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Economy and Horse Shows

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  • Economy and Horse Shows

    I'm very curious as to whether all the economic issues have had any effect on the horse shows - particularly the numbers attending and distances traveled.

    Are barns still going long distances to the big shows or sticking closer to home? And are the barns doing the same amount of shows as they've done in years past (when the economy wasn't floundering soooo badly)?

    I read the post and poll regarding horse sales and purchases with great interest. I'm very surprised that sales seem to be pretty good - at least that seems the general opinion of posters to that thread.

    Does the amount of wealth in the upper levels of h/j world make them immune to economic trends?

    (Personally I have definitely put alot of show aspirations on hold temporarily).

  • #2
    Originally posted by ProzacPuppy View Post
    I'm very curious as to whether all the economic issues have had any effect on the horse shows - particularly the numbers attending and distances traveled.

    Are barns still going long distances to the big shows or sticking closer to home? And are the barns doing the same amount of shows as they've done in years past (when the economy wasn't floundering soooo badly)?

    I read the post and poll regarding horse sales and purchases with great interest. I'm very surprised that sales seem to be pretty good - at least that seems the general opinion of posters to that thread.

    Does the amount of wealth in the upper levels of h/j world make them immune to economic trends?

    (Personally I have definitely put alot of show aspirations on hold temporarily).

    Most folks at my barn are still going to "away" shows this summer but not as far away and not for as many weeks. People are deciding what finals they want to do and going to shows that offer those specific classes. We are definitely scaling back a bit but most still want to go and have fun.


    • #3
      The trainers seem to be going to the same shows, just taking less people.

      I am cutting back - doing less, taking a hard look at things like stall costs, misc add on fees, etc. before I go places. Will do some B shows this year (did not do any last year). Will not do most of the really big, read more expensive, shows this year. It is just hard to justify spending thousands of dollars a month showing when my retirement income is down 40-50%. When the market recovers (if and when that happens) I may think twice about showing more often.


      • #4
        We still have a few of the over 50 ladies who can afford to travel to fun 1-2 week shows and they will keep going. The younger group, still in school, are cutting way back. With college to pay for in the near future showing is not that important. We will do 1 big 2wk show and 2 smaller close to home shows this year. We won't do Lamplight for two weeks in june which will save us a bundle.


        • #5
          Well, WEF was off a little over 30% this year overall...and it was still huge.

          The industry will continue but I would bet most of the larger shows this year are going to see a similar drop in numbers but stay healthy. They were almost too big there for awhile and definately too expensive. We'll see what shakes out.
          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


          • #6
            I really want to attend two or three of the HITS Culpeper weeks this year, but not sure if I will. These would be my first As after a long break and green bean's first overnight shows. Instead I may just do 4-6 extra local one day shows and focus on getting some year-end VHSA points. Cost is definitely a big issue - because of the economy forcing job changes which decreased income.
            "Beware the hobby that eats."
            Benjamin Franklin


            • #7
              Depends on the size barn and the upside to economic crisis

              I think large barns will continue to go to large/long shows and take fewer clients.

              Smaller barns and independent people like me who meet trainers at shows might choose more shows of shorter duration that are closer to home.

              My trainer would really like to go to large and far away one at the end of the summer. The show is great and my trainer really looks forward to it. But the $400 in fuel just to get there and back could be better spread out over more shows, each closer to home. (I do all my own work and haul myself, so you aren't talking to someone who regularly drops $2K a week for fun.) In previous years, I would not have let that figure folded into the cost of the whole show deter me. Now, I want to make the money I have alotted to showing do the most work it can.

              I'm not touched as directly by the economy as are others (Yet! Knock on wood), but our crisis has had a positive effect in that it is making me sit up and think about the long term. I'm more committed now to contributing to my retirement, the down-payment fund, the new truck fund, rather than being proud of myself because I got to the end of the show season with no new debt. That's not good enough any more.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat


              • #8
                Seeing as two shows in two weeks were just cancelled down here due to lack of interest, I would say yes, the economy is affecting shows
                "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"


                • #9
                  My barn is still doing the May and July Pebble Beach shows and those are pretty far away. Although, I noticed that we've cut three A/AA shows from the list compared to last year and are doing closer B shows instead. I've noticed that the amount of horses being sold at my barn has lowered recently too(at least the ones over $30k). Although there are a lot of wealthy people at my barn, I still think a good amount of them are affected. Not everyone is going to every single show like they did last year. My trainer has said that it's harder this year to attend every big show that we did in previous years and is requiring show deposits way in advance, when she didn't before.


                  • #10
                    At this point, my trainer has the same shows scheduled for this year as he did last year, and we'll have some that are able to do all of them. My husband was layed off and we're in the process of nurturing a new business along, so money is tight. Because of that, I don't plan to attend the A shows on our schedule, unless our situation improves. I do plan to do three B shows and all the local shows.

                    One of the A shows on our schedule was cancelled last fall due to lack of entries. I'm very curious to see if that happens again this year. Hopefully not.


                    • #11
                      I think that the littler divisions are going to be the ones hit the hardest. Hard to justify spending the big bucks for a big show when you're riding in the 2'6" jumpers (or hunters) and could get the same experience closer to home and for a LOT less $$$.

                      I just got back from my first show of the year and I was shocked that the low level jumper classes were a virtual ghost town. Usually there are a million little tiny jumpers and the classes gradually get smaller as they get bigger. At this show there were the same number of people in the .95M division as there were in the 1.30M division. So for at least this one show the bigger jumper numbers remained the same as usual where the smaller classes took a huge hit. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues.
                      Flying F Sport Horses
                      Horses in the NW


                      • #12
                        I am not showing and it's a bummer, because my lease horse and I have been doing pretty well. I am in wait-and-see mode with regard to the job and economy - disappointing, but really the least of my worries.
                        Love my "Slow-T T B"
                        2010 OTTB, Dixie Union x Dash for Money


                        • #13
                          No more little local shows once I'm USET qualified. Going directly to the big shows and staying for about 1-2 weeks each but not doing as many classes. Splitting hotel rooms costs with friends rather than just having my own room. (Will probably make us bond even more so thats more of an upside!)

                          I have to map out every show for my parents. Also, not getting a 2nd horse until the summer and he's going to be staying at home until WEF '10.


                          • #14
                            As my trainer said we are doing "the poor man's circuit" this summer. As a barn that usually spends it's winters in WEF and it's summer renting out stalls for the whole Saugerties circuit, Upperville, Hamptons, Vermont, Saratoga - this year we did predominantly schooling shows for the winter, are doing a lot of Duncraven (local A-AA show), Middlesex, one week of Saugerties, etc. Very sad. I love the big shows.


                            • Original Poster

                              Kind of what I expected. And as I am constantly reminded by my brother - alot of the very wealthy took a hit on their investments too (30-40% loss on multi-mil retirement plans etc).

                              We had a couple big A/AA shows here recently and I noticed that most of the barns were from within the state. And alot of the barns had fewer customers showing - just the trainer and the horses.

                              I had really planned on getting my jumper back into the ring after a lay off but I can't afford $2000 a week on showing (out of state shows often have trailering fees of $1000 or more and that's just to get there).

                              And forgive me - but WHY did they have to change all the jumper heights to meters? I'm too old to learn to convert. I wonder if there is an iPhone app that will do it for me?


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by ProzacPuppy View Post
                                And forgive me - but WHY did they have to change all the jumper heights to meters? I'm too old to learn to convert. I wonder if there is an iPhone app that will do it for me?
                                I'm glad they finally changed it.

                                They should change hunters as well.

                                It's past time to abandon the English measurement system - after all the English abandoned it years ago. The U.S. was supposed to go Metric in the 1970's, but it fizzled out. Don't forget - the monetary system is based on the Metric system. Medicines are dispensed in metric increments. Everything packaged has both the English and Metric weights. Every science-related industry uses only the Metric system. Since you have to use the Metric system every day anyway...

                                Since jumpers are international and there are international classes held in the U.S., such as the World Cup leagues, it only makes sense. I don't understand why they don't just mandate all shows to use the metric system for jump heights. I personally think it's nuts to have the jumper division using the Metric System, and the hunters using the English system.

                                This, of course, could be its own topic: "Why aren't all jump heights in the Metric system?"


                                • #17
                                  ProzacPuppy-"Units" (iphone app)!


                                  • #18
                                    We have seem to have quite a few local shows in my area. Most are very well run. The first one last month cost me $35 for my daughter to do three classes. We hauled in, showed and left. The next weekend )different management) we did the same thing but it cost us $65. This weekend we are doing two day local. We will get a stall and they have many more extra fees. It will run us about $250 for the weekend.

                                    I love to go to the Aiken shows, they are not too far. Well run and always pleasant.

                                    Unless I have a few students who all want to go to the AA or A shows, I will send them with another trainer. It is not cost effective for them or myself if unless it is a show that my daughter can also do.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                      Well, WEF was off a little over 30% this year overall...and it was still huge.
                                      I heard (from a dressage groom in March) that 25% was just the Hunter section and that the dressage/jumper entries were roughly the same. Probably, as PNWJumper suggested, because the lower levels and amateurs are staying home more.

                                      They've started showcasing luxury cars at the WEF spectator entrance, so I think they're doing fine!