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PSA - SH Productions Clinics (Laura Graves) Cancelled

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  • PSA - SH Productions Clinics (Laura Graves) Cancelled

    The Laura Graves clinics (in Canada), organized by SH Productions, have been cancelled "due to mismanagement of funds and unfulfilled contractual obligations on the part of SH Productions".

    http://dressage-news.com/2019/09/08/...Y02WYdYxdl-6Ik

    Heads up as this company also has an upcoming Isabell Werth clinic in Magnolia, Texas in October (no word on its status).

    I believe this particular organizer has been the subject of previous threads with people unsatisfied with previous clinics and his dressage shows?
    I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.

  • #2
    Originally posted by SolarFlare View Post
    I believe this particular organizer has been the subject of previous threads with people unsatisfied with previous clinics and his dressage shows?
    Yep. This really isn’t surprising news at all. As also mentioned in the article, his AWCDF shows in Southern California are in trouble with the FEI ... rumor has it the November shows will be canceled too.
    *Absolut Equestrian*

    "The plural of anecdote is not fact...except in the horse industry"

    Comment


    • #3
      Scott Hayes posted a long response on his Facebook page.
      "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"

      Comment


      • #4
        Ah I just saw this on FB and was wondering what that was all about.

        Comment


        • #5
          Here is the post. Has over 50 comments all very much in support of him.
          I’m a very private person. Most of the year I live in a quiet area of Atlantic Canada, with my family, I have a full-time job not in the equestrian industry, and I have a life I am very grateful for.
          It is not in my character to air dirty laundry or really any laundry in that fact in public places, it’s just not my thing. This being said, writing something like this is very hard for me.
          I am a hard worker and really want the best to come out in whatever I do. I am the first to admit wrong and I am the first to want to learn to be a better person, whether it be personally or in my business. I am not perfect, no one is, but I will be the first to admit I am not.
          The past 7 years in the equestrian industry have been full of many ups and downs, in the hard times I find myself asking myself why I do this, and I am always brought back to the same spot, because a) it’s a sport I find so beautiful and b) the people that dedicate their time to this for years perfecting the art of this sport inspires me to dedicate my time to give them opportunities. Dressage is like a drug I can’t quit. I just love it and I don’t even ride, I am a first-rate spectator.
          The only negative side of this sport I can see is due to gossip and rumors. I am the first to admit the negativity of gossip and rumors in this sport has brought me to some really dark mental spots I have had to overcome with the support of my friends and family.
          Initially, I started doing this because I met someone who was horse crazy and wanted to give him the opportunities that I did not see seeming to be available in the industry at the level I wanted to produce. It started with clinics and events that were well received. I put these on the way I wanted to put them on, and with ideas that were brought to me and they went very well.
          In 2018, I took a risk on a big undertaking with starting to manage and organize competitions in Southern California, something I felt that was needed in speaking to competitors and friends all over the west coast. Little did I know this would be one of the biggest undertakings in in my life to date but I had a strong backing behind me from friends, family and the community.
          After year one of the West Coast Dressage Festival and being left with a major deficit, I worked hard to have to gather support of the community financially that brought us to place that wasn’t flush but got us to a place where we could continue into a second year. I remember driving to the first day of show 1 this year, crying in the car to my partner, as I was overcome with emotion, that after such a hard year we were back and doing it again. I couldn’t believe it my team and I had done it.
          In year two of the West Coast Dressage Festival, we were hammered with weather that was out of our control, and entries suffered and again, the weight of the finances began to come into fruition, a situation I did not want to see happen or have to deal with again. It became more and more real as the shows went on I was going to be in a similar situation as the year before, although thankfully it was not as large due to the learning that had been done the year before.
          Finances have something I have never been secretive about. Pick up the phone, ask me, whichever you want. I am an open book and if there is a way you can help me and see things I don’t, I am all for learning. Have bills been paid late, have bills still been outstanding for certain things, yes that is for sure. What I can say though, is it was not because of misuse of funds, it has been because there were no funds. I am not made of money, I live paycheck to paycheck from my full time job and will put as much funds back into the sport as possible from my business’.
          Sometimes people do not like to hear the truth. Rumors can swirl and people can be nasty. The clinic side of my business has really suffered and there are many reasons for this. Fee’s of clinician’s have gone through the roof, tens of thousands of dollars, each year higher and higher. Before I would just agree to the amount because I felt that is what was normal as that is what I was being told and what I had to do to continue to do business. I was blinded by the thrill of planning the event and working with the top clinicians I would be working with and then at the end I was left with the financial burden and the sleepless nights.
          Finally after all these years and negative bank balances, I have realized this that if the numbers do not work, I have to cancel. This has recently happened with a couple events and it seems with no direct knowledge of my business, or my finances conclusions have been drawn.
          I am not the only one that has had to deal with this, recently another business in the past year has gone under due to high expenses and little ticket sales, and recently an article was posted by Caledon Equestrian in Toronto, they were at risk of cancelling a clinic due to lack of ticket sales. Is it too high of fees? Is it over saturation of the market? There are so many factors that can play into it, but at the end of the day, if we want these events, people have to show up.
          A few things I have learned in life, “This too shall pass” and “Hear it from the horse’s mouth” (pardon the pun).
          I am an open book, my phone is always on and I have nothing to hide. If you know me, you will call me, if you don’t and want to call me please do, if you want to sit behind a phone or computer screen that is your motive, but my door is always open so reach out 604-368-5396.
          I love this community and believe in the good in it and will continue to work and try hard to bring to light the good, not the bad and create opportunities for the members in it who are in it and want to see this sport grow and not die. Even with the mental stress, expense and responsibility it brings to me, because I don’t give up and I believe we will one day get to where we need to be.
          Look forward to seeing you at the future West Coast Dressage Festival events this fall and future clinics.
          Scott Hayes
          SH Productions Inc.
          West Coast Dressage Festival LLC

