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Letter to COTH Editor in Sept. 24, 2012 issue

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  • Letter to COTH Editor in Sept. 24, 2012 issue

    This letter to the editor aggravated me quite a bit in terms of the apparent attitude that Amateurs should bear the brunt of costs so Pros can get a free ride. Am I missing something here?

    The letter is attempting to address the high cost of bringing along young prospects and in part says;

    "... Under our system that has been in place as long as I have been
    showing (more than 35 years), all participants—trainers, owners and riders alike—pay the same entry fee. From a pure economics standpoint—and this is Mr. Ward’s main point—the professionals and owners in our sport have a
    disincentive for investing in young horses because it is highly unlikely that they will ever recoup the amounts they pay at horse shows.
    Instead, our professionals must rely on owners to sponsor a horse
    for them; however, there are not many owners who are willing to
    take that kind of economic risk.
    The ideal owner not only has an unlimited pocketbook, but also
    doesn’t care if he or she gets any economic return on the investment;
    it is a hobby or “passion” for this person, not a money making
    proposition. This further narrows the playing field.
    Over the years, participants at hunter/jumper shows have
    declined. This is due in large part to the difficult economic conditions
    in our country over the last two decades, but also the inherent
    flaw in our horse show economic model. The decline in participants
    has caused show managers to increase rates because the costs
    to put on a show are mostly fixed. This only leads to further declines in participation.
    I believe we can improve this situation if horse show managers were to take, or were required to take by our sport’s governing body, a longer-term approach.
    This is to either discount or eliminate entry fees for horses
    owned by professionals and/ or horses in the green hunter or
    young jumper divisions provided that such horses are ridden by
    professionals. If the same horse is owned or ridden by an amateur, regardless of the class entered, then the owner must pay the undiscounted entry fee.
    This approach will ultimately bring more horses, riders and
    owners to the shows, and the discounts will be more than
    recouped by the increase in volume. Since we already have
    rules and regulations defining professional and amateur status
    and eligibility, it should not add much, if any, administrative
    burden on the show manager.
    Professionals who bring clients to the shows should receive an
    economic incentive to do so, either through entry fee discounts for the horses they own or show, or
    by a profit sharing arrangement where the professional gets a
    percentage share of his clients’ entry fees. This is how most viable business models work. Why should it be any different in the horse show world?"


    My thoughts.

    If show mgmt. were required to offer free or discounted entries to horses owned or ridden by pros, show mgmt would increase fees to the amateurs to recoup the loss of $. This would end up driving more participation out of the sport not bringing more.

    Professionals already have a financial incentive to bring clients to shows. Do they really need more?

    Pros should get a share of clients entry fees? Really?
    Last edited by pds; Sep. 24, 2012, 11:15 AM. Reason: spelling

  • #2
    I feel like if they do this, horse shows will all but die.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by pds View Post

      My thoughts.

      If show mgmt. were required to offer free or discounted entries to horses owned or ridden by pros, show mgmt would increase fees to the amateurs to recoup the loss of $. This would end up driving more participation out of the sport not bringing more.

      Professionals already have a financial incentive to bring clients to shows. Do they really need more?

      Pros should get a share of clients entry fees? Really?
      I've been waiting for this to pop up on this board. I kind of find the whole letter a big contradiction. On one hand the writer is talking about how the economic times are hard and the owners don't want to risk investing in the horses yet at the same time he/she is suggesting that they foot the bill with undiscounted entry fees should they decide to ride said horse at the same show?


      I'm interested to see what others have to say/think of this letter

      Comment


      • #4
        When I read it, I wondered what the author was smoking. You can bet most professionals are getting plenty from their clients and now she wants to tack on even more.

        Frankly, many of the pros need to learn how truly be professional and run their business without banking on additional "gimmes" on the back of their clients. I am new to the hunter/jumper world and find it ridiculous how rings are held for trainers schooling their clients. I can understand if they have ride conflicts, then go first in one ring and last in another to try to make it work. I was at a show this summer (extremely hot day) and a trainer was giving a short stirrup kid a lesson prior to his go. This was the last class of the day and all the other kids had gone and were waiting. Waited over a half hour for this final rider in short stirrup, for goodness sake. Pros get plenty of perks when they have a large client base. No need to add on more mandatory fees/charges to pad their wallets.

        I, for one, would just not go and do fun shows with my horse. It just isn't worth the hassle. Thank goodness I have a trainer whose first goal is for me to ride/enjoy/have fun with my horse. Everything else will come.

        Comment


        • #5
          I thought it read like a special kind of crazy... glad it's not just me.

          It's one thing to think there ought to be an American system for bringing young horses along and getting them affordable miles. I agree, there should be. It's another to suggest free entries for trainer owned horses paid for by upping the cost on horses shown by ammies.
          ~Veronica
          "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
          http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

          Comment


          • #6
            I guess paying for their lodging/meals/training fees simply isn't enough for some.
            My adventures as a working rider

            theworkingrider.blogspot.com

            Comment


            • #7
              I find this to be a very common attitude among people these days and a cultural theme among some. I guess the Pro's think the ammies should get off their arses and work harder to be pro's, then they can get more breaks. It's that simple.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                I thought it read like a special kind of crazy... glad it's not just me.

                It's one thing to think there ought to be an American system for bringing young horses along and getting them affordable miles. I agree, there should be. It's another to suggest free entries for trainer owned horses paid for by upping the cost on horses shown by ammies.
                This. Why not offer some more grants like the annual meeting app. I just got in my inbox today for zone IV?

                I have no issue with a person, pro or am, needing assistance for shows but being an am in that category, I can't foot the bill for it. Besides, I like to have a say in where my money goes. If I were in a better financial position, I wouldn't mind sponsoring a grant. I have sponsored awards and such before (back when I rode dressage).
                Proud member of the Clean Horse, Dirty House Clique! Founder of the Goodbye Fat, Hello Muscle Clique!

                Comment


                • #9
                  "This is to either discount or eliminate entry fees for horses
                  owned by professionals and/ or horses in the green hunter or
                  young jumper divisions provided that such horses are ridden by
                  professionals."

                  What about breeders who raise, retain, and put the initial show miles on their horses? Don't we have an equivalent interest in bringing along young prospects as cheaply as possible?

                  In order to make any money in this business, I can't afford to have all my young horses in training with professionals -- particularly for young horses traveling with a show string, when the show entry fees are just a drop in the bucket. Instead, I opt to save real $$$ by using very talented and hungry amateurs to do most of the riding/training/showing who appreciate the opportunity to work with talented horses. Shouldn't breeders like myself also benefit from reduced/no show fees?

                  Since when are the "professional" riders/trainers the only ones entitled to make money in this business?

                  I agree with the other posters who correctly point out that reducing/eliminating entry fees for "professionals" even in limited circumstances only will serve to drive up the costs for the "little people" making their participation drop still further. Ironically, this will only serve to reduce the prospective number of buyers for the young horses these "professionals" are "producing"...
                  "I always remember you as quite the desk chair contrarian." - APirateLooksAtForty

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by shadytrake View Post
                    This. Why not offer some more grants like the annual meeting app. I just got in my inbox today for zone IV?

                    I have no issue with a person, pro or am, needing assistance for shows but being an am in that category, I can't foot the bill for it. Besides, I like to have a say in where my money goes. If I were in a better financial position, I wouldn't mind sponsoring a grant. I have sponsored awards and such before (back when I rode dressage).
                    Another idea... how about a "young horse day" either tacked on the end of a multi-day rated show (that specific day could be an unrated day) or scheduled/located in a place that was easily acessible right after a big rated show so trainers could take horses there after leaving the rated show. Very low fees. Nice courses, jumps, rings-- but none of the other bells and whistles of a rated show. No announcer, loudpseaker, food, etc. Just the bare minimum in terms of accomodations, no stalls-- but once you're in the ring it's a nice A-rated course with good jumps and footing. Maybe judged as a red/blue. Uncarded judge or other inexpensive judge option. Just a way to get nice young horses OUT and at a show without spending a fortune. Not for ribbon winning or point chasing... leave the regular rated shows for that. Just a way to get mileage in a rated type environment without the high prices.
                    ~Veronica
                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Who was the author?
                      *****
                      You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There are SO many things that are just wrong about the above. But it's Monday, and I can't. I just can't....


                        What about prize money?? Doesn't prize money "discount or eliminate entry fees." And isn't the point of prize money so that the BEST in the class wins! The BEST is rewarded? If we're trying to find America's Next Olympic Horse shouldn't we be rewarding them? Not every horse that's ridden by a trainer? WTH is the point of that?!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          But aren't the pros creating jobs?
                          It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I understand that the author wants to reform to the current system.

                            I completely agree. But instead of all these complicated ideas, there is only one thing that is truly going to reform our sport and make it better for horses and humans; pros, amateurs, owners, and breeders. And that is to GET RID OF THE MILEAGE RULE!

                            Of course, horse show managers don't want that, because they are the ones making all the money. And the USEF won't consider it because it is an organization bent towards horse show managers.

                            This is the only way. There is nothing else to discuss. Until this happens nothing will change.
                            ******
                            "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."
                            -H.M.E.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GotMyPony View Post
                              But aren't the pros creating jobs?
                              Ammies create jobs too, like, ya know, creating the need for pros
                              Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
                              Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Wait...free entries? I'll call myself a Pro and leave the A/Os in the dust. 3'6-3'9 performance HERE I COME!!
                                My adventures as a working rider

                                theworkingrider.blogspot.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'm grumpy. The author of that letter is an moron. Need coffee, or whatever pharmaceuticals the writer was taking....
                                  Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Nickelodian View Post
                                    Wait...free entries? I'll call myself a Pro and leave the A/Os in the dust. 3'6-3'9 performance HERE I COME!!
                                    Of course, this will be the outcome. No longer will their be a problem with "shamateurs" -- the problem will be with "pro-posers"!
                                    "I always remember you as quite the desk chair contrarian." - APirateLooksAtForty

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post
                                      I'm grumpy. The author of that letter is an moron. Need coffee, or whatever pharmaceuticals the writer was taking....
                                      Okay so I feel better knowing that I not the only one thinking this.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Bent Hickory View Post
                                        Of course, this will be the outcome. No longer will their be a problem with "shamateurs" -- the problem will be with "pro-posers"!
                                        Good one!
                                        Proud member of the Clean Horse, Dirty House Clique! Founder of the Goodbye Fat, Hello Muscle Clique!

                                        Comment

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