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How much per event?

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  • How much per event?

    OK, so I am going to try to get to at least a few events with the horse I lease now- provided the soundness, financial, auto, and work gods all work with me! lol.

    In an effort to start budgeting for this, I'm wondering if any of you have an average cost per event? I know the entry fee is just the beginning....
    Also, tips to save money? I'm up for camping, except how do you shower? I don't think anyone would want to be within 10 feet of me if I didn't shower all weekend!
    Unexpected costs?

  • #2
    Hm.... Let's see.

    Gas - let's say 1 tank of gas each way $160
    Coaching - $100 (I'd say most people don't take their coach)
    Entry - $350 (including stabling, sometimes as low as $250)
    Hotel - $125 for two nights (coach and I share a room)
    Food - $100 - $125 (me + coach for weekend)

    So roughly $835 a weekend. Now, how do I save money? You could start by showing without a coach (so -$100), I try to go to shows where I can stay with a friend or family instead of a hotel (-$125). I also usually pack food to make easy lunches and breakfast so that I only have to buy dinner (-$75). Also, since I have a 2 horse trailer and only one horse, if I rideshare I can split gas (-$80).

    So if I do all that: instead of $835 I get to more like $450. If I go farther away, I will spend more on gas (obviously) even if I ride share. And though you didn't specify, this is for recognized events. If you're in my area, maybe we could share rides. :-)


    • #3
      Oh yes the unexpected costs...

      The thing that always gets me no matter how many events I enter is I look at the entry fee, think its not so bad, then go to fill out my entry form and realize I need to add $20. $20 isn't too much, but it usually makes the entry fee number look a lot worse because, at least where I am, it usually makes it over $200 or very close to it.

      Then of course there's stabling if its a multi-day show or you're far/will have an early time. This ranges quite a bit from area to area, event to event, and how many days. I've paid $60 and I've paid $200. So its hard to get a good estimate on that. Same for the actual entry fees.

      Then there's gas. Obviously depends on what car you're driving, how many horses/what type of trailer you're hauling, and how far you're going. Also, gas prices vary drastically all over the place. Again, very hard to get an estimate on that.

      You have a few options for food. I think the most inexpensive would be to run to the grocery store before you leave and get what you want. Some things will either need a cooler with ice that you'll have to replace (I am known for raiding the ice machines at the hotels I stay at to refill my coolers... ) or you won't be able to bring them. We usually bring some breakfasty things like single serving cereal, granola bars, poptarts, etc. Then we'll pack some rolls and something easy like chicken salad so we don't have to fuss with coldcuts and condiments, etc. We bring lots of water and some sugary drinks too, like juice or soda. We also bring things to snack on throughout the day in case we want to eat something small between phases. That is a lot of food for only one or a few people but we always have a big group, so what you bring will depend on who is going with you, but hopefully that gives you an idea. You can of course buy food from the concession stand at the event but its not usually the healthiest and can be pricey if you're trying to save money.

      As for accommadations for yourself, some events get discounts at hotels if you mention them. Some events as you mentioned have camping available. I know a lot of eventers do this but I have not so I cannot give you much insight into that but I can definitely say that it will save you a lot of money because any decent hotel is expensive.

      I'm in Area 1 and a typical one or two day event with stabling, travelling about four hours total (there and back), food for the humans, and accommadations for the humans usually runs about:

      Entry: $175 (this is kind of an average) + $20 USEA fee = $195
      Stabling: $100 (Again, an average)
      A few bales of 2nd cut hay: $8.50x3=about $25 (this is bringing my own, typically buying at the event is more expensive)
      2 bags shavings: $12 (again bringing my own)
      Gas: Typically will fill the tank twice just to have it...$160
      Hotel for one night: $120 (Again, an average)
      Food: $50

      Coming to a grand total of: About $560 Wow, I shouldn't have just added all that up

      So, like I said, there are a ton of variables, you can pay a lot less than that or a lot more then that. To cut some costs you can carpool and split the gas money, if you want/need a tack stall you can split that two or three ways with friends, as I mentioned get a hotel discount or camp, try to find events close to you, etc. Good Luck!


      • #4
        I don't pay a trainer or anything like that and I camp in my truck. So entry fee + diesel. Then I add a campsite fee if I have to pay one to park and sleep at the showgrounds. I will stable if I have to, but I try to find someone offsite if the place has exorbitantly ridiculous stabling (re: Carolina Horse Park). If I want to shower, I will either hit up a friend who has a fancy trailer or other friend who has hotel room.