          "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Absolut Equestrian View Post

            Yep. This really isn’t surprising news at all. As also mentioned in the article, his AWCDF shows in Southern California are in trouble with the FEI ... rumor has it the November shows will be canceled too.
            According to Scott's post, the West Coast Dressage show in the fall is on. Rather than spread a rumor which helps no one, let's wait for official confirmation, one way or the other.

            I give him a lot of credit for attempting to organize a winter dressage show circuit in San Diego and nearby Temecula. The southern California large show dressage scene has been dying for new management for many years, and Scott brings a refreshing attitude to the area. He has widespread support from owners and riders. However without an indoor arena (such as Del Mar's) the weather in January - March will always be a risk.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by NJRider View Post
              Here is the post. Has over 50 comments all very much in support of him.
              I’m a very private person. Most of the year I live in a quiet area of Atlantic Canada, with my family, I have a full-time job not in the equestrian industry, and I have a life I am very grateful for.
              It is not in my character to air dirty laundry or really any laundry in that fact in public places, it’s just not my thing. This being said, writing something like this is very hard for me.
              I am a hard worker and really want the best to come out in whatever I do. I am the first to admit wrong and I am the first to want to learn to be a better person, whether it be personally or in my business. I am not perfect, no one is, but I will be the first to admit I am not.
              The past 7 years in the equestrian industry have been full of many ups and downs, in the hard times I find myself asking myself why I do this, and I am always brought back to the same spot, because a) it’s a sport I find so beautiful and b) the people that dedicate their time to this for years perfecting the art of this sport inspires me to dedicate my time to give them opportunities. Dressage is like a drug I can’t quit. I just love it and I don’t even ride, I am a first-rate spectator.
              The only negative side of this sport I can see is due to gossip and rumors. I am the first to admit the negativity of gossip and rumors in this sport has brought me to some really dark mental spots I have had to overcome with the support of my friends and family.
              Initially, I started doing this because I met someone who was horse crazy and wanted to give him the opportunities that I did not see seeming to be available in the industry at the level I wanted to produce. It started with clinics and events that were well received. I put these on the way I wanted to put them on, and with ideas that were brought to me and they went very well.
              In 2018, I took a risk on a big undertaking with starting to manage and organize competitions in Southern California, something I felt that was needed in speaking to competitors and friends all over the west coast. Little did I know this would be one of the biggest undertakings in in my life to date but I had a strong backing behind me from friends, family and the community.
              After year one of the West Coast Dressage Festival and being left with a major deficit, I worked hard to have to gather support of the community financially that brought us to place that wasn’t flush but got us to a place where we could continue into a second year. I remember driving to the first day of show 1 this year, crying in the car to my partner, as I was overcome with emotion, that after such a hard year we were back and doing it again. I couldn’t believe it my team and I had done it.
              In year two of the West Coast Dressage Festival, we were hammered with weather that was out of our control, and entries suffered and again, the weight of the finances began to come into fruition, a situation I did not want to see happen or have to deal with again. It became more and more real as the shows went on I was going to be in a similar situation as the year before, although thankfully it was not as large due to the learning that had been done the year before.
