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Cost of showing

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  • Cost of showing

    We are new to showing. My 16 yo daughter trains in hunter/jumper and is wanting to show this coming summer. She has done a few schooling shows at around $50-60 total cost per show. Her trainer has told us multiple times that our horse (5 yo TB grey gelding) has huge potential to be a $50k horse if taken to the right shows. (We have been told by many people that he is truly a very special horse. We only paid around $4k for him.) We are a middle class family and I have a feeling the types of shows she's taking about will be far above our comfort zone financially. We live in MN. Can anyone tell me what kind of cost I might be looking at? I know the trainer charges $100 in-state haul fee, $75/day trainer fee, and she mentioned having a more experienced rider ride him in the ring for the bigger shows...no idea what that costs. I believe she also mentioned a week- long out-of-state show. Any detailed cost information would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    I think part of your decision-making process depends on if you want to sell your daughter's horse or not. If you don't want to sell him, it really doesn't matter if he's worth $50k or $4k, does it?

    If your daughter wants to show him, then I'd veto the "more experienced rider" idea for shows. It's her horse, and she should be allowed to enjoy him.

    That said, you asked this question on the eventing forum, and your trainer seems to be a hunter/jumper trainer/shower, so you might want to ask this in the H/J forum, where opinions might differ from mine, and they will have a better idea of the costs for this kind of show.

    Good luck! Sounds like you got lucky with a nice horse - I think your daughter should be the one to enjoy him, at whatever level she is comfortable.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, it sounds like your trainer is pressuring you to go beyond what you may be comfortable with. This is your daughter's horse--she should enjoy him. Making an OTTB up to be a $50K horse is an expensive endeavor, with no guarantee of success. A thousand things could happen along the way that would minimize his value.

      Horse's can be such a great part of the childhood/teenage experience. But you don't have to go to expensive shows to have fun. Or any shows for that matter! It depends on what your daughter (and you) want, not your trainer.

      Good luck!

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thank you for your responses. And I agree with what you're saying. We do plan you sell him when she leaves for college in 2 years because we cannot afford both. Yes, our trainer is a big show person & has put dollar signs & big dreams in her eyes. He was originally intended to be a wonderful horse for her to enjoy and nothing more.

        Thank you also for the mention of posting this in the hunter/jumper section. I am new to all of this and don't really understand all the different sections. I had thought showing was eventing. Haha

        Comment


        • #5
          A 50k TB in hunters is a very rare bird. It would cost you at least 50k to get to that point if it was even a possibility at all. Maybe if you posted in the hunter jumper forum you could get a recommendation for a trainer in your area who isn’t pressuring to do anything other than enjoy your horse within your budget.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home

          Comment


          • #6
            Tread gently and discount everything trainer tells you. It can work out, but like anything else, its a big crap shoot. We used to go to local shows that were 4 days; trainer rode horse on pro days and I rode horse on ammy days. So two divisions plus 4 days of "trainer" fees, tack room fees, braiding, meds (?) and entries. Looking at something close to $1000 for one of these even if its fairly local...
            Do what you are comfortable with. Also given daughter's age: what are you thinking when she decides to go off to college re the horse? Even if reselling is an option: spend only what you are comfortable with at least this summer and see how it goes. Maybe spring for one "stretch" event. If you sell the horse in 2 or 3 years and get $15,000 for him, at least you wont be out a ton of money that otherwise wouldn't be spent...
            We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

            Comment


            • #7
              My horse, back in the day, was worth about $80,000 as an upper level eventer. I figured I spent $250,000 to make him that way (that includes everything, including board, shoes, vet, entries, blah, blah, blah). What does that tell you?

              Better to do what you love and don't even hope to get or make money back.

              Your trainer is looking out for their own pocketbook by putting stars in your daughter's eyes. Do what YOU can afford. Period.

              Figure around $2500 and up for a weekend at an "A" type show for everything. It ain't worth it.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thank you!!! Very eye opening...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                  A 50k TB in hunters is a very rare bird. It would cost you at least 50k to get to that point if it was even a possibility at all. Maybe if you posted in the hunter jumper forum you could get a recommendation for a trainer in your area who isn’t pressuring to do anything other than enjoy your horse within your budget.
                  Laurierace is giving it to you straight up. Right or wrong, TB's are not a preferred breed in H/J land. More than likely, he would need be doing A circuit shows at 3'3" or 3'6" to break through the low five figure barrier.

                  Most people in H/J land find TB's to be too "sensitive" for the average rider, so the audience is limited and the prices are substantially lower.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If it is a straightforward, quiet, bay gelding, you will have no problem selling a TB as a local hunter. They've gained a fair amount of local level traction lately. But not a 50k one. There seems to be a serious disconnect between what trainer wants, what you want and what your daughter wants. Better to get that straightened out now before she gets her hopes up about something you simply cannot afford.

                    And FYI 'eventing' is a 3 phase sport- we do dressage, the cross country jumping, then show ring jumping all on the same horse. Often in the same day! We sometimes say we go to 'shows' but usually we say we compete at 'events'.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thank you EVERYONE for your thoughts, experience, & bluntness. It is exactly what I needed!! Seriously...i feel so much better now about entering into showing with a little knowledge in my pocket. You guys are great... love the responsiveness on this forum!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you are looking to make a profit (a highly unusual thing to happen with an amateur in any horse sport) it may very well be that you could make MORE money staying at local shows and limiting big time expenses and then selling him for half what your trainer's $50K number. He'll only be two years older with almost the same base of experience--when it comes to making horses never forget that a local show gives you 90% of the training of a big recognized one at a fraction of the cost. Your trainer wants you going to big shows not to improve the performance of the horse, but to increase his visibility. If the horse is really that good you can sell him based on his performance, but maybe for less money.

                        This is really about your trainer making money, not you. Also, you should sit down and have exactly this conversation with the trainer. she should be able to give you a run down of every cost you would typically have at a show. If she won't or you don't feel comfortable asking then something is seriously wrong.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think the trainer is trying to lead you down a rosy path to try and make more money out of you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Agree with what everyone above has said.

                            I would like like to add: in H/J land, it is very very common for the trainer and the experienced riders to show and ride the horse, often much more than the actual owner. There is indeed a time and place for this- to make sure the horse is safe in a new environment, to fix a dangerous issue, etc. To be honest I think they overdo it though. As long as the horse is safe for your daughter- she should ride it and get the experience. If she doesn't win who cares? It's NOT about winning-- and be aware that at the big shows there will be a lot of people mounted on 100K + horses, with all the newest tack, clothes, cars, etc. It may be worth some time explaining this, and keeping perspective, to your daughter.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by subk View Post
                              If you are looking to make a profit (a highly unusual thing to happen with an amateur in any horse sport) it may very well be that you could make MORE money staying at local shows and limiting big time expenses and then selling him for half what your trainer's $50K number. He'll only be two years older with almost the same base of experience--when it comes to making horses never forget that a local show gives you 90% of the training of a big recognized one at a fraction of the cost. Your trainer wants you going to big shows not to improve the performance of the horse, but to increase his visibility. If the horse is really that good you can sell him based on his performance, but maybe for less money.

                              This is really about your trainer making money, not you. Also, you should sit down and have exactly this conversation with the trainer. she should be able to give you a run down of every cost you would typically have at a show. If she won't or you don't feel comfortable asking then something is seriously wrong.
                              Exactly what subk said!
                              Nothing wrong with staying at small shows within budget and just enjoying every minute of it!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I certainly have made up horses for a tidy profit. I have in my barn several TBs that I paid less than 4 who are worth more than 50K today.....they could be hurt tomorrow and worth NOTHING or likely cost me more than nothing. Horses are terrible investments...period. Do NOT get sucked into doing things to make your horse more valuable to sell. Enjoy your horse. Value him for what he is teaching your daughter. Value him today for being fun for your daughter and a great experience. Do not think you will ever get what you spend on him back out. When you do go to sell...then get a fair price for him that day...but more importantly, get him into a good and loving home.
                                ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  There's an old saying in horses - "If you want to make a little money....Start with a lot of money"

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