magazine on our site to highlight the fact that each issue of the Chronicle is filled with information you want, and need, to know. Consider subscribing to make sure you don't miss a single great article. (And to support the BB!)

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/subscribe


    7 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    I haven't read Chris' article, but there is very little money in the lower levels of jumpers, particularly Children's/AA. After you (and the 45 other people in the Ch/AA division) shell out $1k to the office in entries/fees, you might get back $400 if you WIN the one $1500 Ch/AA classic on Sunday. Considering the 1.10 and below make up the vast majority of jumper competitors at a horse show, what is the problem paying them back a little prize money? Honestly, I actually think they should get more of the pie.

    Considering the prize money in the Jr/AO classes is about 10x what it is at the Ch/AA level with significantly less entries, it seems like an incentive to move up, IF you have the ability and can afford the horse.

    And let's be honest... lots of people showing today don't have the skill or the guts or the horse (or the $$$$ to buy the horse) to move up. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. At all. If they are having fun and being safe at 3' hunters or Low Ch/AA, who cares if they never move out of that ring?
    Last edited by wanderlust; Jan. 18, 2013 at 08:41 PM.


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  14. #14
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    What's wrong with money in the jr/ammies?

    Why would one think it takes away from other prize money divisions? I don' t buy that.


    If their was a corralation between the cost of the division and the amount of money paid or not paid, then maybe, otherwise, no.

    I resent the dialog, that it is even an issue.

    I shouldn't have to be a professional to compete for prize money.

    It shouldn't be a rule, it should be free commerse, if a show want to offer money, ie HITS, then it should be the decision of the show managers.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Eesh, if I were a client of Kappler's, I'd be reconsidering that right about now, since he obviously just expects the amateurs and juniors to pay up and shut up.

    He does realize that the money I win (not much—a $500 adult hunter classic just barely offsets my show office bill) basically goes directly back to my trainer in the form of allowing me to go to more horse shows, right?


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  16. #16
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    I also have to disagree with Mr. Kappler. This is the comment I posted to the article:

    I suppose it all depends on your perspective. If you believe the goal of shows -and the primary mission of the USEF - is to develop the very small number of riders who will reach and be successful at the international level, then I suppose you can make an argument for creating a system that incentivizes and rewards that path.

    I am not at all sure that that is the majority view.

    By far the majority of riders who show are juniors and amateurs whose goals are far more modest than making the Team or showing at, or anywhere near, the GP level. For one thing, although all of us who show are certainly financially privileged compared to much of the rest of the population, the number of individuals who can afford horses of sufficient talent and quality to make that a realistic goal is very small (and I don't think shifting the majority of the prize money to the higher levels is going to change that, because a rider is still going to need a succession of very nice horses to *get* to the level where the rewards are being suggested.)


    Show managers are pushing back on this idea because they are in the business of providing opportunities for their customers to show their horses - not the business of developing Teams.

    Since the overwhelming number of customers want classes for their children's hunters or adult jumpers or other relatively modest heights and levels of difficulty... that is what the show managers provide. Those same customers are also the people who keep the great majority of trainers afloat financially, and the show managers know they have to support that model if they want those trainers to show up with their clients week after week.


    Back in the day, the USET used to be the organization charged with developing talent for the international circuit. They had training sessions and developed relationships with owners who would support the riders on the Team or in development to be on the Team, with equally talented horses. Certainly all of us "regular" members who showed on a much more modest scale were encouraged to support that effort and donate money, and those who did proudly put those USET stickers on our cars or wore our little USET pins as a mark of that support. Supporting that program did not come at the expense of those "regular" members - and in my opinion, should not do so now.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


    16 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
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    "Then they say that all their customers will ever want to jump in is the children’s/adult division and that they don’t aspire to be professionals in the open divisions. But I ask, “If that’s so, why are they earning money for it?”

