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Cost of Recognized Shows

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  • Cost of Recognized Shows

    I'm curious to see what others think about the fees associated with showing at USDF-recognized shows.

    I've never competed in "straight" dressage before, but now that I have a young horse (well, pony) coming along nicely, I've been exploring my options with regard to dressage competition.

    I spent the summer doing our local "Tuesday Evening Dressage Shows" at Bucks County Horse Park. As a horse park member, my cost per test is $20 ($25 for non horse park members). Plus, a $1 or $2 charge (can't remember which) if I'd like to keep the same bridle number for the series, which runs every other Tuesday from May through August.

    This venue also offers schooling dressage/CT events as well as schooling horse trials that allow you to just come and do dressage (for the same cost, $20/$25 per test).

    The horse park also offers a series of recognized dressage shows. I'd love to do these to dip my toe in recognized competition; however, I find the cost incredibly prohibitive! Here is the breakdown:

    Cost/class: $25/class (Training - First)
    USEF non member fee: $30
    (USEF membership is $55)
    USEF fee/horse: $16
    USDF non member fee: $25
    (USDF membership is $75)

    This cost does not include the additional fees listed on the USDF entry form, including office fees, grounds fees, bridle number fees, etc. Thankfully, I don't believe BCHP charges these.

    So, if I'd like to do one of these 1-day shows and perform 2 tests, the difference in cost is $40 for the schooling show versus $121 for the recognized show!!!

    Now, if I join USEF and USDF (which is pointless because the recognized shows I do are events, which do not require USEF membership until Prelim and above and there is no need to join USDF just to do a few recognized dressage shows a year, especially when I have no interest in year-end awards or getting the membership magazine, etc), the cost is $66 per show but that means I've paid $130 in memberships...for what?

    To add insult to injury, since I've been doing the Eventing dressage tests, I went to the USDF site to view the Training and First Level tests to get a feeling for the movements required. Well, the USDF site sent me to the USEF site, which informed me that since I wasn't a member, I could pay $7.50 to have the booklet of tests sent to me.

    Granted, $7.50 isn't breaking the bank, but NO other organization makes non members pay to view dressage tests! The American Driving Society, United States Eventing Association, and FEI (I believe--I've downloaded the FEI driving tests from the FEI website) all have their dressage tests available for anyone to download online.

    Long story short, I'm sticking to schooling shows. We're lucky in this area to have a wide variety of dressage schooling shows with good judges, widely available almost year round.

    I'm sure many can cite a myriad of reasons why USDF and USEF can charge these fees for their shows, but as your typical amateur competitor, they've lost someone who was quite interested in pursuing recognized competition. I can't be the only one.

  • #2
    I'm not much help - I also have yet to show recognized, in part because of the cost and in part because I have yet to figure out which costs apply to me...

    But I can at least direct you here - http://www.usdf.org/downloads/forms/...TypePass=Tests - PDFs of the tests from the USDF website. I just print these rather than order a book.

    ETA - oh bugger, they only have Intro Level (plus freestyle and pas de deux and...). Good grief. Well, I've always gotten the tests from my GMO - http://www.pvda.org/Dressage%20Tests.../AllItems.aspx


    • #3
      You can get the tests from the USEF site by registering for a USEF member number that is "non-paid".


      Once you have that - it enables you to get into the member information and download the tests. I have not joined USEF yet as a paying member and my "Member ID" gives me all of the tests and information that I need.

      Hope this helps.
      Green Cove Springs, FL


      • #4
        $5 for the book of tests

        you can order the 'national' test book (intro - fourth level) and it's about $5, then you have it for the 4 years until they change the tests. Not only can you review the tests yourself, you can use it to read for a friend at the shows

        Forward...go forward


        • #5
          Grounds fees, bridle number fees? Do other rated dressage shows do that? I have never paid these fees in all my rated dressage shows...

          Normally unless you show only once a year, it is cheaper to just get a member number than to pay that non-member fee each time... I agree that the mountain of various member fees is really annoying...


          • #6
            Some shows (mostly bigger ones) charge a grounds fee for horses that do not reserve a stall. I've never paid a bridle number fee.

            Why don't you show in opportunity classes? Most of the fees are waived.


            • #7
              I saw $25/class and thought, what a great bargain! Sorry, we pay $50 to $55/class for non-FEI classes, plus stabling or haul in fees ($25 - $35/day) and office fees ($25 - $35/horse). Most of our shows do charge grounds fees (haul-in fees) - there are a few exceptions. Those fees go directly to the facility, not to the show budget.

              I do feel if you aren't a member, it isn't worth showing at recognized shows - the non-member fees are way too high. So, look for Opportunity Classes (which require no membership fees), or stick with schooling shows until you are ready to pay for annual membership. One hint - some GMOs include a membership in USDF - I belong to CDS, and my CDS membership includes a non-participating membership to USDF (I still upgrade to participating, but that is optional).

              If it is any comfort, shows are expensive to run. Show managment has to pay a judge, a TD, an EMT, and sometimes a show manager is paid as well. They have to pay for printing costs - tests and premiums, and in some cases schedules and other information. Ribbons are pricey. They have to feed the show staff and volunteers. They often rent port-a-potties, and/or pay facilities fees. USDF gets a fee for each class, and a fee for each test sheet used. I can't even imagine making a recognized show break even at $25/class!

              Do agree, showing is expensive!


              • #8
                These are the fees in California, for a non-member, trailer-in, at the Del Mar National 2012 (a 4 day show) :

                Nominating fee per horse: $50.
                CA Drug fee: $5.
                USEF Competition fee: $16.
                USEF Non Member fee: $30.
                USDF Non Member: $25.
                Calif. Dressage Society Travel Grant: $2.
                (this fee/tax is mandatory even if you don't belong to CDS)
                CDS Non member fee: $10
                Grounds fee: $50.
                TOTAL: $188.

                Class fees: 1st - 2nd level: $55
                3rd - 4th level: $60

                So to show in one 1st level class, + fees, will cost $243.

                The CDS Travel Grant "fee" is actually a tax, as it's not for admission, or services. It's imposed by an authority for the greater good.

                The fees are similar yet slightly lower at local GMO run shows.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KellyS View Post
                  The horse park also offers a series of recognized dressage shows. I'd love to do these to dip my toe in recognized competition; however, I find the cost incredibly prohibitive! Here is the breakdown:

                  Cost/class: $25/class (Training - First)
                  USEF non member fee: $30
                  (USEF membership is $55)
                  USEF fee/horse: $16
                  USDF non member fee: $25
                  (USDF membership is $75)
                  The Bucks Horse Park October Recognized show offers Opportunity Class Intro-First. For those, you do not have to pay the Usdf, Usef, and Drug, fees. You only have to pay for the $25/class and the one time $20 office fee. Therefore, you can do your two classes for $70.


                  • #10
                    Here are the cost of the most recent rated show for me:

                    Class fee for non FEI classes ($35/class): I showed two, so $70
                    USEF Fee: $16
                    Horse stall: $40
                    Tack stall: $40
                    Office fee: $20
                    Total: $186

                    I'm a member of both USEF and USDF, and my horse is already lifetime registered so I'm spared of the $50 in non-member fees, as well as the horse nomination fee.

                    I brought in my own bedding, and since I also brought my own mates (Mighty Lite) I only used two bags for the one day. Some people don't bother with tack stall but I don't like to leave my tacks in the hallway, and I went ahead to get a tack stall.
                    Last edited by Gloria; Sep. 27, 2012, 02:49 PM.


                    • #11
                      here are all the national tests - and they include the directives etc.



                      • #12
                        Do the opportunity classes, as suggested above. They are offered for at least Training and First Level and you don't pay the membership fees for rider/horse. You pay the class fee and an office fee.

                        The fees for recognized are higher as not only is there a judge to pay, but a TD and often the show secretary/manager for a recognized competition is a paid position, not volunteer. When the schooling shows have all volunteer positions except a judge, it is a lot easier to offer them for less cost per class.
                        Beth Davidson
                        Black Dog Farm Connemaras & Sport Horses
                        visit my blog: http://ponyeventer.blogspot.com


                        • #13
                          Here's our cost for one class for a one day show:

                          Class Fees - $35
                          Qualifying Fees - $18
                          GMO Non-Member Fee - $10
                          USEF Drug Fee - $16
                          Office Fee - $30
                          Stall Fee - $110
                          Shavings (mandatory, can't bring your own or else it's an additional fee that's more than buying shavings) - $20

                          TOTAL - $239

                          Then tack on hauling, trainer fees, etc. Oh and a tack stall would be an additional $110. So total it's more like $400+. I don't know how people afford to show multiple horses in multiple classes. We're just doing schooling show this fall because of the cost of the recognized shows


                          • #14
                            Here's what I just paid for a show coming up in a couple of weeks:

                            Classes: $45 each (I entered two, so $90)
                            Office fee: $20
                            USEF drug fee: $16
                            Haul-in: $35

                            Total: $161 for ONE DAY of showing (haul down, show, haul home). I can't afford staying overnight and paying another $100 for a stall and another $90 or so for a couple of tests on day two. That would put the total at $351.

                            Note - this doesn't include gas/food and such. (and if it were a true "away" show, the hotel)


                            • #15
                              Those stalling fees seem crazy! I think my last recog we paid 100 for the week

                              The are eating everyone up with grounds fees imo!
                              ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~


                              • #16
                                We have one coming up here in a couple of weeks where there is a $30 haul-in fee, which I think is totally excessive--no facilities except a large (unfenced) grass area to park in (should be entertaining if it doesn't stop raining) and a very looong walk to water, and an even loooonger walk to the show office.


                                • #17
                                  A) I would be THRILLED if I could do a recognized show (of any sort) for $121.

                                  B) Not sure where you've been looking, but I can access ANY dressage test for free. I have this link saved in my favorites: http://www.usef.org/documents/discip...LevelTest1.pdf and I just change the level/test number in the link if I need a different one.


                                  • #18
                                    Unless the facility rental is free, there are charges to haul in and for stabling. I like where stabling is not mandatory, but one location has to charge because the facility requires it.

                                    Normally stall fees for us in central FL are about 50/night and sometimes as low as 30/night. Hauling is usually one set price for the weekend (about 15/day).
                                    Beth Davidson
                                    Black Dog Farm Connemaras & Sport Horses
                                    visit my blog: http://ponyeventer.blogspot.com


                                    • #19
                                      Our stabling fees for the bigger shows (not CDI, but more then one ring) seem to run $165 to $200/weekend. Smaller shows are more like $30 or $40/day. I guess no bargains in California!


                                      • #20
                                        The fees that make me go over the moon are the stabling. I mean really, usually works out to over $40.00 per day and I have to do the mucking. I can board at the best place in town for less then that.