        If someone comes with me, I will get a hotel room, but I use hotel points I earn with a lot of work travel, so that is usually free. I do not pay for tack stalls or any "extras." I try to pack food from home as much as I can.

        Cost varies widely by event for me, so it's hard to give firm numbers, but I'd say at least $450-500 per recognized event.
        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
        We Are Flying Solo


        • #5
          This is really interesting for me here in Oz. Is it common for people to hire a coach for a weekend's competition? Not something that really happens here!

          After reading this, I am not going to complain about entry costs ever again...here in Vic, it costs around $100-150 to enter a horse trials/ODE (1* and below, so equivalent of Prelim and lower). This may or may not include a yard or stable. It is common here for competitors to camp in their trailer or tent and to bring their own yards (not all venues have yards or stabling).

          Fuel/Gas costs are probably similar.

          I don't eat much when competing, but take my own snacks & then just have to fork out for an evening meal. I take my own feed and bedding with me rather than buying it at the event.

          I only stay at a hotel if away for several days. Some venues I compete at have showers. Sometimes (if only away one night) I go without :P (especially if the showers are ikky!).

          I budget for about $250-300 for a weekend affiliated competition - a lot more if it is a 3DE or a ODE further away. Local unaffiliated comps would cost about a third of the price (they are usually day trips).


          • #6

            If you need to do it cheap:

            225 Entry.
            If you can find very near home you can trailer in, but sometimes diesel eats away that savings!
            125 stall.

            Now for what you can control with some finagling.

            Hauling. Find someone to haul with. Trade some grooming for hauling! So that will be a big variable.

            Shavings, bag up some from home! If you used bagged, keep it clean at show and take back home! It's not that hard, and you don't have to worry about allergic reactions. Fairhill, our horse had a major reaction to shavings!

            Food. Go buy a little, portable grill from Walmart! Pack some meat in a cooler w/ dry ice! Lasts most of the weekend! And it's amazing how good that grill smells and the friends you make! Or keep! Jon! Three of us can eat all weekend for under 50.00 and that's three healthy meals! Well and Smoothie Lady!

            Accommodations: lots of the places have showers, but again, Walmart has a cute shower tent. 75 dollars! It is pretty cool! Then they have a sun water heater....it works well! Keep all of it in a box, and it quickly pays for itself first show! Otherwise take a sponge bath!

            Earning money.
            People will pay for you to braid! Also offer people night feeding services, or picking a stall, or.....you get the idea!

            We have done shows, and made more then we spent! But it requires no sleep or not much! But you meet amazing people!
            May the sun shine on you daily, and your worries be gone with the wind.


            • #7
              Average $500 per entry for us. Can do higher or lower. Look for 1 days and non-rec, MUCH cheaper.


              • #8
                Hmmm, this thread made me happy that I now foxhunt. $500 for the spring and fall season, hunting twice a week and most hunts are within a 40 minute drive!
                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                • #9
                  I am in the MN/WI area and "all in" (This includes gas, hotel, food, paying for chores at home, etc..) I am at $700 - $850. This does not count tack or anything I buy at the show OR photographer. Entry fees here are $275 on up. Most shows are three days, some are two. I haul from 150 to 300 miles away. Clinics, when all in - run not nearly as high, but still high if I have to hotel. And, of course, I am not factoring in wear and tear on truck, etc.
                  "Fool! Don't you see now that I could have poisoned you a hundred times had I been able to live without you." Cleopatra VII


                  • #10
                    An high quality (e.g., The Maryland Horse Trials) unrecognized, one day event is usually about $100. Add $30 of gas and it totals $130. That assumes that you bring sandwiches, drinks, and hay from home, don't have a coach, and don't need stabling.

                    The huge difference in costs between unrecognized and recognized events is why many people start off at unrecognized events.


                    • #11
                      We stay in an RV, so a bit different...

                      But 200 for entry and 125 for stall is norm.

                      RV gets crappy gas mileage... Hence why we won't go more than 300 miles away. But the RV is paid for...
                      Bring all of our own food and beverages. Bring a 5gal water cooler (20lbs of ice and 2 gallons of water last all weekend) that we leave in the barn to refill water bottles. If there is camper hook ups, we use them, otherwise we run off a generator (more gas).

                      If allowed (some facilities are nazi's) we bring our own shavings. Facilities want $9 a bag!