              Finances have something I have never been secretive about. Pick up the phone, ask me, whichever you want. I am an open book and if there is a way you can help me and see things I don’t, I am all for learning. Have bills been paid late, have bills still been outstanding for certain things, yes that is for sure. What I can say though, is it was not because of misuse of funds, it has been because there were no funds. I am not made of money, I live paycheck to paycheck from my full time job and will put as much funds back into the sport as possible from my business’.
              Sometimes people do not like to hear the truth. Rumors can swirl and people can be nasty. The clinic side of my business has really suffered and there are many reasons for this. Fee’s of clinician’s have gone through the roof, tens of thousands of dollars, each year higher and higher. Before I would just agree to the amount because I felt that is what was normal as that is what I was being told and what I had to do to continue to do business. I was blinded by the thrill of planning the event and working with the top clinicians I would be working with and then at the end I was left with the financial burden and the sleepless nights.
              Finally after all these years and negative bank balances, I have realized this that if the numbers do not work, I have to cancel. This has recently happened with a couple events and it seems with no direct knowledge of my business, or my finances conclusions have been drawn.
              I am not the only one that has had to deal with this, recently another business in the past year has gone under due to high expenses and little ticket sales, and recently an article was posted by Caledon Equestrian in Toronto, they were at risk of cancelling a clinic due to lack of ticket sales. Is it too high of fees? Is it over saturation of the market? There are so many factors that can play into it, but at the end of the day, if we want these events, people have to show up.
              A few things I have learned in life, “This too shall pass” and “Hear it from the horse’s mouth” (pardon the pun).
              I am an open book, my phone is always on and I have nothing to hide. If you know me, you will call me, if you don’t and want to call me please do, if you want to sit behind a phone or computer screen that is your motive, but my door is always open so reach out 604-368-5396.
              I love this community and believe in the good in it and will continue to work and try hard to bring to light the good, not the bad and create opportunities for the members in it who are in it and want to see this sport grow and not die. Even with the mental stress, expense and responsibility it brings to me, because I don’t give up and I believe we will one day get to where we need to be.
              Look forward to seeing you at the future West Coast Dressage Festival events this fall and future clinics.
              Scott Hayes
              SH Productions Inc.
              West Coast Dressage Festival LLC
              Yes, this is a nice explanatory post that does not lay any blame.

              It doesn't entirely sync up with what the news report says about the situation, and it doesn't entirely sync up with what folks report about attending some of the events that had organizing glitches. There are several COTH threads about those problems. Interesting to see where this ends up.

              Comment


              • #8
                Two sides to every story http://dressage-news.com/2019/09/08/...-ticket-sales/

                I went to the Charlotte, Carl and Isabel (don't remember if the Isabel event was an SH production) events in So Cal. They were all very well run, (from the perspective of someone in the cheap seats that didn't experience the sound issues had at the VIP tables) and great fun.

                Honestly, I think there's only so much of a market for these types of clinics. Of course we all want to have access to the best riders for clinics etc but realistically, how many are willing to ante up the ticket prices necessary to have a top name rider and to do so more than once a year? In addition to ticket prices, there are travel expenses as well in some cases. It ain't cheap by anyone's standards.

                I suspect that lack of ticket sales may be an indication of market saturation or organizers pricing their events out of the market.

                I've also scribed at the WCDF events. Their business model is to pair a scribe with a judge for the entire event, which I think is unrealistic and probably contributed to some scribe snafus at one of the shows. I think there are some really good scribes willing to help that can't commit to every day but would provide better experienced scribing.
                Last edited by atlatl; Sep. 10, 2019, 11:43 AM. Reason: I was reminded of the sound system issues.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Tuscon Dressage Club is having Laura Graves for a symposium and the audit fee is $150 for 2 days. How much was the SH Productions audit fee? The Isabell clinic is $125 a day, but I am sure the clinician fees and travel vary.
                  "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, I think the Very Big Name clinics that charge alot for auditors and an enormous amount for riders, and rely on very large audiences to break even, are a bit of a novelty thing. You might go to one as a big deal, but I can't see going to multiples of these every year unless you are absolutely loaded and have a lot of free time. Ultimately, you'd probably get more results putting that amount of cash into regular lessons or clinics with a Big Name Trainer that's not an Olympic star, or even a regular local very good trainer. Plus auditing a weekend is a whole weekend you aren't riding.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      LOL I was by a show secretary for a show last year that I would be able to cancel with a refund (I contacted them to scratch for a sudden horse illness). Then they cashed my check (> $800) anyway. I asked about it, forwarding the email where they said I wouldn't be charged. I was told they had to cash my check for non-reimbursable administrative fees and they would issue a refund check for the difference.

                      That was in April. I've followed up by email and phone repeatedly since (including the number Scott posted above). So many unanswered emails to Scott. Whatever, I gave up - I understand how difficult this all is, but geez. Even if they just told me straight up "no refunds, not even for shavings you won't use, sorry" I would have respected it a lot more than "yes, we'll refund you" and then utter and complete ghosting. Big shrugs from me.
                      Mr. Sandman
                      sand me a man
                      make him so sandy
                      the sandiest man

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                        Yes, I think the Very Big Name clinics that charge alot for auditors and an enormous amount for riders, and rely on very large audiences to break even, are a bit of a novelty thing. You might go to one as a big deal, but I can't see going to multiples of these every year unless you are absolutely loaded and have a lot of free time. Ultimately, you'd probably get more results putting that amount of cash into regular lessons or clinics with a Big Name Trainer that's not an Olympic star, or even a regular local very good trainer. Plus auditing a weekend is a whole weekend you aren't riding.
                        This.

                        I don't know the organizer personally but it does seem that there has been a fair amount of controversy surrounding some of his events.

                        I went to the Charlotte Dujardin masterclass clinic that was held in Atlanta and although she was wonderful to watch - funny, and obviously knowledgeable - I probably wouldn't go again. The "cheap seats" were $150 - to sit on freezing cold metal bleachers in a covered arena. The "VIP" seats were on the other side of the arena, on folding chairs around those standard round catering tables (so half the seats had your back to the arena.) They had a buffet style hot lunch included, but looking at it, I was quite glad I hadn't sprung for the extra $100.

                        If memory serves me, there were four sets of riders - the first group had 2 riders, on young horses, while the other sessions were all individuals. It was so cold that I think everyone was happy that it didn't go on longer, but that was a lot of money to pay to watch that number of rides.

                        Around here you can audit top trainers for a lot less than half that amount, at a nicer facility with climate controlled seating areas, a professional sound system, and a nicer lunch. I guess we are spoiled.
                        **********
                        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                        -PaulaEdwina

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lucassb View Post

                          ...
                          I went to the Charlotte Dujardin masterclass clinic that was held in Atlanta and although she was wonderful to watch - funny, and obviously knowledgeable - I probably wouldn't go again. The "cheap seats" were $150 - to sit on freezing cold metal bleachers in a covered arena. The "VIP" seats were on the other side of the arena, on folding chairs around those standard round catering tables (so half the seats had your back to the arena.) They had a buffet style hot lunch included, but looking at it, I was quite glad I hadn't sprung for the extra $100.

                          ..
                          ^^this in spades!^^

                          I think this is exactly how events get priced out of the market. These VIP sections are, IMO, ridiculous. My group typically tail gates at these events and has a great lunch at a fraction of the VIP costs! We can even have adult beverages!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by the sandiest shoes View Post
                            LOL I was by a show secretary for a show last year that I would be able to cancel with a refund (I contacted them to scratch for a sudden horse illness). Then they cashed my check (> $800) anyway. I asked about it, forwarding the email where they said I wouldn't be charged. I was told they had to cash my check for non-reimbursable administrative fees and they would issue a refund check for the difference.

                            That was in April. I've followed up by email and phone repeatedly since (including the number Scott posted above). So many unanswered emails to Scott. Whatever, I gave up - I understand how difficult this all is, but geez. Even if they just told me straight up "no refunds, not even for shavings you won't use, sorry" I would have respected it a lot more than "yes, we'll refund you" and then utter and complete ghosting. Big shrugs from me.
                            Just an FYI, small claims court is your friend in these situations. It's a little work, but for $800 less office fees etc, I'd do it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by atlatl View Post

                              Just an FYI, small claims court is your friend in these situations. It's a little work, but for $800 less office fees etc, I'd do it.
                              Yeah, I'm a lawyer - I should at least say that's my next step and see if it gets him to respond!
                              Mr. Sandman
                              sand me a man
                              make him so sandy
                              the sandiest man

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                For comparison purposes, the Ingrid Klimke Masterclass clinic being held in Toronto, has these prices to audit (note - prices in $CAN):

                                Auditing: $150/day (grandstand seating)
                                VIP Individual Seat (2 days): $360
                                VIP Table (seats 10, 2 days): $3500

                                This is held at the Caledon Equestrian Park and is the one referenced by Scott as being in jeopardy of being cancelled. I haven't been to the facility since the new building was put up (last year?), but I think it may be climate-controlled.

                                As well, Robert Dover is at the same facility the day before the Klimke Masterclass, for a one-day symposium. The auditing fee is free if you paid into the Dressage Levy (ie. if you competed at a rated dressage show this year) or $100 for those who did not. Rider cost is $175/person (must apply with video, to be reviewed and selected by Robert).
                                I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by SolarFlare View Post
                                  For comparison purposes, the Ingrid Klimke Masterclass clinic being held in Toronto, has these prices to audit (note - prices in $CAN):

                                  Auditing: $150/day (grandstand seating)
                                  VIP Individual Seat (2 days): $360
                                  VIP Table (seats 10, 2 days): $3500

                                  This is held at the Caledon Equestrian Park and is the one referenced by Scott as being in jeopardy of being cancelled. I haven't been to the facility since the new building was put up (last year?), but I think it may be climate-controlled.

                                  As well, Robert Dover is at the same facility the day before the Klimke Masterclass, for a one-day symposium. The auditing fee is free if you paid into the Dressage Levy (ie. if you competed at a rated dressage show this year) or $100 for those who did not. Rider cost is $175/person (must apply with video, to be reviewed and selected by Robert).
                                  I so hope this doesnt get cancelled, I loved the last 2 with Carl and Charlotte.

                                  I think instead of offering the VIP they should allow some sort of cheaper seats, I think more people would attend.
                                  Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by the sandiest shoes View Post

                                    Yeah, I'm a lawyer - I should at least say that's my next step and see if it gets him to respond!
                                    But what did the prize list say about refunds? Probably no refunds after closing date. So even if someone said you'd get a refund, probably won't get one.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by AZ TD View Post

                                      But what did the prize list say about refunds? Probably no refunds after closing date. So even if someone said you'd get a refund, probably won't get one.
                                      It was just on the cusp of closing date - I'd argue that the verbal and then written agreement provided by the show secretary was a clarification on the prize list policy that then superseded such information. I mean, if they wanted to take that position, they should have said so. They never did - they said the opposite and then just stopped answering.
                                      Mr. Sandman
                                      sand me a man
                                      make him so sandy
                                      the sandiest man

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by atlatl View Post

                                        Honestly, I think there's only so much of a market for these types of clinics. Of course we all want to have access to the best riders for clinics etc.....
                                        Many would prefer to have access to the best TEACHERS.



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