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Hi-Point Awards - what do you like?

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    Hi-Point Awards - what do you like?

    And...what do you not like? Our show is coming up - ideas most appreciated! Jr., AA and Open. Thanks.

    What is the budget? That makes a big difference! My favorite award is a leather halter with a plate on it, but that gets pricey - and generally, you can't hand them out that day, unless you can keep an inventory on hand (horse size does not fit all horses!). Other cool awards I've gotten over the years - gift basket with grooming supplies, gift basket with bath salts and lotions, embroidered shirts (again, you'll need some size assortment), embroidered baseball caps, gift certificates for local tack stores or mobile shops.

    Things I find useless - those big square coolers. What does one do with them? They don't fit any horse. I threw 3 of them away when I moved Wine glasses - please, please no more wine glasses Small medals, plastic trophies, blah, blah, blah - dust collectors all of 'em.

    A LOT of people love big neck ribbons - so that is often an effective prize, along with a photo of the horse wearing the ribbon - and that can be a great prize - a professional photo, matted and framed of horse and ribbon.


      Gift cards to tack shops!


        I do love those big fancy neck ribbons and treasure them more than another wine glass or little plate!
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


          Leather halter.
          Director's chair.
          Items that are nice to have at shows but maybe not necessities, such as a good-sized rolling cooler, travel/tote bag, etc.
          Gift baskets with horse items or self-care items.
          Gift cards.


            Original Poster

            Thank you! This is helpful indeed!


              One show I was at had wonderful stadium blankets - waterproof on one side, warm fleece on the other as prizes.

              What about engraved brushes? Lots of shops on Etsy do laser engraving on all sorts of items, even brushes. A really nice finishing or face brush would last a long time and probably get a lot of use while reminding the rider of their successes.

              I'm generally pretty practical and would rather have something useful than purely decorative like a silver plate, however that practicality flies out the window at the thought of a big fluffy neck ribbon. I guess the 10 year old in me still is alive and kicking!




              "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham


                I second the engraved brushes. I received a very small one along with a fancy ribbon one year and I love it. It's the perfect size to run over my boot zippers and keep them clear of debris.


                  our GMO did director's chairs, which were quite nice! Boot and helmet bags are also nice. A mini trial near us had small/ medium tack trunks for year-end prizes.


                    Just please, no saddle pads.
                    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                      I second all of the above. I especially love the idea of the framed photo with winning horse and rider wearing the big floofy neck ribbon! That's a keepsake.


                        Ribbons, brushes, grooming totes, backpacks, tote bags (like LL Bean style), anything useful really. Once I won a fancy farrier-welded hoofpick - loved it!


                          I recently (an unexpectedly!) won AA high score at a show. I got a check in the mail about 2 weeks after the show. Probably was more appreciated than any of the other "gifts" I've received in the past!
                          Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.


                            No gift baskets of bath salts, lotions and other such items, unless you KNOW that the person winning them will actually appreciate such a thing. That is such a personal gift, something a person will either really like or never use.

                            Which I realize is true about any award (because I can always find a use for a big square cooler), but if you at least buy things that are some how related to horses, being at a show or such you are far more likely to be getting them something they might use.


                              Original Poster

                              This is hugely helpful - thank you all! I have an order in with, for brushes (wow - do they have nice stuff) and some baseball caps are being embroidered as we speak and I cut back on the saddle pads (although I have just a couple to give out!). We also host a fun party the first night with food and a cash bar and DJ and hand out unusual/fun/whacky prizes such as most unusual breed, first to enter, best trailer backer- upper, friendliest dog, smallest horse/pony and the like. We have top turnout awards too which has become a highly coveted honor. And then there are the games - ball toss, hula hoop, name that song and more. You'd be surprised at how competitive the hula hoopers are!


                                Big ribbons!

                                Although i must confess the best thing i ever won at a show was a blue pitchfork. I feel like blue was important so that every time i pick piles out of my trailer with it, i beam with pride a little. Maybe you could laser engrave the handle with the name of the show?

                                Those ribbon racks are a good idea also, especially if you can find one with a picture frame on it..

                                Also, to throw this out there: I live in a part of the world where most folks ride western, and trophy buckles are ubiquitous enough that some of the regional 3-day events and small local dressage series do trophy buckles also. Some companies can do buckles that are 2"x 3" so they are a little more tasteful than the rodeo type dinner plates. Molly's Custom Silver has figures that are more generic/English -- i.e. horse head, horse shoes, 3 running horses, even a jumper. One of the companies has a dressage horse figure but I can't remember which. Buckles are expensive and take a couple months' lead time so maybe are more apropos for a year-end award or series champion.
                                Last edited by Suspiria; Jun. 12, 2019, 09:31 AM.
                                "I once heard a client ask our vet if a horse's brain was as small as everyone says they are. Without pause, the vet smiled and answered: 'Maybe, but have you seen their hearts?'" --Alice Peirce


                                  Originally posted by Joyrider View Post
                                  This is hugely helpful - thank you all! I have an order in with, for brushes (wow - do they have nice stuff)
                                  How were their prices? Or what was your budget? I love the website, but not a whole lot of info other than "Contact us to place your order". You don't need to be specific but my GMO is always looking for high point, special, year end awards.

                                  I'm thinking something less expensive than a "custom gift" but more than "cheap, promotional pens/gadgets". Does that make sense?


                                    Originally posted by Displaced Yankee View Post

                                    How were their prices? Or what was your budget? I love the website, but not a whole lot of info other than "Contact us to place your order". You don't need to be specific but my GMO is always looking for high point, special, year end awards.

                                    I'm thinking something less expensive than a "custom gift" but more than "cheap, promotional pens/gadgets". Does that make sense?
                                    The brushes are all priced on the website link above (some of the other items show pricing too, but bigger stuff would need to be quoted). I've ordered numerous things from Ride Every Stride (they're fairly local to me) and have been happy with all of their products. Last year I ordered custom pillows for my coach (and me for a treat ), as well as a mesh stall bag. I've ordered engraved scissors, hoof pick, embroidered golf towels, etc for gifts, and I've gotten name plates and a couple brushes for myself. With the exchange rate in your favour it would be even better!
                                    I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.


                                      My favorite was when a show had different levels of prizes set out on the table and you got to choose. I like practical stuff (along with a really nice quality ribbon!). A big bag of horse treats was one of my favorite options. Things like nice travel mugs, brushes, bottle of show sheen or fly spray or vetrolin, hand towels, polo wraps, gift cards (but not to a local shop...something that could be accessed from anywhere in that larger region). I was still the happiest with a bag of treats for my horse!


                                        The most practical award I ever saw was a small folding stepstool. It was the size that you'd use for braiding/grooming and it had the class name and date on it. Of course it came with a big shiny ribbon!

                                        I love those engraved brushes. Cool and practical.