                      Always bring our own hay. Always do our own braiding. Rarely use a coach.

                      Still, I expect a weekend to run 650+.

                      Only down side is I can't leave the grounds once hooked up. The RV is a PITA to get backed into tight stabling areas for loading/unloading, but we even stop at handy rest stops and make sandwiches for lunch when hauling, instead of fast food. Every little dollar saved is another to spend on a horse!
                      Aelfleah Farm, Scurry, Texas
                      BLUE STAR Arabians and
                      Arabian-influenced Sportponies


                      • #12
                        Oh I should add that I also bring my own hay and feed. Shavings I buy on site at around $6 a bag. I also do my own braiding (and will gladly braid for others if needed). I also usually buy some show photos (see my thread below about David Mullinix Photography).


                        • #13
                          A LOT is going to depend on where you are!

                          Here in Eventing Mecca (Middleburg, VA), literally from my door, I am maybe 10 minutes from one high end event, and maybe 15 from a second high end event (to which I also supposedly can hack to). There is also an unrecognized venue 5 minutes away. Those are just three of MANY within a 90 minute drive. I can get by a lot cheaper here in Area 2 than someone on the West coast, because I don't have to travel very far (less fuel, less wear and tear on the vehicle), I almost never have to stable and take get a hotel (less for stabling, hotel or camping, food for myself, fuel to travel from the event to the hotel, which can add up!), and can often do all three phases over one weekend day (less time off from work...for those who that is an issue for!). I can probably get away with 2 events for what others shell out to do one.


                          • #14
                            Also in NoVA, usually figure 100 for unrec entry, 200 for rec, + gas. I don't normally include food in the calculation because I bring from home, and would have eaten whether I'd evented or not.

                            I guess the general cost of living here is pretty bad, though, so that may even out horsekeeping/eventing overall when compared with areas that require more driving.


                            • #15
                              An enterprising person who had one horse at a show could make a few bucks by offering services such as braiding, tack/boot cleaning, hand-walking, early AM feeding, stall stripping, trailer cleaning, etc.

                              Generally if I have just one horse at a multi-day show I can do all of that stuff myself, but if it's a one-day show or if I am competing two I would definitely pay decent money to have a helping hand with chores like these.

                              I've never seen anyone actually offer this type of service (other than Pony Club kids doing boot polishing) but I certainly have wished more than once that such Barn Fairies existed!

                              I'll amend that by adding that I have seen people offer to strip stalls for half of the stall deposit fee, and I almost always take them up on it. If the deposit is $20 I will gladly pay someone $10, and spare myself a tedious job when all I want to do is get on the road.
                              Click here before you buy.


                              • #16
                                Where I am - I'm luckily located about a 10 min trailer ride from 3 of the better event venues in the province, so I can generally get away with only entry fees (+/- $160)and a $50 trailer ride. I can do 6 events per season plus a couple combines tests and never leave my own backyard. If you want to go for championships you're at the mercy of the chosen venue though.


                                • #17
                                  Deltawave - our barn slaves (aka working students) are usually available for those types of services to help generate a little spending money.


                                  • #18
                                    Put up some flyers at the secretary's stand and in those porta-potties!
                                    Click here before you buy.


                                    • #19
                                      This is in Area II where I can get do most events in one day and gas costs split two ways.

                                      Entry: $200
                                      Gas: $50
                                      Coaching: $50
                                      Food: $10 (picked up on the way, packed in a cooler)
                                      Booze: $10 (bubbly, wine or beer; shared with coach, barn mate, parking lot neighbors, etc)
                                      On-site tack store: at least $30 on god-knows-what
                                      Pictures: $0 - $100, depending on quality

                                      So in the ballpark of $400 if I'm being honest. The moral of the story is that we should all take up a cheaper hobby, and that you should park next to me at events.
                                      The big guy: Lincoln

                                      Southern Maryland Equestrian


                                      • #20
                                        From Area VII, most event venues are within 2 hours of home unless you're going to Oregon or Rebecca (obviously). So:
                                        Entry - $200+-
                                        Stabling - anywhere from $75 - $150
                                        Diesel - @ $100 per tank and 2 tanks = $200
                                        Food - @ $50
                                        I have a small living quarters so don't have to go the hotel route and camping is free.
                                        One event provides shavings and one doesn't so 2 bags of shavings - $10
                                        hay - $20 for 2 large bales of orchard grass

                                        Roughly $600 Yikes!
                                        Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert