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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2016
    Posts
    9

    Default How much does it really cost to show?

    Hi all,

    I'm posting this here because I'd love to hear from multiple disciplines. I'm at a stage where I would like to take riding more seriously and show regularly in the near future, but am also at the stage where I'm making decisions about future career paths. I'd love to take my riding as far as possible, but for various reasons, am looking at more traditional career paths rather than in the horse world.

    If you're comfortable sharing, I'd love to know how much it usually costs you per show and what discipline/level you show in. Any details would be helpful. I know there are a ton of variables, but any rough estimates would still be welcome.

    Right now I'm mostly interested in just the costs per show (trailering, stabling, entry fees, accommodations, etc.), but not the cost of things leading up to the show like training, tack, etc. since I'm familiar with those costs already.

    Thanks for any info!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2007
    Posts
    533

    Default

    I just submitted an entry for a weekend dressage show. 2 shows on one weekend. I did not get a tack stall. I entered 2 classes a day and paid qualifying fees. My entry fee was $460.

    I will not need a hotel as the show is close to home. I pay my coach $50 a day for coaching and will do a lesson on Friday for a total of $150.

    I trailer myself but I just had my trailer in for servicing and that ran me $1500 due to a few repairs. So, while I won't say it cost me the full amount I will tack on $100 for trailering to average out the cost of the repairs/service.

    I generally bring food from home and braid myself. If I don't have anyone who can video for me that runs another $35 a test from the videographer at the show.

    Hope that helps.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    8,939

    Default

    I would like to provide an answer but there are many variables: distance to the show, how many days would it be, how many classes entered, are you hauling or hiring the transport, is peanut butter a full meal,

    but the costs were pretty predictable as most fees are stated in the programs.... whatever we thought it would be we added 40% to 60% to the budget just to be covered

    We did map out what shows we wanted to do in December for the next year


    4 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2003
    Posts
    6,309

    Default

    Well, there are so many variables. If you are showing any kind of "recognized" discipline and going for awards or regional championships, you have all the memberships to pay for (for instance, dressage, you need your own USEF and USDF memberships, the same for your horse, and possibly a GMO membership also, to paint things with a broad brush... that's going to run you $250 easily before you do anything else.)

    After all that, though, the actual check that I write to the show management for one second level qualifying class, per day, including all the assorted fees, showing off my trailer, would be around $120.00. Overnight stabling, around $40 - $50 per night depending on the facility. Trainer coaching $25 per class. I braid my own horse.

    I have my own truck and trailer, but would need them anyway, so I don't count them as a show expense.

    Clothing and tack, well, dressage is pretty conservative, and once you are kitted out there shouldn't be that many additional expenses as long as you can stay away from the tack store... ahem...



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2014
    Location
    US West Coast
    Posts
    300

    Default

    I ride dressage. Here's a cost rundown for my last show, which was really two shows--Friday and Sat/Sun.

    Trailering at 50 cents a mile: $45
    Entry fees for three non-qualifying, non-FEI classes: $135
    Office fee for two shows: $70
    USEF horse and drug fees for two shows: $32
    Stabling for three nights: $190
    Share of tack stall: $45
    Five bales of shavings: $50
    Fee to sign up online via EqEntries: $22
    Coaching x 4 days: $240
    Hotel for three nights: $235
    Share of coach's meals/hotel: $200
    New stall guard and fan: $40
    Five pounds of carrots: $7

    Total: $1211.

    You see that the coaching costs are significant. There are a couple of one time purchases above but I left them in because there's always something I have to buy for the next show: a new hose because someone walked off with mine, a new stall fork because mine was crushed in a loose horse moment, etc. I always do my own braiding and late night check. I bring my own water, coffee, food, wine and try to skip the group dinners.

    Ugh. This is why I never add up my horse expenses.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    8,977

    Default

    You need to consider the basics before you consider showing. You have to have a horse that will be able to do what you want, in the kind of competitions you want to "play" in. Sure you can take "any horse" and go to a show. They will take your money, watch you ride, but if horse is not GOOD, CAPABLE, you won't win. Is winning important to you? Do you LUST for first or is any placing fine with you? Or are you just having a good time improving yourself and your skills, getting good comments from the Judges, hanging out with friends at the show?

    Deciding on the above is what will help you decide on the horse you ride, shows you attend, progress needed to rise in skills and kinds of shows, to be VERY good and win if that is what you want from your showing experiences.

    You need to decide about your horse. Going for a fun time means you can ride almost any horse that can do what your discipline requires in the ring. If you want to win or place well, horse needs to be attractive, capable of good gaits, obedient when asked to do things required in the show. Needs to travel well, eat and drink in strange places, stay calm, not act like a fruit. No fun traveling with a nut, takes all the fun out of going. You may already own this nice horse or you may need to upgrade from what you own now. You and horse have to mesh, get along, or there is no use going. You might need to try a number of horses to find one that you like and who will be what you need to win with.

    We couldn't find or afford horses suitable for our discipline, so we had to breed them. Then wait while they grew and learned their jobs. BIG time investment this way. Plus side is we KNOW them and they know, trust us in all situations, even scary ones and halt from a gallop, stand when asked. That alone has probably saved all of us from getting hurt more than once. They respond when asked, no fighting, try their hardest when asked. They are probably 5 figure horses with training, sure would be hard to replace without going to Europe to buy another.

    Getting out to show means you need a dependable truck big enough to handle the trailer and a solid, reliable trailer that horse is comfortable in to travel near or far to the shows. Gas or diesel is priced each day, but always has to be figured in to expenses. This year it has been low compared to other years. A bonus if you travel far and truck gets 15 to 20 MPG pulling the trailer. I don't know what you have to spend. We got our big truck at an Auction, was DEAL of the year at almost 1/3 the price it would have been any place else. Low miles, fairly new at 5 years old. AND they threw in the big trailer because that truck was the only one with hitch that matched the trailer. No one else bid on the trailer at all. You can hunt for bargin trucks and trailers, they are out there, just far apart. Sometimes you have to "know people" who know others wanting to sell their vehicles, going out of the horse life, to find a bargin. Other times there are no bargins, you have to just pay. How much for trucks is variable, depends on what you can live with or MUST have as options on the vehicles. Newer, all option trucks cost more. Older, plain trucks cost less, but may need repair as parts wear out with use or age. Trailers can be simple, 2 horse bumper pull. Or more fancy, gooseneck with living quarters to camp in at shows, save hotel costs. What can you manage with, what is a MUST HAVE to make you happy at the show and on the road? Costs for vehicles will cover a wide span of prices. So hard to be specific! What I can get along in is minimal, but other folks I know are driving outfits that cost almost 6 figures and think they are "roughing it" at the show!

    We usually camp on the grounds, both to save expenses and be near the horses. We bring food in the LQ trailer which has a refrigerator and the BEST bathroom with a full size shower. Great for hot days! This is the trailer that came with the truck, not something I would have bought otherwise. It holds all our gear, rides well for the horses, hauls nicely. It is OLD, but well built, unique in it's layout, in great shape. We get asked for tours, everyone is interested in how it works for us! Kind of funny, we meet a lot of people this way, asking about the trailer.

    Entries with all their fees and charges run about $1000 to take 2 horses to a CDE competition. We take our own hay, bedding, saves buying at higher show prices, no change of hay to get horse sick. We compete now in Combined Driving with a Pair, at the Prelim level as horses gain experience. We have competed at Advanced and are working to get back "up there" again. Driving takes a boatload of equipment that must be hauled to the competition. If we did riding things, we could have a much smaller trailer for sure!