    Earning money for it? Right. More like getting a small dicsount on an already outrageous bill. And if Chris so SO concerned with amateurs and juniors improving and "playing with the big boys," why not sell some of his 5 and 6 year future super stars at prices that more amateurs could possibly afford? Or make his training services cheaper so that his clients are less concerned with the possibility of prize money? That's what I thought.
    Last edited by k_lee85; Jan. 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM. Reason: quotes


    8 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    I also have to disagree with Mr. Kappler. This is the comment I posted to the article:

    I suppose it all depends on your perspective. If you believe the goal of shows -and the primary mission of the USEF - is to develop the very small number of riders who will reach and be successful at the international level, then I suppose you can make an argument for creating a system that incentivizes and rewards that path.

    I am not at all sure that that is the majority view.

    By far the majority of riders who show are juniors and amateurs whose goals are far more modest than making the Team or showing at, or anywhere near, the GP level. For one thing, although all of us who show are certainly financially privileged compared to much of the rest of the population, the number of individuals who can afford horses of sufficient talent and quality to make that a realistic goal is very small (and I don't think shifting the majority of the prize money to the higher levels is going to change that, because a rider is still going to need a succession of very nice horses to *get* to the level where the rewards are being suggested.)


    Show managers are pushing back on this idea because they are in the business of providing opportunities for their customers to show their horses - not the business of developing Teams.

    Since the overwhelming number of customers want classes for their children's hunters or adult jumpers or other relatively modest heights and levels of difficulty... that is what the show managers provide. Those same customers are also the people who keep the great majority of trainers afloat financially, and the show managers know they have to support that model if they want those trainers to show up with their clients week after week.


    Back in the day, the USET used to be the organization charged with developing talent for the international circuit. They had training sessions and developed relationships with owners who would support the riders on the Team or in development to be on the Team, with equally talented horses. Certainly all of us "regular" members who showed on a much more modest scale were encouraged to support that effort and donate money, and those who did proudly put those USET stickers on our cars or wore our little USET pins as a mark of that support. Supporting that program did not come at the expense of those "regular" members - and in my opinion, should not do so now.

    A lot I agree with here -- on the other hand, I would be totally happy to see less prize money at the lower levels AND lower entry fees.

    I do think its accurate that the majority of the money is won by the same relatively small group of people. Rather than making it more expensive for the rest,I would like to be able to show more classes (which would be possible if the prize money was low or did not exist) at a lower cost.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    I also have to disagree with Mr. Kappler. This is the comment I posted to the article:

    I suppose it all depends on your perspective. If you believe the goal of shows -and the primary mission of the USEF - is to develop the very small number of riders who will reach and be successful at the international level, then I suppose you can make an argument for creating a system that incentivizes and rewards that path.

    I am not at all sure that that is the majority view.

    By far the majority of riders who show are juniors and amateurs whose goals are far more modest than making the Team or showing at, or anywhere near, the GP level. For one thing, although all of us who show are certainly financially privileged compared to much of the rest of the population, the number of individuals who can afford horses of sufficient talent and quality to make that a realistic goal is very small (and I don't think shifting the majority of the prize money to the higher levels is going to change that, because a rider is still going to need a succession of very nice horses to *get* to the level where the rewards are being suggested.)


    Show managers are pushing back on this idea because they are in the business of providing opportunities for their customers to show their horses - not the business of developing Teams.

    Since the overwhelming number of customers want classes for their children's hunters or adult jumpers or other relatively modest heights and levels of difficulty... that is what the show managers provide. Those same customers are also the people who keep the great majority of trainers afloat financially, and the show managers know they have to support that model if they want those trainers to show up with their clients week after week.


    Back in the day, the USET used to be the organization charged with developing talent for the international circuit. They had training sessions and developed relationships with owners who would support the riders on the Team or in development to be on the Team, with equally talented horses. Certainly all of us "regular" members who showed on a much more modest scale were encouraged to support that effort and donate money, and those who did proudly put those USET stickers on our cars or wore our little USET pins as a mark of that support. Supporting that program did not come at the expense of those "regular" members - and in my opinion, should not do so now.
    Well said...Development and support for the International Level riders should not continue to come from the pockets of the juniors and amateurs...
    West of nowhere


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKES MCS View Post
    ad to the fact that our system actually discourages improving our skills in order to keep a very profitable business model up and running .
    Completely agree with Mr. Kappler and with this post.


    1 members found this post helpful.

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