    3 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2005
    Posts
    606

    Default

    $150 for three jumper classes at a local one day show at a subpar facility.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2015
    Posts
    1,902

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iubire View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm posting this here because I'd love to hear from multiple disciplines. I'm at a stage where I would like to take riding more seriously and show regularly in the near future, but am also at the stage where I'm making decisions about future career paths. I'd love to take my riding as far as possible, but for various reasons, am looking at more traditional career paths rather than in the horse world.

    If you're comfortable sharing, I'd love to know how much it usually costs you per show and what discipline/level you show in. Any details would be helpful. I know there are a ton of variables, but any rough estimates would still be welcome.

    Right now I'm mostly interested in just the costs per show (trailering, stabling, entry fees, accommodations, etc.), but not the cost of things leading up to the show like training, tack, etc. since I'm familiar with those costs already.

    Thanks for any info!
    As everyone has been saying, it depends on what discipline and what level. It depends on where you live: how far do you have to travel? Do you need to keep the horse at the site overnight? Will you need hotel room as well? It depends on whether you have your own trailer and truck. It depends on what kind of barn you board at. Does your trainer organize everyone to go in a group? It depends on what kind of support you will be getting from your trainer. Will your trainer be schooling you onsite? Will you be hiring grooms, or will you do all the work for your horse yourself? Will you rent a hotel room, share it with others, sleep in an RV or a tent? What quality hotels exist in the area of the show venue?

    The people who are best able to answer these questions are your own trainer, and the other people at your barn who show.

    In general, if you are just starting out riding and showing, you will be going to small one-day shows close to home, maybe "schooling shows" run by local riding clubs. Here the entry fees are probably relatively low, and the costs of transport and your trainer's fees will depend on your particular situation. If the show is close to home, you won't need a hotel room. if it's a one-day show, you won't need a stall at the site.

    If you are competing, however, in larger, important, multi-day rated shows, and travelling a distance to a finals, you will be paying thousands of dollars per show.

    Overall, though, I'd say that if you can't easily find local folks around you to answer questions about the cost of local shows, then you might not be ready to show, because really for most riders, having a trainer plugged into showing and being part of a showing barn is a really important factor in success.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 2007
    Posts
    795

    Default

    I worked at one A barn. The girls there were paying 40k and over per year for showing. And that was over 10 yr ago.

    The trainer made out like a bandit with all her expensed paid for plus all of her various fees.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    8,939

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Helmet View Post

    Ugh. This is why I never add up my horse expenses.
    ugly isn't it .... those national championship awards coolers our horses "won" cost about $25K each


    8 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    8,939

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cnigh View Post

    The trainer made out like a bandit with all her expensed paid for plus all of her various fees.
    for us it was the trainer's wife who thought she was entitled to luxury

    As for the trainer knowing the expenses, depends upon how the situation is set up.... if they have a business manager or a partner who is running the backroom operation, the trainer will only be focused on the horse and its performance, costs mean nothing (or little) to them ...we were often handed bills afterwards for several thousand of additional expenses like flowers for the tack room stall



  12. #12

    Default

    If I take my horse to a local schooling show, it costs about $100 +/- for two classes in one day. This includes all the show fees and my trainer's fee. I trailer my own, so no trailering fee (but huge sunk costs in buying/maintaining the truck and trailer).

    To go to a rated Dressage show (2 classes/day, 2 days) it's somewhere in the $400-600 range for me. Show fees, stall fees, trainer fees. No grooming fees (I do my own), no trailering fees. No hotel (shows are close enough to home).

    To go to a local H/J weekend show, somewhere around $200-$300. Show, stall, trainer fees. No grooming, trailering, hotel.

    To do a week-long rated show, my trainer and I ballparked $1,000/week when we talked last year. That's show, stall, trainer fees and some feeding/stall cleaning since I can't get off work to do it all. No trailering, hotel.

    On top of this, if you are going for year-end awards, you have to factor in all the memberships and pre-show requirements and pro-rate that. For my local Dressage org, that's something like $50 membership I think. For the rated H/J memberships, that more like $300. If your horse isn't microchipped, your first year you also have to pay for that. USEF requires vaccinations on a certain schedule, so if you are doing rated shows you may have to adjust your vaccination schedule to match their requirements.

    This is why people say there is so much variation. In reality, I spend less per year showing at Dressage schooling shows than people on the rated H/J circuits pay in just annual membership fees.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2016
    Posts
    55

    Default

    A/AA jumpers here.

    Average Ontario show looked like this--

    Shipping: $100-$1200 depending on local or away show

    Hotel room split (if more than an hour and a half away): ~$600 + split on trainer's accommodations/food

    Show fees:
    Division $125-150
    Schooling (usually I did about 2 per week) $40 each
    Nomination (if 1.10m+) $150
    Admin Fee $50
    Levy/Drug Test $30

    Stall $225-$250
    Split on Grooming/Tack Stalls ~$50-$100
    Hay/Shavings $80-$120
    Groom split $25-$50 per day
    Coaching $50 per day

    Purchasing water bottles from the horse show (if you're desperate): $5 each



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2011
    Posts
    938

    Default

    I don't know if they're still around, but approx 5 years ago there was a crepes vendor at Lamplight for dressage shows and championships. Savory crepes. Breakfast crepes. Dessert crepes. The works.

    Added an extra ~$200 to my show bill because those things were DELICIOUS.


    17 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2009
    Location
    USEA-Area 3/USHJA-Zone 4/USDF-Region 3
    Posts
    543

    Default

    In my area/experience, it's about $200-250 for any local one-day equine endeavor: schooling show (dressage, h/j, or horse trial, trailering with trainer), polo scrimmage (if not riding your own ponies), foxhunt (capping fee + day lease), or clinic. This assumes that you have access to the appropriate attire/tack/mount.

    Multi-day, distant, and recognized shows/clinics/events will cost (lots) more.

    Depending on your age/eligibility, IEA, IDA, and/or IHSA shows might be more reasonable cost-wise.
    Leadline is a legitimate reason to have children.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2013
    Posts
    1,829

    Default

    Local, one day jumper show with 3 classes - $45
    Local, one day unrecognized event - $100-$110
    Local Recognized event- $200ish

    I don't show with a trainer, and have plenty to do within driving distance so that I don't need a stall.

    On the other hand, I just paid this for Pony Club championships:
    Entry/Stabling: $415
    Our share of an Air BnB: $150
    Gas: about $300
    Coaching Fee: $60
    Meals (for two): probably around $350
    I brought hay and shavings from home
    Total around $1275 (but probably more than that)


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2015
    Posts
    654

    Default

    HJ local unrated show, trailered on my own, paid trainer fees/gas, show entries, tack stall, day care, no braiding ~ $600
    When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.
    -William Shakespeare (Henry V)



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 12, 2010
    Posts
    5,221

    Default

    Local - within 2 hours, unrecognized HT between $100 and $150, plus gas, we bring food, my coach is usually riding a few horses, or not there, so no fee.

    For recognized - I try to stay within 3 hours of home - $200 to $275 per entry, same as above.

    I try not to think about trailer maintenance, lessons, XC schooling, shoes, studs, tack, supplements, grain, hay, bedding, fence repair, mowing, fertilizing, keeping the ring maintained........
    “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”
    Frederick Douglass


    2 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2003
    Location
    Canada where all hell has broke free
    Posts
    3,031

    Default

    $40.00 for the local hunter pace to $600-$1000 for a Horse Trials. There is no local HT in my area closest is 6 hrs away.

    Dressage or Hunter jumper shows $200-$400 for a weekend.
    My life motto now is "You can't fix stupid!"

    Are you going to cowboy up, or lie there and bleed



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2015
    Posts
    260

    Default

    I budget $1,000 per horse per local A show, and that's with doing my own care/working off my coaching fees.



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